I have an Isuzu Rodeo 2002 (130,000 miles, owned since 2007, manual) with the engine light on stating that there is an issue with the coolant (I do not know the exact wording), but the mechanic stated the sensor is sending a reading to the computer and then more gas is sent to the gas when it’s not needed. He thinks it is possibly a computer issue which, of course, I do not want to hear.
He also mentioned the heater core and possibly needing a new sensor but is hesitant to put another one in since the latter is still so new. My boyfriend mentioned possibly needing a radiator flush or that the radiator has a leak that may not be reflected in the coolant tank. My coolant levels are good and new coolant was put in about a month ago. There was a leak at that time in the hose that attached to the radiator which was fixed. I had a new head gasket and temperature sensor replaced in the summer of 2012.
Also, the temperature gauge in the car reads differently for the past two months than it use to. It use to stay a two notches to the left of the middle/normal mark. Now it stays about halfway or a bit less than that between the cold and middle mark when it has been driven 15 minutes or more. It also seems the heat runs cooler than usual and it also takes longer for the heat to warm up, usually just a bit past lukewarm after 15 minutes. (The mechanic had it for a few hours a few weeks ago and said the heat ran at the temperature it should–he used some sort of thermometer–and said the release or flap was moving appropriately–I believe this was on the sensor, right?) If I am at idle, the temp gauge will move up to about two notches to the left of the middle, its usual place in the past per above. Once I start driving, it will again drop down to halfway or a bit less between the C and the middle per above.
Also twice (now three times–see post below from 01/12/13) in the past month, the car has had trouble starting (I crank it, it chugs a bit like it wants to start and then dies again, or won’t start at all but the lights are on but then will catch on the third or fourth try and then runs fine after that) and then the engine light will go out and will stay off for about four or five days but then comes back on again. The fan works fine in the car. Today, it died when I was in idle, and again, it took me about four tries to get it to start with the engine either puttering a bit (I actually gave it a bit of gas as I was in a panic) or would wind like it was trying to start (again lights came on). It finally started on the fourth try and ran fine to get me home (engine light stayed on).
This is my only car and I have to be self-sufficient, so I am seeking the community’s guidance. I plan on taking it into the mechanic’s again tomorrow and letting them check it. Anything else plus what is mentioned above that you can think of would be great! Many thanks in advance for your time!