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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Driving my 02 Spyder last nite and I noticed a faint burning smell. After about a minute I noticed the temp guage starting to increase. Pulled over immediately and noticed all the coolant was pouring out from the bottom of the car.

Drove about another mile to a gas station where I put a gallon of coolant in (they only had regular coolant, no engine wetter unfortunatly). Turned the car back on and the engine temp seemed stable.

Drove for about another mile or 2 and it started to rise again. Pulled over and the coolant tank was literally boiling and steaming out water vapor. I shoudl've called a tow truck but I was only a couple minutes from home and it was also 1am (the nearest dealer is also 4 hours away).

As the engine temp started rising, I'd notice the oil pressure would rise all the way during accelleration. Stopped at a redlight and then the oil pressure would go down all the way (red light went on and the oil icon on dash came on briefly). Engine temp still high. Gave it a little gas and the oil pressure would go back up. Car is sitting in my driveway right now.

I know something is seriously wrong here, I'd just like to get expert advice as to what before I take on the headache of dealing with this. Thanks in advance!
 

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The coolant leak sounds to be the big issue here.
Get that fixed, and the rest should be fine.

Note that the oil pressure in these cars tends to swing more than you may be used to.

The original post on Wax may have confused a few of us.
 

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I'm assuming you don't have a coolant leak. From what you are describing, the car is overheating, and the coolant is boiling over and out the overflow onto the ground. I had the same experience when my car was overheating. First, check that the fans are coming on. If they aren't, I'd check the fuses. If they are, might be your thermostat - that was the issue with my car. Does the a/c still run cold? Does the temp come down when the car is moving (like on the freeway at speed), but quickly climb if you are on surface streets, at idle, or in stop & go? If so, same symptoms as my 02 when the thermostat went out. It sounds like that is a fairly common issue.

My thread on the issue:
http://www.maseratilife.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4494
 

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One of the most commonly reported reasons for overheating with 32/4200 is that one of the radiator fans has probably blown a fuse or packed up, there is no warning light if just one fan goes, so always check every so often that both are working, thats providing you dont have a coolant leakage.We all know how hot these engines are supposed to run at and it doesn't take too much to reflect on the temp gauge if there is a slight problem.


regards lozcb
 

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get it to a mechanic

it could be several things, but one thing for certain, it needs to be looked at.

if you plan to do the work yourself, and are looking for leads, then in addition to what has been suggested, check your belts, if a belt goes out it will lead to overheating of your car or any car for that matter
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help guys, but looks like I'm still going to need a little more...

So I just checked the fuses for the 2 fans which are under the hood, but how do I determine if they are blown or not? Theyre not like the typical 15w or 20w dinky fuses on the passengers floor panel.

With much efford I pried them out to check them, but they just look like a giant plug on the bottom. How do I determine if they are blown or not and if the fans are coming on? I guess I could always go get a voltameter a test to see if theres power running to them but there has to be an easier way- sorry if this is an amateur question, I'm just not too clear on it.

Is there something else/easier I should be doing?

Also how do I check/test my thermostat?


...sounds like this is a simplier fix than I thought, lets just hope its either of those problems (fingers crossed!)
 

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Easiest way to check the fans is to start the car up, let it get warm, and see if the fans switch on. If they don't, or if both don't, then you have an issue there, and the first thing to check/replace are the fuses.

As for the thermostat, no easy way to test it that I know of (on this car, if you go to all the trouble of removing it, you might as well replace it), but if you've checked the coolant & fans, replacing the thermostat would be the next item on the list.
 

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Thermostat is probably stuck...

I would take it in and have it replaced, or them replaced, I think there are two of them from what I remember. If you want you can just remove the thermostats and run the car to see what happens, if the problem goes away, order them from Eurospares and do the replacement job yourself.


If it is leaking water/coolant on the ground while the engine is running, and lots of it, then it can be the water outlets on the back of the heads, they are copper and once in a while they will fracture.. I had this happen to me this spring, poured water into the canister and it ran out as fast as I added it. It sounds more like the thermostat...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will do- the fuses I should be replacing are the 2 large fuses under the hood correct? I'm assuming I can get replacements for those at my local Autozone or Pep Boys? Sorry, I'm just unfamiliar with these large boxy fuses and have always delt with the small 15/20w fuses that are easier to tell if they're blown.
 

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If they aren't under the hood...

Then they are under the kick plate on the passenger side floor. Take up the matt and you will find a plate that lifts away from the front part of the floor, and there are fuse boxes in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Grnd:

-You're referring to ordering new thermostats or new fuses? I'm assuming new thermostat, but you said "they" so it threw me off a little. Going to the dealer like I said isn't that easy, as it is 4 hours away and a bit of an inconvenience for me this week.

-From what I can tell, it only leaked when the engine overheated severely. It came pouring out of the bottom when I pulled over the first time. After I stopped and added more coolant its stayed in the reservoir so I don't think its a leak issue.

-The user manual makes no reference to any fan fuses under the drivers kickplate. The only fan fuses I can find are the 2 under the hood inbetween the oil and coolant caps. Those are the bix boxy fuses I'm referring to, which I cant tell if they're blown or not.


I'm going out right now to let the car idle for a while to see if any fans come on. I'll let you know what I find. Thanks everyone.
 

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Fuses...

You can get your fuses at Checker Auto... Thermostats from Eurospares.. You might be able to pair them up down at Checker, the Thermostats that is but make sure they are of the same temperature range, 195 should be the right temp...

The Coupe has a kick plate on the passenger side in the front and the QP has it's kick plate access on the floor of the passenger side. Again that's if they fuses are not under the hood...

BTW, the oil pressure thing you saw is caused by the oil getting very hot.. If you run the car very hard, race it, then the oil pressure will drop like that, you can even find that in the manual, and then the pressure will return as you bring up the RPM. Ali had a similar situation, he was really pushing the car hard, the oil pressure would drop like a rock at idle, then go back up to normal range when running... The manual outlines it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
....just turned the car on in my driveway and let it idle. Gave it a couple revvs to try and heat the engine up a little. From what I can tell, the fans are turning on. Whether it is one fan or both its hard to tell, but I def. hear a fan on under the hood.

There was a small puddle of coolant under the car this morning from letting it sit all night. Since the temp was very hot and the coolant was still boiling when I pulled it in my driveway it could be excess that came out the overflow. However, there is still about a half tank of coolant in the resevoir which leads me to believe its NOT a leak.


How would I go about troubleshooting the thermostat to test and see if thats it? From what I can tell its NOT the fuses either, or could perhaps been from just one fan being out, but I doubt it.

I might go and replace the fuses anyways just to be on the safe side. I'd like to take the car out this evening once the outside temp cools a little to see if it happens again although I worry about causing more damage to the car.
 

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Fuses: look in the manual, the fuses are in a few different places... can't remember where the fan fuses were, but I know I found them in the manual. Again, I'd check the fans before I worried too much about the fuses - if your fans are coming on, the fuses aren't blown.

Thermostat; Just one, very much a pain to get to, and the thermostat comes incorporated in the housing so you won't be able to find one at Checker. this is a specific maserati part. Ricambi carries them (as does eurpspares) see:

http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=MA&P=&V=diag&I=3604

it is #21 in the diagram, Maserati part # 192242

Kent Woodworth gave a good description of how to change the thermostat at the end of the thread I linked to in my earlier post... I felt it was beyond me, so I had my mechanic change it out.
 

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First, DO NOT keep driving when something like this happens! You can quickly turn a minor fault into a major engine failure. Warped heads or scored bearings or even a thrown rod would definitely ruin your day.

Second, I hestitate here because I don't want to be insensitive.... If you aren't comfortable enough to open the hood and look at the fans to see if they're both running, perhaps you should wisely have your car towed to a shop. I am a big advocate of DIY but uncontrolled engine temperature and even momentary oil pressure failure on a Maserati are not something to goof around with.

On the other hand, here are some thoughts. Make sure the coolant is full so you can run the car to check the oil. Start it up and while warming but before hot, check to see if any coolant is leaking. Check your oil level while it's running up to temperature. As it gets near operating temp, be alert for the fans kicking on and look for any coolant leak that comes as the thermostat is opening. If you have good oil level, the fans run and there are no leaks at operating temp, then if the temp continues to climb past normal I would say the thermostat is stuck closed. Feel the radiator hose from the thermostat to see if it is hot. If only warm or cool... the thermostat is stuck. Note, if the temp climbs above normal as you're doing the checks, shut it down!

That's my .02 worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update:

Started up the car this morning to take it around the block. As soon as I started up the car the check engine light came on- a problem that wasnt occuring admist all the other problems I've discussed.

Drove about a half mile to fill it up with more 50/50 antifreeze as I noticed the mark was below the "low" point.

Noticed the oil guage was at its highest point and would not dip down to 0 like I had noticed before.

Filled up the car with some more antifreeze and drove another half mile home. On the way home the check engine light remained on and the engine temp guage progressively increased until the red light turned on right before I reached my driveway. The fans came on from what I can tell.

Checked the antifreeze level and noticed that most of it had drained on the way home.

Checked the oil level and noticed it was high (at the max mark).

So obviously I'm experiencing a leak with my antifreeze which is probably the cause of the car overheating. What I'd like to know now is:

1-Do you think this is the only problem?
2-Are these symptoms indicitive of a thermometer failure?
3-Would a simple leak in the antifreeze cause the check engine light to come on now?
4-Would the burning smell I noticed occasionally be normal for a leak in the antifreeze?
5-Would any of these symptoms be a result of having too much buildup in the CATS (which I think I had when I purchased the car)?


...I'd just like to have a better idea of whats a matter with the car before I take it in. I'm not going to take it to a Maserati dealer because its too far away from where I am. I have a local mechanic who works on Ferraris and Maseratis but I'd like to try and diagnose it as best as I can with the help of you folks before I take it to him so I have the best idea of what we should be looking at. Much help is appreciated!
 

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Answers...

1-Do you think this is the only problem?

You said there wasn't a puddle of coolant on the ground right?
You also said that the coolant was gone by the time you got home.
How much coolant are we talking about?
You also said the oil was on the high mark right?
Was it a slight bit milky?


2-Are these symptoms indicitive of a thermometer failure?
The failure could be a thermostat failure but your loss of coolant has me worried a bit.

3-Would a simple leak in the antifreeze cause the check engine light to come on now?
Now, not unless the car was getting to hot, or another situation that I am thinking could be happening.

4-Would the burning smell I noticed occasionally be normal for a leak in the antifreeze?
What did it smell like? Sulphur, just burning plastic?

5-Would any of these symptoms be a result of having too much buildup in the CATS (which I think I had when I purchased the car)?
Plugged cats will usually cause the car to go into Valet/Safe mode and you will smell rotten eggs while the engine is running. Do you smell that? Also CATS will not usually drive up the temp or make you lose coolant.
 

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I think you're thinking what I am thinking...

Blown Head Gasket... Was probably a thermostat to start with, but now the head gasket has given way and there is water in the oil, thus the oil level is high, may be milky, don't know yet and the coolant is lower as the engine runs but there is no puddle under the car....
 
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