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I have a 1992 Plymouth Acclaim with only 34,050 miles, has the 2.5 4-cylinder with a 3-speed automatic. I have had the car for almost a year and aside from routine maintence, new belts, and a new exhaust, has been running trouble-free as a point A to point B car....until last night. During a 30 minute commute on suburb roads, I noticed that the temperature guage was steadily creeping higher and higher to Hot during the first 15 minutes of the trip. The needle hovered just past the normal range for a 20-30 seconds before it quickly returned normal cooling levels, where it stayed until the end of the commute. The car ran strong throughout and wasn't smoking at all, but when the gauge flirted with H, the heater started to blow cool air. The heat came back on when the gauge returned to normal.

Upon arriving home, I checked under the hood with the car idiling. The oil, which was changed last Saturday, looked and smelled good and no coolant was leaking. And since the upper hose was hot after a 30 minute drive, I ruled-out the thermostat as being the culpret. I did notice at that time the cooling fans were never on while the car idiled in park - unsure if that's normal.

Before I started the car earlier today, I checked the radiator and found there was hardly any coolant in the radiator, while the overflow tank was above the maximum level. After work I had the local lube and wash place flush the radiator, but that hasn't made much of a difference. As of now, the gauge strays outside of normal 15 minutes after warm-up, then goes back to normal without displaying any signs of overheating. Hope this helps, as I am stumped as to what could be going wrong with my Acclaim.
 
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