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Pontiac Torrent overheating

My daughter has this car. It has been overheating where the gauge goes up but if she pulls over and turns off the car it cools off quick. Head gasket is ok. They replaced thermostat, thermostat gasket, coolant exchange and coolent temp sensor. Still overheating. Help! She is in downtown Denver area if any suggestions for reputable repair.

Have they checked to make sure the fans are coming on?

Thank you for your response. She says yes they checked the fans.

This car shouldn’t exist. Pontiac ceased selling cars in 2010. So is this a 2003 instead?

You are right looks like they were made from '06-'09. Sorry for the confusion. I am checking on the year with my daughter. It has 161,000 miles on it. Her last text asked me if it is the heater core. She said sometimes if overheating while at a stop light she will give it gas the gauge will go back to normal. Thanks so much for your response.

Ginger, playing internet phone tag with the problems and solutions for a car your daughter is driving is not going to work. Have her post directly the problems she is having here or send her to a good mechanic you find here:

Your daughter is just going to have someone look at the vehicle. Long distance diagnostic will not work. Assuming that she works there or has friends she needs to ask them where they would go for vehicle repair.

Thanks. She just spent 600.00 on the repairs mentioned and it didn’t solve problem. Have recommended that she take it somewhere else.

Sounds like the cooling system is low on coolant, she should have the shop recheck their work, check for leaks and make sure the cooling system is full.

Good advice. Thank you for the suggestion.

Very helpful. Thanks.

Or air bubble trapped in the cooling system, or something is leaking a little and it is not holding the correct pressure. A faulty radiator cap (pressure cap) for example could cause the latter. If the shop is sure all the air bubbles have been removed (this can be difficult to do w/some cars, especially low slung sports type cars, which often require a special procedure), but if the air bubbles are removed and cooling system is full of coolant, ask the shop to do a cooling system pressure test. If that passes too, there must be something restricting flow somewhere, like a plugged up radiator, thermostat, etc. The heater core isn’t a likely suspect, b/c it is a parallel path to the rest of the system and isn’t involved with cooling the engine, so if it was plugged up if anything that would direct more flow to the engine path and make the engine easier to cool.

This car may use baffles and seals to increase cooling system efficiency, so double check they are intact and working.

A faulty water pump could cause this, for example if the impeller were failing.

Re air bleed: Make sure the shop used the air bleed screw properly when refilling ( near the water pump tower) and refilled on level ground. There’s a special procedure for filling the surge tank also, so double check on that. There’s another bleed procedure that the shop might need to use to get all the air out, using a gadget called a “vac and fill”.

This vehicle has two cooling fans in the engine compartment apparently, and they each run at one of two speeds, depending on how much cooling is required, so double check both fans and both speeds are working.

Generally a shop wouldn’t replace a coolant temp sensor unless it tested faulty. They are usually very easy to test. And rarely fail. How did you daughter come to use this particular shop? Did she get a personal recommendation?

That makes sense to me. I hope it turns out to be something maybe minor like this. I appreciate your response and have forwarded all responses to her. Will keep you posted on resolution. Overall it has been a dependable car.

torrent is same as chevy equinox. both use 3.4 motor. the intake gaskets leak and let coolant leak into motor and mix with oil which is not good. and low coolant will cause overheating issues. overheating can be caused by fans not running and also low coolant levels. if coolant level is fine and no signs of classic headgasket issues are present than you have to dig deeper. how did they verify headgaskets are good?

I am not sure how they verified the condition of the headgaskets. We are in the dig deeper phase. I wish my daughter would respond as quick as this community has! Thanks for your thoughts.