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Welcome to the site. Sorry to hear of your truck's issues. However, this isn't really a Titan specific problem... It can happen to ANY vehicle.

WHAT TO CHECK:

* Thermostat -- Severe overheating can often damage a good thermostat. If the engine has overheated because of another problem, therefore, the thermostat should be tested or replaced before the engine is returned to service.

One way to check the thermostat is to start the engine and feel the upper radiator hose (or use an infrared noncontact thermometer to read its temperature). The hose should not feel uncomfortably hot until the engine has warmed-up and the thermostat opens. If the hose does not get hot, it means the thermostat is not opening.

Another way to test the thermostat is to remove it and dip it into a pan of boiling water (it should open). The exact opening temperature can be checked by using a thermometer.

If the thermostat needs to be replaced, install one with the same temperature rating as the original. Most cars and light trucks since 1971 require thermostats with 192 or 195 degree ratings. Using a cooler thermostat (160 or 180) in an attempt to "cure" a tendency to overheat can increase fuel and oil consumption, ring wear and emissions. On newer vehicles with computerized engine controls, the wrong thermostat can prevent the computer system from going into closed loop resulting in major performance and emission problems if the engine fails to reach its normal operating temperature.

* Cooling system leaks -- Loss of coolant because of a coolant leak is probably the most common cause of overheating. Possible leak points include hoses, the radiator, heater core, water pump, thermostat housing, head gasket, freeze plugs, automatic transmission oil cooler, cylinder head(s) and block.

Make a careful visual inspection of the entire cooling system, and then PRESSURE TEST the cooling system and radiator cap. A pressure test will reveal internal leaks such as seepage past the head gasket as well as cracks in the head or block. A good system should hold 12 to 15 psi for 15 minutes or more with no loss in pressure. If it leaks pressure, there is an internal coolant leak (most likely a bad head gasket but possibly also a cracked cylinder or engine block).

It's important to pressure test the radiator cap, too, because a weak cap (or one with too low a pressure rating for the application) will lower the coolant's boiling point and can allow coolant to escape from the radiator.

* Fan -- With mechanical fans, most overheating problems are caused by a faulty fan clutch, though a missing fan shroud can reduce the fan's cooling effectiveness by as much as 50% (depending on the fan's distance from the radiator) which may be enough to cause the engine to overheat in hot weather or when working hard.

Defective fan clutches are a common and often overlooked cause of overheating. The shear characteristics of the clutch fluid gradually deteriorates over time, with an average loss in drive efficiency of about 200 rpm per year. Eventually slippage reaches the point where effective cooling is no longer possible and overheating results. (On average, the life of a fan clutch is about the same as a water pump. If one needs to be replaced, the other usually does too.)

If the fan clutch shows signs of fluid leakage (oily streaks radiating outward from the hub of the clutch), spins freely with little or no resistance when the engine is off, or wobbles when the fan is pushed in or out, it needs to be replaced.

With an electric cooling fan, check to see that the fan cycles on when the engine gets hot and when the air conditioner is on. If the fan fails to come on, check the fan motor wiring connections, relay and temperature sensor. Try jumping the fan directly to the battery. If it runs, the problem is in the wiring, relay or sensor. If it fails to run, the fan motor is bad and needs to be replaced.

With a hydraulic cooling fan, the fan must be turning fast enough to provide adequate cooling at idle and low speed.

* Water pump -- Any wobble in the pump shaft or seepage would call for replacement. In some instances, a pump can cause an engine to overheat if the impeller vanes are badly eroded due to corrosion or if the impeller has come loose from the shaft. The wrong pump may also cause an engine to overheat. Some engines with serpentine drive belts require a special water pump that turns in the opposite direction of those used on the same engine with ordinary V-belts.

It does not happen very often, but sometimes the water pump impeller can loosen up on the pump shaft and not turn, although the water pump pulley appears to be turning normally. If the impeller does not spin, there will be little or no circulation of coolant through the engine. The only way to know if this is the problem is to remove the water pump and check the impeller to see that is is tight on the shaft. Also, some plastic impellers can become severely eroded over time. The loss of blade area reduces the flow of coolant and can lead to overheating.

* Belts & hoses -- Check belt tension and condition. A loose belt that slips may prevent the water pump from circulating coolant fast enough and/or the fan from turning fast for proper cooling.

The condition of the hoses should also be checked. Recommend new hoses if the old ones are over 5 years old.

Sometimes a lower radiator hose will collapse under vacuum at high speed and restrict the flow of coolant from the radiator into the engine. This can happen if the reinforcing spring inside the hose is missing or damaged.

* Radiator -- The most common problems radiators fall prey to are clogging (both internal and external) and leaks. Dirt, bugs and debris can block air flow through the core and reduce the radiator's ability to dissipate heat. Internal corrosion and an accumulation of deposits can likewise inhibit coolant circulation and reduce cooling. A good way to find clogs is to use an infrared thermometer to "scan" the surface of the radiator for cold spots. If clogged, the radiator should be removed for cleaning or replaced. Backflushing the cooling system and/or using chemical cleaners can remove rust and hard water scale, but may do little to open up a clogged radiator.

When refilling the cooling system, be sure you get it completely full. Air pockets in the head(s), heater core and below the thermostat can interfere with proper coolant circulation and cooling. If the cooling system has no bleeder valves to vent air, you may have to temporarily loosen a heater hose to get all the air out of the system.


* Excessive exhaust backpressure. A clogged catalytic converter is usually the culprit here, but don't overlook the possibility of a crushed pipe or a collapsed double wall pipe. Check intake vacuum at idle. If intake vacuum reads low and continues to drop, inspect the exhaust system.


* Overheated incoming air. On older vehicles with a carburetor or throttle body injection, check the operation of the heated air intake system on the air cleaner. If the temperature control valve is stuck so only heated air from around the exhaust manifold is drawn into the air cleaner, it may contribute to detonation and/or overheating. Also check the heat riser valve for manifold heat on older V6 and V8 engines. If stuck shut, it may be overheating the intake manifold.


* Dragging brakes. A caliper that's sticking or a parking brake that isn't releasing may be making the engine work too hard.

* Overworking the engine. The cooling systems in many passenger cars today are marginal and have little excess capacity to handle extra heat generated by towing or high speed mountain driving in hot weather.



Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!
 

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Probably a non-op electric fan.
Do you know how to test for that?
Jump 12 volts to the thing and see if it goes. If it does, then look for a blown fues.
 

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walleeme said:
Probably a non-op electric fan.
Do you know how to test for that?
Jump 12 volts to the thing...
Agreed... Also, just run the RPM up to about 1500 and it should cool right off.
 

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There's a tsb on leaky radiators causing overheating. Sorry I don't know the tsb number but I know it exists.
 

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mine overheated and went into limp mode once about 4months after owning her....it was 104F outside and I had her idling for like 20-30 minutes while talking to shop owner about dyno time. I sat for 20minutes and restarted all was golden. I had my radiator replaced after 56K due to leaks as well. Keep an eye on it.
 

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ok i got a problem,, just got new engine in 2007 nissan truck,, and its still over heating and stuff,, they said they (nissian), may not be able to fix it , but i have a 10 year, 100,000 mile warrenty i paid for for 3,000, truck only has 85,000, wtf
 

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Anybody have any problems with the 04 titan overheating at an idle?
yes ok i got a problem,, just got new engine in 2007 nissan truck,, and its still over heating and stuff,, they said they (nissian), may not be able to fix it , but i have a 10 year, 100,000 mile warrenty i paid for for 3,000, truck only has 85,000, wtf
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a 2004 Titan about a year ago that was over heating. After changing everything on the truck related to the cooling of the engine it ended up being the radiator. I never had another problem with the truck after that.

I have a friend that also has a 2005 titan that started overheating this past week. It was also the radiator that was causing the problem.

Hope the info helps!!
 

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My Fan clutch was on its way out and the coolant temps would rise 10-15degrees at idle. Changed it out and now she runs cool at idle. Also I know that the truck without a thermostat in it will run about 160-180F and will throw a SES if left out due to ECU knowing how long it takes to get to 176F Operating Temp.
 

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I have the same problem with my 04. Had to change the radiator TWICE because the first time, the radiator blew and the second time, it overheated to the point where I was afraid to drive it. The reason why its overheating while idling is because the radiator isnt able to cool the engine fast enough, but if you are driving (especially highway) the clutch fan sends air faster into the engine to offset the radiator. I would suggest getting it fixed asap, because if you wait like i did, you are going to start having problems with your transmission, which is a lot more costly to fix.
 
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