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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
New to the forum. I have issue with my 2004 Titan temperature spiking. This is what I know and have tried so far in repairs:
Temperature gauge spiking. will go up fast and come down just as fast.
Drained and flushed coolant system. (extremely clean)
Replaced thermostat.
Replaced water pump.
Replaced coolant.

No Change. Still spiking

Took to the Nissan place for service.
They performed several test on head gasket and said it was OK. They decided that it was air in the system and vacuum filled/bled the system. This seemed to make the most sense to me by the way it was spiking.

No change. Still spiking

I now know for sure that it is a flow issue. Because when the spiking occurs if switch to heat I Do Not Have any heat until the gauge drops back to normal. Which says that there is no flow through heater coil (or engine) when spiking.

What is going on?
Is it air? If so, how is it getting introduced into the system?
Is there something wrong with radiator?
 

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I knew the Titans were gas hogs but I've never considered it an over-eater.

I've flushed the cooling system in my Titan twice. I park it on an incline, remove the radiator cap, and let it run for a while. I watch the fluid inside the radiator from the neck and see bubbles within the first few minutes. By 20 minutes there are no more bubbles and I'm done. The heater is on the entire time.
 

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Hello,
New to the forum. I have issue with my 2004 Titan temperature spiking. This is what I know and have tried so far in repairs:
Temperature gauge spiking. will go up fast and come down just as fast.
Drained and flushed coolant system. (extremely clean)
Replaced thermostat.
Replaced water pump.
Replaced coolant.

No Change. Still spiking

Took to the Nissan place for service.
They performed several test on head gasket and said it was OK. They decided that it was air in the system and vacuum filled/bled the system. This seemed to make the most sense to me by the way it was spiking.

No change. Still spiking

I now know for sure that it is a flow issue. Because when the spiking occurs if switch to heat I Do Not Have any heat until the gauge drops back to normal. Which says that there is no flow through heater coil (or engine) when spiking.

What is going on?
Is it air? If so, how is it getting introduced into the system?
Is there something wrong with radiator?
I'm going to assume that you have checked the radiator and it is not clogged, filled with rust, or the air flow to it is blocked. When does the temp spike? At speed or at a stationary idle? Towing or normal driving?
 

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Also. What model and what, if any, mods?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The truck is a base 4X4 model, no mods. The truck only has 80K miles. The radiator has already been replaced around 50K due to transmission cooling lines failing in the radiator. When I drained and flushed the radiator all was drained into a clean white 5 gal bucket. the coolant was pristine.
 

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Mileage? Climate where you live?
I'll hazard a guess at exterior air flow. Is the electric fan coming on? Is the fan Motor worn out? Is the fan clutch on the water pump okay?
 

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i'm dealing with the same issue on my 2011. I also have new thermostat, fan clutch, and radiator. happens at a stop with ac blasting in Phoenix heat. it shouldn't happen though, it being hot outside isn't an excuse for a 5 year old truck to overheat sitting at a stop light. driving me insane.
 

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Be methodical. Confirm you do not have air in the system. Confirm the heater core is not leaking (a d thus reintroducing air into the system). Check the fan clutch. Confirm airflow is good.

If none of that works, have each cylinder leakdown tested.

I wouldn't be surprised to find a heater core leak introducing air into the system, or a head gasket blown into the water jacket.
 
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These things have been known to eat radiator caps.
 

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These things have been known to eat radiator caps.
That's true and both the cap on the radiator and the cap on the overflow bottle need to be checked. The bottle is pressurized.

A blown headgasket would introduce air into the system as well as a lot of heat. I would think that with the radiator cap off if you saw a constant stream of bubbles that it would lead you to believe that the head gasket is bad. But it may not push air into the cooling system at low RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dealer said that they tested for a blown head gasket and didn't find any evidence of that.
 

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I wonder if they tested across a wide range of RPM levels. I have no idea what goes into a test like that.
 

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I'd be pretty suspect of the dealership testing for a blown head gasket. I suspect their test is not reliable. It's a huge pain in the tail to do it right, if only because it takes forever.

The "look for bubbles in the coolant" method is pretty reliable. Park with your truck facing uphill a bit, and run it with the cap off. Even at idle, you should see some bubbles within 2-3min.
 

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would that mean you're constantly loosing coolant too?
 

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Loss of coolant could be either of the caps or a pinhole leak somewhere. If the heater core was leaking it could be in a position to have negative pressure and introduce air into the system, as would the radiator cap.
 

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if it were a head gasket you would see oil/fuel swirls in the coolant, and you stated that is was clean. You could also place an exhaust analyzer sniffer at the neck of the radiator and it will pick up emissions.
 

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sorry not sorry for thread jacking this, if nothing is "wrong" is it plausible the truck just can't keep up with 110 degree weather, AC on full blast, pulling a dump trailer and then sitting in line for 15 minutes?
 

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Honda, doesn't sound right to me. 103 here in DFW today. Ran mine pretty hard, A/C on, but not pulling - temp gauge never left its usual mid-position.
 
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