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over heating after high revs...water pump?

Old 02-13-2017, 10:19 AM
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over heating after high revs...water pump?

Car is a 2004 rx8, 6 MT, completely stock w/ 54k miles. I bought the car a year ago with 45 k miles on it.

I live in New England and it has been snowing a decent amount lately which means sometimes I have to drive the car in the snow. (have a GC8 Subaru but its currently getting repairs done). This is my first winter with a RWD car (did not need to drive it in the snow last year)

Yesterday, I got stuck in the snow and I was revving it pretty hard to try to get unstuck. Suddenly the temperature gauge went to “Hot” and the car began to steam. I immediately shut the car off and checked underneath the hood. The coolant in the reservoir was boiling. Underneath the car was a coolant puddle 1 foot in diameter.

At this point, my coolant was pretty low so I topped the reservoir off after letting the car sit for an hour. It started up no problem and I drove it ten miles to my house after the roads were cleared. The car seems to be operating normally and the temperature gauge stays slightly below the middle line, like it has always done. There was a small coolant spot below the car after letting it sit, about 2 inches in diameter

The first thing I can think of is that the water pump may be going bad. Has anyone experienced issues like this?

Also, what type of damage could I have possibly done to the engine (if any) after it overheated? Please note that I did not drive it while it was over heated.

Also something to note is that for the past few days, it has been warming up unusually fast, after maybe 2-3 minutes vs. 10-15 min like it usually has. I have also been getting an intermittent coolant light for some time, but would check the coolant levels any time I checked my oil (every other week or so).

I have not gotten the coolant light ever since I refilled the coolant reservoir. I know that the light is a common sensor issue, but it has not been confirmed that is the reason for my coolant light.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:27 AM
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Besides the waterpump, you could have a stuck thermostat. Or, the lower radiator hose could be collapsing. I suppose the radiator itself could be clogged.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by alnielsen View Post
Besides the waterpump, you could have a stuck thermostat. Or, the lower radiator hose could be collapsing. I suppose the radiator itself could be clogged.
Could the high revs have potentially over pressurized the system, causing overflow?

Makes logical sense to me. Time to check all the hoses when I get home from work today.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mchabs View Post
Could the high revs have potentially over pressurized the system, causing overflow?

Makes logical sense to me. Time to check all the hoses when I get home from work today.
Not normally.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:08 PM
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If I understand well, you were revving without moving much. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to overheat if this went on for more than a few minutes.

I would pressure test the coolant system and take action from there. It could be fine, it could be not.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
If I understand well, you were revving without moving much. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to overheat if this went on for more than a few minutes.

I would pressure test the coolant system and take action from there. It could be fine, it could be not.
That made me think of one more thing to check. Make sure both cooling fans are running. One will turn on then if the temp doesn't go down the other will start up.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
If I understand well, you were revving without moving much. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to overheat if this went on for more than a few minutes.

I would pressure test the coolant system and take action from there. It could be fine, it could be not.
That is what happened, yes, revving without moving much.

my gut tell me it's fine. I do not notice any loss of power and the car seems to start without a hiccup/ warm up normally

you are right though..a pressure test is in order
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:55 PM
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I agree with you - my hunch is it's probably fine. But yes, definitely get it tested ASAP. You don't want to lose your expensive-to-replace engine because of a problem with your cooling system! Take it to Mazda, and if your cooling tank's sensor has failed, have them replace the tank with the revised version. Cheap engine insurance.
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