How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Chevy Ventureby Darryl James
The Chevy Venture's radiator and cooling system has to be in good working condition in order to prevent the minivan from overheating, which could damage the engine. If the van is overheating, you should troubleshoot the cooling system to locate the source of the leak or malfunction and repair it immediately to avoid damage to the vehicle and to avoid costly repairs.
Open the radiator on the Venture after the van has cooled off and shine a flashlight into the radiator to check the coolant level. If the level is low, add the proper coolant/water mixture to fill the radiator. Crank the Venture's engine and run the vehicle until the coolant begins to circulate and check the level again. Using the flashlight, check the radiator tanks and the radiator hoses for leaks.
Check the radiator cap by removing it while the Venture is cool and observe it closely for rips, tears or bubbles, which may diminish a tight seal and allow steam or coolant to escape from the radiator. Replace the radiator cap and start the engine, then check for leaks around the cap once the vehicle begins to warm up.
Observe the front and rear of the Venture's radiator for any damage to the radiator's surface, including cracks, breaks and/or clogs from road debris. Areas of particular concern for cracks and breaks are the seams of the radiator and the hose connectors since the Venture uses a plastic radiator. Check the radiator while cool and again while running and warm.
Turn off the Venture and allow it to cool until the radiator can be touched by hand. Test the radiator by hand, feeling along the outside from top to bottom. If the radiator is warmer at the bottom, it is functioning properly. Use an infrared thermometer, running it along the surface of the radiator from top to bottom to make the same assessment.
Remove the Chevy Venture's radiator cap and attach a pressure tester to the top of the radiator, then attach the radiator cap to the pressure tester, which will test both the radiator and the radiator cap.
Squeeze the upper and lower hoses on the Chevy Venture, checking to see if the hoses are firm or soft. A firm hose is still in good condition, while a hose that is soft and easy to squeeze had more than likely been damaged.
Things You'll Need
- Radiator pressure testing kit
- Infrared thermometer
Darryl James, a syndicated columnist and freelance writer in the Los Angeles area has written for more than 15 years for "New York Newsday," "Pittsburgh Courier," "The Los Angeles Sentinel," "Women's Wear Daily," "Apparel News," "Rap Sheet" and more. James has written books and has just finished his first screenplay.