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COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

 
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Old 08 Jul 2015, 11:08 pm
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Default COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Arrgh!
2003 PT Touring, only've had it 5 years.
Cooling problems since last year summer - didn't do anything about it then but drive with the heat turned up. Last year though, coolant would boil over in recovery bottle. That hasn't been happening this year.

This year - replaced the fan, which I can actually HEAR now. Replaced the pressure cap again.
Yesterday I replaced the thermostat housing cover and the thermostat. Used a baster to suction out coolant as my draincock underneath doesn't work.

Today drove in highway stop-go traffic for 30 minutes and the temp rose near the Red Zone. Pulled over and their was steam and coolant spillage at and around the new themostat housing cover.

The steam seemed like it was coming at where the pressure cap and housing cover meet. Is there supposed to be space there for air to escape? My suspicion is not?

I had also cut the recovery hose down an inch - where it joins the thermo housing cover, but my angle isn't as straight as could be.

After the car cooled, out of curiosity I squeezed the upper radiator hose and can hear air flow (suction?) after I release. I can't discern for certain, but the noise seems to come also from where the housing cover and pressure cap join. The air noise doesn't occur when I remove the pressure cap prior to squeezing the upper radiator hose.

I'm unsure as to the dynamics of how the cooling system works, but is this normal? Again, the housing cover is new, and the pressure cap a month old.

Also, still unsure as to how to bleed. I did it a little last night with the engine cold, but not to the point of a steady stream of coolant. More questions:
Do I bleed with the engine running or the engine off? With the pressure cap on? Or off? I've seen a video bleeding the system, engine running, cap on, and another with engine cold and cap off, using a filter... 2003 service manual states using a special filter while clamping the recovery hose, while Haynes does not. Alas!

Well. Thanks for any help - have been only lurking as of late - but it's my number one resource!
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Old 08 Jul 2015, 11:29 pm
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Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomzombie View Post
Arrgh!
2003 PT Touring, only've had it 5 years.
Cooling problems since last year summer - didn't do anything about it then but drive with the heat turned up. Last year though, coolant would boil over in recovery bottle. That hasn't been happening this year.

This year - replaced the fan, which I can actually HEAR now. Replaced the pressure cap again..
Yesterday I replaced the thermostat housing cover and the thermostat. Used a baster to suction out coolant as my draincock underneath doesn't work.

Today drove in highway stop-go traffic for 30 minutes and the temp rose near the Red Zone. Pulled over and their was steam and coolant spillage at and around the new themostat housing cover.

The steam seemed like it was coming at where the pressure cap and housing cover meet. Is there supposed to be space there for air to escape? My suspicion is not?

I had also cut the recovery hose down an inch - where it joins the thermo housing cover, but my angle isn't as straight as could be.

After the car cooled, out of curiosity I squeezed the upper radiator hose and can hear air flow (suction?) after I release. I can't discern for certain, but the noise seems to come also from where the housing cover and pressure cap join. The air noise doesn't occur when I remove the pressure cap prior to squeezing the upper radiator hose.

I'm unsure as to the dynamics of how the cooling system works, but is this normal? Again, the housing cover is new, and the pressure cap a month old.

Also, still unsure as to how to bleed. I did it a little last night with the engine cold, but not to the point of a steady stream of coolant. More questions:
Do I bleed with the engine running or the engine off? With the pressure cap on? Or off? I've seen a video bleeding the system, engine running, cap on, and another with engine cold and cap off, using a filter... 2003 service manual states using a special filter while clamping the recovery hose, while Haynes does not. Alas!

Well. Thanks for any help - have been only lurking as of late - but it's my number one resource!
On your new radiator cap what PSI did you get? Did you compare radiator caps to make sure they were the same before putting it on? What brand did you get?

Did you verify that the thermostat and thermostat housing was installed corrected and not leaking. If its leaking it will allow air to get into the coolant system.

I would suggest making sure the thermostat and thermostat housing is installed correctly then do a coolant compression check. You need to make sure there are no more coolant leaks. The engines on the PT Cruisers don't like overheating and the last thing you want is a blown head gasket.

I would suggest you fill the coolant up to the top of the radiator, start the engine, let it warm up for about 5 minutes, then top off the radiator with coolant again. Put the radiator cap back. If your coolant system is not leaking you should not have to bleed the air out of the system. It automatically does it over a few days of driving. Make sure your overflow tank is filled with coolant.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 08 Jul 2015 at 11:49 pm.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 07:04 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

When I got the car it had a Prestone 16psi on it. Looks like this in design:


Since then I've replaced with two of the same Murray brand. They seem less snug comparatively - they were listed as compatible at the OReilly's website. Top looks like this. Also 16.


I put the old Prestone back on last night and the car still overheats but I didn't get the boiling and spillage around the housing cover like I did yesterday.

It doesn't seem like the new filler neck/housing cover itself is leaking. I attached it directly to the metal housing - didn't remove the latter. Made sure the new thermostat nubs and ring aligned, torqued to 110 in-lbs...

I don't have the tools to do a compression test, though I'd meant to get a flush and compression test on Friday. I was on the phone with the mechanic then and he recommended I change the thermostat and filler neck first. I still mean to have a flush done very soon, as I've no idea when the last time it had one was?
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 09:58 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I would suggest you fill the coolant up to the top of the radiator, start the engine, let it warm up for about 5 minutes, then top off the radiator with coolant again. Put the radiator cap back. If your coolant system is not leaking you should not have to bleed the air out of the system. It automatically does it over a few days of driving. Make sure your overflow tank is filled with coolant.
Also, could you clarify... "fill to top of radiator"?
To the top of the filler neck?
I ask as out if curiosity I took the cap off and started the engine, but the coolant expanded up toward the lip of the filler neck such that I had to shut off the engine before reaching operating temperature for fear the coolant would spill over... thanks!
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

By the way, should the filler lip even be at this much of an incline?



And what does the difference in these rad caps' designs indicate?


Last edited by randomzombie; 09 Jul 2015 at 10:36 pm.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomzombie View Post
Also, could you clarify... "fill to top of radiator"?
To the top of the filler neck?
I ask as out if curiosity I took the cap off and started the engine, but the coolant expanded up toward the lip of the filler neck such that I had to shut off the engine before reaching operating temperature for fear the coolant would spill over... thanks!
Good point! I met the top of the filler neck.

I would take out a little of the coolant and still run it to normal temperatures. You need to get the thermostat to open up to get all the air out. After you see the coolant start going down then fill it up while its running. Make sure the radiator fan kicks on when it reaches normal running temperature.

I strongly suggest you get the coolant pressure test done.

Radiator Pressure Tester Kit
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Old 10 Jul 2015, 07:43 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Gah, the mechanic did a pressure test today and said it was fine, so he bled the system and put in some "universal yellow" coolant despite my saying I had my own HOAT. He was all "problem resolved!"

Of course the car overheated on the way home.

I stopped for a bit and drove back to the mechanic's. The manager thought maybe a flush would be appropriate, but he didn't have time left. Funny, as a flush, along with a pressure check, was why I went there in the first place.

Whatta waste of 60 bucks, especially since I had to clean up the employee's coolant spills left behind under the hood myself. Should've bought the tool myself, too!
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Old 10 Jul 2015, 08:23 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

If you know the radiator fan and thermostat is working good I would suggest you have a block test done. You might have exhaust gases getting into the coolant system. You can buy the block test yourself. If you need more information on how to do it just let us know.

Does it overheat at high speeds as well as low speeds?

Have you checked the coolant temperatures in both the upper radiator and lower radiator hose to make sure your thermostat is opening up. You can get a non-contact thermometer to check the temperatures.

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Laser...ed+thermometer

Sorry you had a bad experience with a mechanic.
lemonPT likes this.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 10 Jul 2015 at 09:05 pm.
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Old 10 Jul 2015, 08:57 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

I recommend the Stant radiator caps.

Radiator Cap
Safety Release Radiator Cap 10330 (16 psi)
OE Type Radiator Cap 10230 (16 psi)


Radiator Cap ; W/Turbo
Safety Release Radiator Cap 10334 (18 psi)
OE Type Radiator Cap 10234 (18 psi)
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Old 10 Jul 2015, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: COOLING PROBLEMS - cap and housing cover? 03 Touring

Yeah - overheats both at low and high...
Thanks for all your suggestions so far, they're appreciated...

Anyway, later this evening, I tried "burping" the system again, as you suggested.
Pulled some coolant out of the inlet.
Question: is it okay to drive with this mixture? Whatever he added seems to be a different viscosity/density? Here's a picture:



Speaking of the yellow/green stuff he added, it still seems concentrated around the upper radiator area comparatively. Having (since leaving the mechanic's) driven a couple times scant distances (though to operating temp), wouldn't I have seen more evidence of circulation? For instance, the coolant recovery doesn't appear green...

Anyway: while "burping" the system, as the fan came on, and the gauge was midway, I noticed that with the flow into the upper radiator tube some evidence of gas was appearing out of the filler neck - very faint and light, whitish even - maybe steam? Should I expect that? Is it a sign of combustion? I let it run not much longer before I shut it off...

Thank you again for the insights!!
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