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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short:

coolant temp hit 260 the other day. normal driving conditions its ok. once im offroad it skyrockets and even on a dirt road its pretty high. once im on the road going a steady 45 it cools down to about 220 and in a matter of sitting at a stoplight for a minute goes back up to 240.

some options running through my head. first i thought my coolant was low. added about 2 pints and no change so i may need more. or it could be my thermostat. or i have dirt clogging up the radiator fins.

any suggestions?
 

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Could be the thermostat, but I ran cold when that was the issue with mine - got an error message P0128 - it also did not pump out heat very well inside - any issues with heater not pumping out full hot air?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I rinsed it and it didnt help. it looks fine from far but once you get kinda close you can see little mounds of dirt in every single fin... maybe i just need to go at it again?
 

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Sounds like the radiator is not getting enough airflow. Check the radiator fins for dirt/mud, check the fan clutch for proper operation.
What he said. Clean out your rad , regardless if that fixes it , it will help . Just run water through it until the dirty water running out the bottom turns clear, don't use a pressure washer unless from a distance or you risk bending the fins


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Bad fan clutch. You have enough cooling and airflow shown by running good enough once you hit 45. But low speed stuff suffers due to lack of airflow. Fan clutches go bad and cause exactly the symptoms shown.
 

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Well I didn't try with my hand at first... But after seeing how easy it was with a stick it was no problem. Kind of like stopping a ceiling fan with your hand. That's how easy it was. Does this indicate the clutch going bad?


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There are different levels of failure. Ranging from total lock up (not this case) to total free spinning Stopping with your fingers. What you probably have is a partial failure where it still spins some, but not enough. Kinda hard to test.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
now with this new information is it (almost) definitve that its the clutch or should i just replace the tstat and clutch at the same time?

have we ruled out that its not the not the radiator?

a bad battery would have no effect on this, correct?
 

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Check if the top hose is getting super hot. If the thermostat is stuck the hose will either be cool or just a little warm. This will tell you if coolant is actually flowing to the radiator.
 

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Check if the top hose is getting super hot. If the thermostat is stuck the hose will either be cool or just a little warm. This will tell you if coolant is actually flowing to the radiator.
i will have to check this out. but that fact that it fluctuates so quickly between stop lights makes me think that coolant is running though the system and even quite quickly because the temp raises and drops 10 degrees in a matter of seconds.
 

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Any success in the fan clutch? My X is doing the same thing.. it overheated when I was wheeling a few weeks ago and now, every so often I am suffering from the same temperature spikes when driving slow and idling. Can you have too much coolant in your system? The little reservoir is a few inches past "max" after parking and checking the level. (still hot)
 

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The only way to accurately check the coolant level is with the engine running. It can be check hot but you can't add coolant when the engine is hot, you have to wait until it cools off.

If there is too much coolant the system may blow out coolant at the temperature and pressure increases higher than the pressure relief cap. What can happen if the pressure exceeds the relief cap pressure is that the sudden loss of pressure will allow boiling in the block. That release of pressure can force even more coolant from the system leading to a low level of coolant.

The Xterra cooling system is very efficient and high performing if the proper coolant level is maintained. It is not maintenance free and does require periodic inspection.

Jeff
 
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