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#3258071 - 01/23/14 10:18 PM 1998 Nissan Maxima
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
Okay, so I'd just like to get some thoughts on whether this is the water pump or not.

My Maxima is overheating. I just replaced the thermostat and noticed that there was some buildup in the hose (greyish sludge) but not on the other side of the thermostat.

To be sure, I flushed water back through the hose and out the bottom to get that sludge out, as well as flushed out the radiator itself with water.

I closed it back up and filled it up with antifreeze, started it up, and it still overheats.

What I want to know is, should I jump straight into replacing the water pump (huge pain) or should I try flushing the radiator again to make sure it isn't clogged? Is there a better way to flush it? Like taking off the top hose, running water through the radiator (and hopefully through the thermostat) and out the other side?

I would like to state that I don't have much experience working with cars but I'm quick at learning, I've already done quite a bit of repair on my own vehicles in the past, and after reading through the method of replacing the water pump, it seems like more of a nightmare than replacing the transmission in my '92 Tercel.

#3258083 - 01/23/14 10:29 PM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
What I mean to say is, can I use a water hose to force water through the thermostat to be certain that water can flow through by doing the above mentioned flushing method. Or could this possibly damage something?

#3258133 - 01/23/14 11:36 PM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
michaelluscher Offline

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 2202
Loc: Northeast
Are you SURE your properly bleeding the cooling system....
Its a [censored] on many Japanese car's, even more on Nissan's.
'06 Toyota Camry SE V6 3MZ-FE 61k
'01 Mercury Villager Estate VG33E 49k
'06 Ford Taurus SE Vulcan 56k
'13 Chrysler 300 3.6 Pentastar 136k

#3263493 - 01/29/14 08:09 AM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: michaelluscher]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
Sorry for the late reply, I am a University student that also works a full time job.

Yes, I have bled the cooling system properly. I've tried 'burping' it several ways, and every time, not even so much as a smidgeon of air comes out. I've gotten a few bubbles out from squeezing the hoses as another thread on Nissan's elsewhere has recommended, but nothing more.

One thread indicated lifting the front of the car up fairly high. I've done that to the best of my ability but no change. Perhaps I might try going to a nearby steep hill Saturday to try burping it again, it should lift the front end higher than I could ever jack it, but I still don't feel that this is my problem.

The thing that baffles me is that it heats up so quick. On my Suzuki Sidekick, when the water pump went out on it, it would take between 30 minutes to an hour of driving before overheating. This car overheats within 10 minutes of running idle. Driving in less than three. It was like that before I replaced the thermostat too.

I will try flushing the coolant system with water while it is running as I have heard about and see if that helps. I'm going to try specifically running water through the upper radiator hose to make sure it comes out the other end, because it seems strange that it overheats so quickly, which would seem to indicate that no fluid whatsoever is making it into the engine. Is there a chance that one of the water channels that goes through the engine is clogged with sludge? Has anyone ever heard of this happening? I'm fairly certain the radiator isn't clogged.

Edited by Jesse_Cooper (01/29/14 08:12 AM)

#3263504 - 01/29/14 08:20 AM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
Curiously enough, (I almost forgot to mention), is that the radiator fans have not cut on at all. But this might be due to the fact that the liquid in the radiator remains cool because it isn't circulating. (And it is incredibly cold outside)

Also, actually found information on how to reverse flush the engine block. This is what I wanted to try, just with Nissan I can't do it without the thermostat in.... because the thermostat is part of the connection to the engine. I could maybe take the old thermostat and remove the thermostat part for this effect. Looking into it now.

Edited by Jesse_Cooper (01/29/14 08:26 AM)

#3263594 - 01/29/14 09:47 AM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS

Here are some things I've tried:
>Flushed the radiator
>Flushed the engine block
>Ran it without a thermostat (I removed the thermostat from the old thermostat's housing)

It still overheats, so it is either the water pump or the water pump chain. There was a little sediment cleaned out but nothing major. Those are the last two components that I can think of that could possibly be preventing the cooling system from doing its job.

Anyone have any professional insight? I will have to drain the radiator and put the new thermostat back in later today, then refill with antifreeze to prevent corrosion (I used tap water for flushing, should be fine after I flush with distilled water again later then fill with antifreeze). It may sit with tap water in it for at most 2 hours before I flush it again, but I can't help that, I've got class.

Edited by Jesse_Cooper (01/29/14 09:49 AM)

#3263860 - 01/29/14 02:11 PM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
Update again:

I've considered taking it to a mechanic because I don't have much time personally, and changing the water pump seems a fairly complex and time consuming process. (Not to mention annoying)

The quotes I received are below:

$329 in labor and antifreeze for them to replace the pump and antifreeze. I will be providing my own part as they wanted to charge $80 for the part and autozone has one for $30.

$30 if they tow it just to check it out and professionally investigate the issue.

$1,600 if they are going to replace the timing chain and etc while they are in there.

Personally to me, the price quote on replacing the water pump and investigating the issue beforehand isn't bad, but the price to replace the timing chain and everything seems abnormally high. Then again they said that the kit is $600 and the pump was $80, so its probably closer to $920 in labor/antifreeze and possibly oil... That just seems crazy high. Anyone have any thoughts?

#3268674 - 02/03/14 12:07 AM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
artificialist Offline

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 8440
Loc: Florida
Don't get the Autozone pump, it could be a cheaply made part that doesn't last. I would recommend a pump from the dealer, a company that makes OEM pumps for cars, or Beck/Arnley.
2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback

#3283524 - 02/15/14 08:56 PM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
Jesse_Cooper Offline

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 7
Loc: MS
Okay, I'm back at this thread.

Point blank, I haven't changed the water pump yet. I spoke to a relative that is a mechanic, and he doesn't believe that it is the water pump.

One good point that he brought up is that the radiator fans aren't turning on, even when I have the A/C on. I have replaced the ECTS as it was bad but this hasn't solved the problem of the fans not cutting on. I am about ready to buy a compression tester and compression test the cylinders to see if maybe there is a blown head gasket.

I swear, if there is a blown head gasket, I'm going to be opening a case against the seller, who advertised it as "in good working order, just needs a new thermostat". The seller who supposedly represents a donation organization for selling donated items.

I don't mind small issues, even if it takes a while to sort them out, but if it is something as serious as a blown head gasket, then I paid WAY too much. I'm already peeved that the new thermostat, coolant flush, and new ECTS didn't solve the issue. If compression passes and it is the water pump, then I won't be as upset, because I was planning on replacing the timing chain and tensioners anyways.

EDIT: For those of you that may be curious about the conditions of the purchase, I decided to try out Ebay motors, and I found this car pretty cheap.... before the price of having the vehicle shipped to me. If it is something like a relay or two, or a bad wire then I'm okay with what I paid, but serious engine work is beyond my means and upsetting considering how it was advertised as in good working order.... and the fact that I've already had to replace a partially exploded battery among the other parts mentioned above.

Edited by Jesse_Cooper (02/15/14 08:58 PM)

#3286696 - 02/18/14 08:35 PM Re: 1998 Nissan Maxima [Re: Jesse_Cooper]
artificialist Offline

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 8440
Loc: Florida
Find 1 functioning item with the same relay as the cooling fan. Trade places. If the functioning item stops functioning, and the fans start working, you need a relay, and relays usually aren't expensive.
2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback