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Odd overheat issue

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 Oct 2017, 08:40 pm
prowlerclone's Avatar
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Default Odd overheat issue

Hey all.. I literally haven't been on in about 4 years as the cruiser has fared pretty well.
Now I've been on a month long gremlin chase.
2005 pt cruiser convertible 5 speed 2.4l non turbo.

AC was blowing warm a month ago, had some dummy tell me he filled it.. took it to a trusted local guy, there was no refrigerant AT ALL.. he filled it up, air was cold, good to go.. he did tell me I'd need a fan soon because he had to tap it to get it spinning again.
Well, only got a week out of it, and the car started running warm, not fully hot, but 3/4. So I immediately bought a new fan and installed.

Thought I was good to go because I only work 4 miles from home in a 30mph zone. Well, as soon as I hit highway speeds, car starts getting really warm again almost hot.. I can turn the heat on and it goes down.
Also, when I slow down or go under like 65, car goes back to normal operating temps..
So I noticed the radiator cap wasn't looking the best. Replaced it, thought problem went away. Got on highway again, same thing. Gets hot but if I go normal speed it's fine..
now after all this research I'm thinking I may have had air in the system after replacing the fan bc I took the top hose off..
I bleed the system, still same problem.
So today I put a new thermostat and gasket in, flushed entire cooling system, refilled, bled the system, and thought I was good to go. It actually stayed cool longer then eventually on highway speeds, got 3/4 hot again..
THERE ARE NO LEAKS, all hoses are good and strong (unless they are collapsing at highway speeds but I can't tell that while I'm driving)
And the water pump is only about a year old. It was replaced when the timing belt was done.
I don't know what else to think or try.. fan is working fully functional.
Ps.. I also flushed the outsides of the radiator when I replaced the fan.. only minimal dirt rinsed out..wasn't too bad..

What else am I missing? Almost sure it's not the head gasket. I'm not losing coolant, no oil/water mix under oil cap, no bubbles with radiator cap off, etc..
Like I said car runs PERFECT locally and at idle, and even on highway,, as long as I don't go over 60-65.. and the. It goes back to normal.

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 15 Oct 2017, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

As a general rule of thumb and a test question on the ASE exams, when a car runs hot at cruising speed but cools at lower speeds, it's often due to a clogged radiator. It may start another forum fight if I go into a discussion of the incompatibility of the original HOAT antifreeze with old-style green antifreeze, but the result can be black or rust-colored sludge in the radiator over time.

If me, I'd try flushing the radiator first and see if that helps.
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Old 15 Oct 2017, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

I would suggest you do an engine coolant pressure test. Make sure your coolant system is sealed properly.

If the coolant system is sealed I would suggest you check the radiator cap.
What PSI cap do you have on it now?

What coolant are you using? HOAT?

If all of the above is good I would suggest you check the flow of the radiator. Always check the basics before looking at the radiator.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 15 Oct 2017 at 10:51 pm.
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Old 15 Oct 2017, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

Hey guys,
Yes I flushed the radiator and bled the system after I installed the thermostat.

The new 16psi cap was the first thing I did.

I am using HOAT and have only used that. Here's the issue. I've only ever had to top it off after installing the fan..
Because admittedly, I've had the timing belt/water pump replaced about a year ago and besides what they fill up at Chrysler, I've never flushed the system at 122k now.
I do have a new radiator on order. They say 3 day shipping but they're only 3 hours away so hopefully I'll have it in a day or so and let you guys know where I'm at.

Thanks!
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I would suggest you do an engine coolant pressure test. Make sure your coolant system is sealed properly.

If the coolant system is sealed I would suggest you check the radiator cap.
What PSI cap do you have on it now?

What coolant are you using? HOAT?

If all of the above is good I would suggest you check the flow of the radiator. Always check the basics before looking at the radiator.
Ok guys well I've got a problem.. I've noticed on a few radiator replacement videos the guys will say "and you'll have to remove the transmission coolant lines too.. oh wait, this car doesn't have that, so don't worry about that".. and I noticed mine didn't have them either.. well, I got the specific radiator for this car, on eBay.. now I get it and it's got two ports for transmission lines.. Grrrrh.

Can I cap these off or do I need to send the radiator back?
Thanks!!!
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

Just leave them as they carry trans oil when hooked up
That way the rad co dont have to make two difrent rads
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by prowlerclone View Post
Ok guys well I've got a problem.. I've noticed on a few radiator replacement videos the guys will say "and you'll have to remove the transmission coolant lines too.. oh wait, this car doesn't have that, so don't worry about that".. and I noticed mine didn't have them either.. well, I got the specific radiator for this car, on eBay.. now I get it and it's got two ports for transmission lines.. Grrrrh.

Can I cap these off or do I need to send the radiator back?

Thanks!!!
You can cap them off or not, it won't matter either way:



I capped them off when my radiator was replaced, just because that's me
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 11:38 am
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Default Long reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by rckstein View Post
You can cap them off or not, it won't matter either way:
I capped them off when my radiator was replaced, just because that's me
Correct. I bought my replacement radiator from Autozone because I needed it immediately, but ouch expensive. As seen on the right, it has ATF radiator lines on them but the ATF cooling is not on the original.



It shouldn't matter, it is drop in replaceable.

Before you start your car in the morning, check the coolant level in your reservoir and open the cap and look down the neck. The fluid ought to be at worst, half way down the top radiator hose. A good system should have virtually no air gap when the system is cool. I had cooling system problems for a while after a new TB, radiator and fan. The problem was an intermittent connection on the 3 prong side of the fan harness. I then proceeded to break the locking tab while trying to disconnect the plug which made the intermittent worse. I finally cut the wires and simply spliced the 3 wires and bypassed the plug.

For the next week, each morning I checked the level of the reservoir and under the radiator cap and topped off if the coolant wasn't at the top of the neck. I finally figured that on this car, the coolant gets sucked back in from the reservoir, but always leaves an air pocket of an inch or two below the filler neck and will stay that way indefinitely.

Before I learned about "burping the system", if I didn't correctly get the air out, the car would go to 250F within about 15 minutes of starting and running at 40+ mph. Opening up the radiator cap with a towel, I'd find the coolant level low by 1/2 gallon or more (not good).

For the last couple of coolant drain and fills, I used the Lisle Spill Free Funnel and simply ran the engine at 2000 rpm until the thermostat cycled a couple of times and refilled the funnel as the coolant gets sucked into the engine.

Fan
Be sure the fan runs at high speed when it's supposed to. The easiest way to check is to turn on the A/C while the car is stopped and you can lift the hood.
You will definitely know if the fan is running at high speed, it's like a tornado in the engine compartment with wind and sound.
  1. Make sure your fan is running at the temps where it's supposed to run
  2. Get any trapped air out of the cooling system
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Long reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
Correct. I bought my replacement radiator from Autozone because I needed it immediately, but ouch expensive. As seen on the right, it has ATF radiator lines on them but the ATF cooling is not on the original.

And the one you got already has caps on the lines.

I bought a more expensive MOPAR one that didn't have any caps on the lines. In fact, there is a special note in the Chrysler parts system about it:



So I bought some simple plastic caps at a hardware store, but why the MOPAR one doesn't already have the caps, is beyond me. I wanted a MOPAR radiator to get the same cooling efficiency as the original, as not all after-market radiators are made to the same specs as the MOPAR. I got it off Amazon but for about $100 less than what the dealership wanted for the same item.
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Last edited by rckstein; 17 Oct 2017 at 12:50 pm.
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Old 17 Oct 2017, 03:48 pm
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Default Re: Odd overheat issue

The parts are being consolidated for these cars. The radiator with the ATF cooling line will cool a manual transmission equipped PT Cruiser or an automatic equipped vehicle just as well as one without them. So, you're going to see them go down to just the one part fits all concept since they both fit in the exact same holes. You can plug them, or not. Mine aren't as I didn't have anything to plug them with at the time. My mindset is that if a leak forms down there, it will tell me rather immediately.
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