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2002 Overheat Issue

 
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Old 27 Dec 2011, 07:24 pm
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Default 2002 Overheat Issue

Background:

Mother in law's car, 145xxx miles on it. Had an overheat issue back in October that was supposedly taken care of by replacement of radiator plus a flush at the tune of $800... A week ago, car overheats again and sat till I got back into town.

Finally had the time to drive it, performance good, no white smoke, no oil/coolant mix in either. Drove it for about 10 miles in a varied conditions from stop and go to freeway speeds and never got it over half, even when I hammered it. Getting ready to turn around, I stop at a stop sign and all of the sudden the temp pegs to the H. Pull it over, full boil going on in the overflow tank but no real heat coming off the motor. Radiator and both hoses I could touch, hoses were nice and hard. Got it down to 3/4 and took off again. Turned on heater and got ambient temp, then got some heat, then back to ambient, Non RPM or speed dependant. Never got it back to half, pretty much played the pull over game when it got towards the H...

So any clues on where to start, really hoping for it to not be headgasket...

Figure thermostat is next up, maybe water pump but I don't want to throw parts at it if it's gonna be the head gasket...
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Old 27 Dec 2011, 08:12 pm
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Default Re: 2002 Overheat Issue

Forgot to add:

Fan works, both low and high from what I can tell, but the way this thing overheats I doubt it to be the problem since it shuts of at higher speeds...
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Old 27 Dec 2011, 08:55 pm
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Default Re: 2002 Overheat Issue

Sounds like the thermostat. I'm amazed and dismayed that wasn't replaced with the radiator. Also, the system needs to be bled of air. There's a bleeder on the thermostat housing.

Now I will get on my soapbox. What kind of coolant-antifreeze was installed? Was it Dex-Cool or HOAT? (HOAT stands for Hybrid Organic Acid Technology.) Only HOAT is recommended by Chrysler. Use of Dex-Cool WILL cause a clogged radiator, hardening of the water pump seals, possible clogging of the heater core--and leakage, possible clogging of the thermostat and maybe damage to the head gasket. Zerex makes a HOAT version, and it is also sold at Dodge/Chrysler dealers. I buy mine at our purchasing and servicing dealer, in Phoenix.

HOAT antifreeze coolant costs about $8 to $10 per gallon more than Dex-Cool. You will need one, maybe two gallons. (Compare that against the cost of the damage.) Repair shops will tell you (1) Dex-Cool is OK, or (2) their "additive" makes Dex-Cool behave "just like" HOAT. Neither is true. Some Midas shops seem especially bad, including the shop that the prior owner of my 2001 took the car to.

If your car has Dex-Cool or if you do not know what it has, get it flushed and replaced with the correct stuff. End of Matt42's rant.

Next question: How long ago was the timing belt replaced? 100,000 miles is the top end of safety.
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Old 27 Dec 2011, 09:10 pm
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Default Re: 2002 Overheat Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt42 View Post
Sounds like the thermostat. I'm amazed and dismayed that wasn't replaced with the radiator. Also, the system needs to be bled of air. There's a bleeder on the thermostat housing.

Now I will get on my soapbox. What kind of coolant-antifreeze was installed? Was it Dex-Cool or HOAT? (HOAT stands for Hybrid Organic Acid Technology.) Only HOAT is recommended by Chrysler. Use of Dex-Cool WILL cause a clogged radiator, hardening of the water pump seals, possible clogging of the heater core--and leakage, possible clogging of the thermostat and maybe damage to the head gasket. Zerex makes a HOAT version, and it is also sold at Dodge/Chrysler dealers. I buy mine at our purchasing and servicing dealer, in Phoenix.

HOAT antifreeze coolant costs about $8 to $10 per gallon more than Dex-Cool. You will need one, maybe two gallons. (Compare that against the cost of the damage.) Repair shops will tell you (1) Dex-Cool is OK, or (2) their "additive" makes Dex-Cool behave "just like" HOAT. Neither is true. Some Midas shops seem especially bad, including the shop that the prior owner of my 2001 took the car to.

If your car has Dex-Cool or if you do not know what it has, get it flushed and replaced with the correct stuff. End of Matt42's rant.

Next question: How long ago was the timing belt replaced? 100,000 miles is the top end of safety.
To be honest with you, I have no idea why they didn't replace the thermostat, I assumed they did but when I went through the work order they didn't.

As far as what coolant they used, it's orange, looks like the dex-cool I use in my Tahoe, so I assume as much.

Not too big of a fan of the shop she takes it too. "But they are so nice!" Last time i was there I got tires from them and every time I got them rotated I always seem to have something wrong... Hmm.... Go figure...

I'm heading back out of town and she has the wifes car to drive while we are gone so I'll do the thermostat and flush with the right antifreeze when I get back and report!
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