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Pontiac Repair/2003 Cavalier coolant



Have a 2003 Chevy Cavalier with the 2.2 ecotech/auto trans.

I have heard that the Sunfire is pretty much the same car so I hope you can help me.

Replaced the upper, lower (3 hoses hooked together!!), and "pipe to reservoir" hoses and the coolant.

Filled it back up, ran the car alternating between higher RPMs and idling until the temp gauge moved to the middle. Had the heat on "hot" while doing this.

Problem is that only the upper radiator hose and heater hoses are getting hot. Larger and smaller lower radiator hoses and the pipe to reservoir are still cold. Is this normal until the car gets driven for awhile or is it air locked in the lower radiator hose? Next step if it is air locked?


ANSWER: Hi Josh.
that engine is really hard to get the air out of. there is a bleeder plug on the metal host that goes across the front of the engine you can crack that open with the ebgine running it should expel the air. keep running it like you were and it should "Burp" the air out just don't let it opver heat in the process if it get real hot let it cool down and start over again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for the quick reply.

Could you be a little more descriptive about the bleeder plug on the metal host across the front of the engine? Sorry, but I don't know what a metal host is.

I undid the lower radiator hose where it goes into the engine and had fluid there (what a mess!!) and the nipple on top of the engine that goes back to the reservoir by the upper radiator hose has fluid there. Is the bleeder plug the 27mm nut that is right by the power steering reservoir? I don't see anything else like a bleeder plug on the front/top of the engine.

After undoing the lower radiator hose and putting it back together, ran the car until the fan kicked in, still the lower radiator hoses are not getting warm. The temp gauge goes to just under 195 but not higher.

Thanks again,

sorry typo/fat fingers and wasn't thinking fully. depending on the version of the 2.2 there is a metal pipe that runs across the front of the engine and the bleeder is in that pipe if it's the other version there is a bleeder on the water out let on the back of the cylinder head where the radiator hose goes on. the sunfire and the cavalier are not exactly the same but very very close. do you have heat in the car?  

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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