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Old 23 Apr 2012, 09:29 pm
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Default Radiator Issues

First post...bear with me:
Been working on the wife's '05 2.4 High Output Turbo...radiator was overheating, replaced thermostat. Car ran cool for a while, then started overheating while sitting in traffic. Referred to the manual, and switched hi and lo solenoid/relays for fan speeds. Ran cool for a few days, then got code 0128, so I replaced thermostat again and replaced radiator cap. Cleared and flushed system again, refilled with 50/50 HOAT/distiller water. Car reaches mid-level on temp gauge now, fluid is still full, but still smells like it's overheating. I've checked the head gasket, no smoke in the exhaust either, no leaks, hoses are good, water pump seems to be working fine too (heater cranks up fast). I'm stumped folks...any ideas? I don't want to get out on a trip and warp a head or blow a gasket....
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 09:38 pm
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

What your saying, it seems to me, it that it "smells" like it's overheating. Is it or not? Does the temp gauge go over half way? Is there a bubbling sounds in the overflow tank? Is it smoking?
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 09:57 pm
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

Might be a leak in the thermostat plastic housing. Common for these to leak. Will cause you to smell antifreeze. Cheap to replace. look for white streaks on plastic.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

try leaving the heat knob in the car all the way to cool and drive a while.

once you've been driving a decent amount, switch the knob over to hot, turn the blower to high, and put it to vent.

see if your smell is coming from the vents. my car stinks of coolant and it's the heater core. it isn't leaking bad enough where im ready to fix it, but i have a definite coolant stink coming from the vents when i do this.
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 02:37 am
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

sounds like air is in the system. did you bleed it? are you keeping the overflow tank full?
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 07:52 am
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

Thanks for the info. Answers: it only smells like it's overheating. The smell is coming from the engine compartment...no smell emanating from the heater. I'll try to rebleed and check the overflow level and the plastic parts for cracks. What's puzzling me is that there's no smoke, no bubbling sounds, and the fluid level never changes, and the temp gauge is solid at halfway once it warms up.
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bretalexa View Post
First post...bear with me:
Been working on the wife's '05 2.4 High Output Turbo...radiator was overheating, replaced thermostat. Car ran cool for a while, then started overheating while sitting in traffic. Referred to the manual, and switched hi and lo solenoid/relays for fan speeds. Ran cool for a few days, then got code 0128, so I replaced thermostat again and replaced radiator cap. Cleared and flushed system again, refilled with 50/50 HOAT/distiller water. Car reaches mid-level on temp gauge now, fluid is still full, but still smells like it's overheating. I've checked the head gasket, no smoke in the exhaust either, no leaks, hoses are good, water pump seems to be working fine too (heater cranks up fast). I'm stumped folks...any ideas? I don't want to get out on a trip and warp a head or blow a gasket....

It could be something as simple as spilled antifreeze on engine bay parts, radiator, block, etc., that get hot during the time that motor is running. If this is the answer, it will simply take some time for it to burn off. Since everything thing else is normal, this may be your answer. Coolant will frequently get spilled onto the power steering belt for instance, because of the t-stat housings position directly above the PS unit. This spilled coolant would heat up because of belt-to-pulley friction when the engine is running. If it is the belt you'll probably have to replace it. Its been my experience that the antifreeze will be there for good once it makes contact with the belt. It also will eventually start to squeel because the belts surface gets glazed because of the antifreeze.

I hope its nothing more sinister than "spilled milk/coolant".

By the way, your t-stat did have the "jiggle valve" and you clocked it correctly when installing it, right?

Jerry

Last edited by wwpptc; 24 Apr 2012 at 10:17 am.
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 03:04 pm
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Default Re: Radiator Issues

WW has a good point: if you bled the system and didn't hook a hose to the bleed valve (and route your bubbles and coolant to a catch jar) then you got coolant on your belts. Not a good thing.

I'm wondering if something else isn't burning and making that smell.

Tim
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