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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some issues with my car overheating - I'm worried that its the cats, but it doesn't quite match what others have described on the board.

The car runs fine - can't tell any loss of power, etc. The temp gauge runs a little past 12:00 when the car is moving, but if I get in stop & go or if it idles, I can literally watch the needle climb up to the next mark in a couple of minutes (it moves that fast). Start moving again, the temp drops. Got a warning light a while back - the first time I noticed this effect, but the light never came on as I tested it yesterday (I admit once I realized the temp was climbing fast, I didn't push it). I realize that stop & go will make any car run hotter, but I've never been able to watch the needle climb like this.

Guess this would never be a problem if I just never stopped moving but... I live in LA. Stop and go traffic is a fact of life.

One other curious thing - if I turn the heat on, I get a distinct smell - but not the sulfur smell others have described - actually this small isn't all that bad - kind of a roasting almonds smell. I think I've had it since I got the car... just don't turn the heat on all that often in SoCal. No strange smells at any other times (i.e. no smell when accelerating, etc.). No idea if there is a connection between the two.

Any thoughts?
 

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Are the fans coming on? Have you checked the fuses/relays for the electric fans?

Eric
 

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My thoughts exactly, that is what a fan failure acts like. It's amazing how little car speed is required to bring the temp back down.
 

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Things to check...

Check the fuses for the fans...
Test the car, run it up to temperature and make sure the fans are coming on.
Check your coolant level and percentage.. You should be running 50/50 Antifreeze with De-Mineralized water... Maserati now recommends the normal ethylene-glycol type of antifreeze.. You can get a hydrometer from a local auto parts store for a couple of bucks... Test it while it's cold...
From there it can also be a stuck thermostat.. Not uncommon, especially after a few years of running and no coolant flush... If it's stuck part way open, well you get partial cooling at high temps and the car never warms up properly when the weather is cold.

Anyway, let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Checked the fan(s) - they are definitely coming on.

When I ran the car again last night it did the same thing - hold at 12:00 when moving, then quickly heat up to the next mark when sitting... but interestingly, the temp held there - it didn't increase, and the overheat warning light did not come on. Its a bit cooler at night, so I need to try again during the day when the ambient temperature is higher, but I was surprised to see it stabilize.

Now I have to move on to checking the coolant.
 

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Coolant...

I would actually go to the autoparts store and get some water wetter instead of using antifreeze. I notice you are in LA, doubt things freeze very often out there and Water Wetter is much better than antifreeze for keeping engines cool. In fact it's so good it or water only is required for race cars in all FIA sanctioned events as Anti Freeze causes accidents when spilled on the track.. I will check the coolant, from there it's either clogged cooling system or a stuck thermostat...
 

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Hi there I had the exact same problem 2 months ago.. I changed the thermostat and the ring around it and that fixed it for me it took forever to figure it out but thats what it was if you have any questions pm me. I live in LA and know some good shops to go to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it isn't the coolant (or at least it probably isn't the coolant). Checked the level - just above Min, but still enough - and the mix - a little less than the recommended 50/50 per the hydometer. Suggests that it is time to flush and refill the system, perhaps (anyone know where the drain valve is?), but it is unlikely to have caused the overheating. Bought some water wetter - I'll have to give that stuff a try.

So I'm thinking it is the thermostat sticking, as a few people has suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Went through the shop manual you linked to, but could not find information on accessing/removing the thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a followup - replaced the thermostat (well, actually had someone replace it - its in a tough spot to get to) and that seems to have solved the problem...
 

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Glad to hear it!!!!

If I remember right they are on the back of the heads somewhere... From what else I remember there are two, one for each bank of cylinders.
 

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Just one thermostat located on front right timing cover of engine. Remove
belly pan, radiator drain is on far left bottom corner of radiator,open coolant resevoir before draining. Thermostat housing has three 4mm allen bolts and one hose clamp. loosen bolts at first to drain any trapped coolant, you might have to pry the housing with a screw driver to break the seal,watch out for cascading coolant. Replace t-stat and o-ring w/ new using alittle grease to locate the o-ring and watch that the o-ring does not slip out on reinstall.. Refit parts in reverse order of removal. IMPORTANT!!--loosen both beeder bolts (17mm head-gold anodized) on the RH and LH front of heads, the LH is a little tricky to get to, it is behind/below the air intake plumbing. Fill the resevoir slowly until a full stream of coolant comes out of the bleeder, it will come out of the RH first,close each bleeder when air is gone, you will hear a hissing sound while it purges the air. Run the engine to operating temp (fans kick on),shut down the engine, slowly release pressure (slowly open) the resevoir and top off coolant level to the half way point of the resevoir. Done!
Water wetter is awesome, but needs replacement every year verses two years for ethyl glycol (antifreeze).Also water wetter does not really have any corrosion inhibitors in it-important on a alum-alloy engine.
 
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