Running Hot


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,200 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2001 Pontiac Aztek cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Pontiac Aztek Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 302014

Aztek GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,900 miles


Vehicle is overheating and smells of coolant. Two separate mechanics at two separate dealers have diagnosed the cause as head gaskets needing to be replaced. Very, VERY frustrated.

- , Worth, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 202010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,900 miles

I loved this car when I bought it new. It only has 83,900 miles on it and it's a 2001. I have taken VERY good care of it. It was barely out of warranty when the air conditioner cracked & the manifold gasket had to be replaced. My dealership is great. When the air conditioner cracked, they got GM to go in with me on repairs. It seems that Pontiac Montana vans were having the same problem & the Aztek had the same chasis.

With the manifold gasket, my dealership again got GM to go in on the repairs.

The solenoid went out in the transmission. I wrote GM & they again went in on the repairs because the mileage was so low.

I also had to have the gear shift replaced. That was my fault because I dropped a soda while driving. Never heard of this happening in another vehicle but I did drop the soda.

I've also had battery problems.

The AWD went out on it ages ago.

In April of 2010, I was driving to work (very close by), the hot coolant temp light starts going, The car shuts down. I called AAA. (I think the local towing company knows the car on sight now.) They towed it to the shop. It received a new thermostat & had the radiator flushed.

Three weeks ago I was on my way to work. At the same spot it started flashing hot coolant temp. I got pulled over. The car was cool to the touch, no steam. I let it cool off & managed to get to work. It was overheating again as I got in the parking lot. Another call to AAA. Another trip to the shop. Told that the thermostat was stuck open. It was replaced & flushed again. Great shop--did it for free because it hadn't been a year since the last time.

Two weeks after getting it back, I went to a friend's house & it over heated as I turned in their driveway. It is a long driveway & I was trying to get it to the house so I inched along. As I did, it cooled off to normal. They live out in the county so she followed me back to town. No problem.

We had bad weather so I waited to take it back to the shop. I tried to take it back yesterday. It overheated 3 times as I tried to get it to the shop. Now I'm smelling something when I raise the hood & hearing some clicking noise. I kept trying to let it cool off & it would but would start getting hot after I drove it just a little bit. The 3rd time, I called AAA. I'm waiting to hear from the shop. After reading everyone's posts, I'm thinking Ole' Yellar (It's yellow.) is about to be put out of it's misery. I should have gotten rid of this thing when they did Cash for Clunkers! It certainly qualifies.

Update from Jan 24, 2011: Well, the mechanic kept my Aztek for a little over a week. He checked everything more than once. He even drove it home & kept going out to check it to see if there was any leaking. Nothing. It never over heated. The mechanic even drove it for long periods, faster speeds, etc. trying to see it overheat. Never did. Mystery. It's not that it's an awful problem now because it's no longer a problem.

- , Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #2

Jul 142009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I've been pouring coolant into my vehicle in order to keep that damn "Hot Coolant Temp" light from flashing. I brought it to the mechanic a few times, but he reported no leak. This last time I brought it in, he finally found the leak... and it was leaking into my engine... aka Fire Hazard to an extreme. I had to fix it right then and there. After calculating the copious amount of coolant I bought over the year AND actually fixing the problem, it could quite possibly be around $600. As for how pissed off I was everytime the light started flashing and dinging at me (by the way, the dinging is the most annoying part of this whole ordeal) then having to pull my car off to the side and whip out the coolant in my backseat, I was really pissed off.

- , Norman, OK, USA

problem #1

Feb 102009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,002 miles

word of advise NEVER EVER buy a 2001aztek save yourself the grief, trust me i saved up 5,000 to buy a new car. I have had it a week and it is already running hot shaking attempting to cut off,the air stopped working the heat doesn't work the trunk stoped opening. uhhhhh i am pissed off. The sad part is i bought it without a warranty as is. Anyone know how i can get my money back?

- , Tallahassee, FL, USA

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