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'01 Cruiser overheating issue

 
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 06:27 pm
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Angry '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Background: Purchased the '01 Limited Edition in 2005. All servicing (oil changes, etc.) are up to date. NEVER had a problem until three days ago, when it almost red-zoned overheating on the way to work. (I didn't allow it to get that far...would stop every three miles just prior to the red-zone area being reached, allow it to cool down, and continue. What a PITA.) There's no sign of seepage around the water pump, no 'mud' or milkshake look to the coolant that pours out of the overflow bottle after stopping the engine, no water (or gassy smell) to the oil (which would seem to indicate the gaskets, including the head gasket) are still okay).

Here's what I've done...:

1. replaced the radiator cap
2. replaced the thermostat
3. replaced both low and high-speed fan relays
4. replaced the coolant sensor (which now makes the fan work, but still overheats)
5. 'burped' the system several times as recommended in other posts (but still getting the gurgling, overheating, and overflowing of coolant from the bottle).

I am now officially at my wits end on this. I can't afford a payment on a new car, but neither can I afford to be financially raped by Chrysler's dealerships who don't seem to have a clue on solving this issue. Any assistance that doesn't kill my wallet will be most gratefully considered.

Last edited by Mavvy1954; 26 Jun 2010 at 06:30 pm.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 06:37 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Chances are your fan is not operating. It seems to be the #1 complaint recently in the older PT's. There are a # of postings with the cars overheating and usually the fix is a new fan motor. Unfortunately you have replaced a number of parts that maybe wouldn't have had to been replaced.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 07:03 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

You may well be right. But, wouldn't it fail completely? It worked after the sensor was replaced.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 07:51 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavvy1954 View Post
You may well be right. But, wouldn't it fail completely? It worked after the sensor was replaced.
I didn't read anything in your first post where you said it worked after the sensor was replaced?

I take it you saw it running at idle but chances are the high speed part of the fan isn't working. You could also have a blockage in the radiator itself. When at speed (35 mph) the computer shuts the fan off because there's enough air coming in it doesn't need the fan but if the coolant isn't allowed to flow freely around the engine, it will overheat.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 08:00 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

You possibly missed "4. replaced the coolant sensor (which now makes the fan work, but still overheats)". And, I'm thinking you're correct in reference to the blockage. It's just so weird that it happened so suddenly. I'm going to try to re-flush everything tomorrow with new HOAT coolant, and up on jackstands...the gurgling still cornfuzzles me. I wish I had pressure-testing equipment.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 08:10 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Info from another PT driver and posted on this Forum!!
Thanks, Dave

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Default Re: Overheating and AC problems..
Sounds famaliar , Mine was overheating , I replaced the water pump , temp sensor , high and low speed relay , then learned my fan motors high speed side was not working , but the low speed side worked fine .

Drove fine for 30 , 40 mintues then overheated almost instantly

Not sure about turbo models , but non turbo models have a two speed fan .

You may see the fan working on its low speed circut and figure its fine .

Check to verify the fan works on the high speed side .

Turn the car on while its cold , so the low side does not initiate , then turn on the AC , if the fan starts running , your high speed side is working .

Turn the AC off , let the engine warm , the low speed side of the fan should kick in when the needle is right at the half way mark .

If the fan works during both test , your fan should be fine , unless there is an intermittent fan motor problem , wich i highly doubt . Usually when a fan motor go's , its gone .

If you do need a fan , remember , local parts dealers prices for these fan motors or fan assemblys can be way over priced . check out some online parts dealers like Rockauto or Summit , they have the best deals .

Hope that helps

Dave

2002 Limited 5 Speed
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Old 27 Jun 2010, 07:43 am
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Okay, I tried the 'turn on, then turn on A/C' method. Looks like I'll be ordering a fan motor (or assembly, if they're complete with motor and not a lot more costly) online. I got the sensor from Rockauto, so I believe I'll turn to them again. I'll let y'all know the results. Thanks, folks, for everybody's willingness to help!
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Old 06 Jul 2010, 02:19 pm
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Angry Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

Okay. Replaced the fan assembly (not too difficult) and actually got and installed a MOPAR thermostat this time (I think the auto-parts cheapie may have been defective). Flushed and replaced with HOAT coolant, and burped the system...no air in the line.

Car idled for twenty minutes at the temp gauge half-line, no white smoke from the tailpipe, no throw-up from the reservoir bottle, a/c running cold, so I took it out for a twenty-five minute spin. Ran great, temp gauge still staying at halfway mark). Pulled into a gas station, got fuel...and the car wouldn't restart. It cranked...but wouldn't fire up. Thank goodness for roadside assist on the cellphone plan, and I got a tow home (less than three miles). Pulled the plugs...no indication of water in the cylinders.

I'm hot, and I'm tired, and I'm getting REALLY frustrated, so I hung it up for the day. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears.
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Old 06 Jul 2010, 03:44 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

I hate when that happens. Just when you think everything is running good.

Cranking but no start: fuel, spark or cam/crank sensor. I take it the engine fault light didn't lite up? If it did you have a code that will help pinpoint the problem. Other than that, you light have to hook it up to a scanner to help diagnose what's wrong.
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Old 06 Jul 2010, 04:01 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser overheating issue

I'm thinking it's spark. It seems to be getting fuel, and I'm hoping the cam sensor is ok. Gonna change out the plugs and wires, over the weekend. Heck, if I can fix it, it's sold. *LOL* Or maybe not. No codes showing.

*update* I just went out and started it. Fired up, and within ten minutes was almost in the red zone. This is weird. The water pump is working (I don't THINK I could have driven as far as I did earlier if it weren't), fan's working fine, and the thermostat is working; both radiator hoses and the radiator heat up. I'm going to try a full radiator flush tomorrow, to see if there's ANY blockage that can be run out. Any product suggestions? I'll be picking up a power-backflush unit for sure, but any ideas on chemical cleaners/flushes?

Last edited by Mavvy1954; 08 Jul 2010 at 09:15 am.
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