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PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA

Dodge Durango Overheating nightmare...

Let me start off by saying that the two different mechanics that looked at it are baffled and are probably not very good at their jobs.

2001 Dodge Durango:

Problem: Overheats randomly / when run hard.

1st mechanic: couldn't get it to overheat, so as per my instructions replaced thermostat anyway.

2nd mechanic: Did a hydrocarbon test said it didn't have a blown head gasket. Then said stop leak clogged the radiator; probably was put in by previous owner and the fan doesn't run as fast as it should. He put in a used radiator & a new fan clutch. Still would overheat, so I took it back and he replaced temp sending unit??? & put in a low temp thermostat.

Unfortunately it still overheats.

What kind of test can be done to eliminate other ideas without wasting more money on "ideas" lol.

Thanks in advance and I will be eternally grateful for the problem to be solved.

Phil.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

Take it to a Radiator Shop/Cooling System repair specialist or take it to the Dodge Dealer.


PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA

Unless I can figure it out on my own tonight, I'm planning on taking it to the dealer in the morning and let them figure it out and hopefully fix it. Although at this point I'm not so sure it can be fixed, lol.



Mchart
First There.

join:2004-01-21
Kaneohe, HI
reply to PhilAIV

I'd say blown head gasket or bad thermostat. Is the coolant cotaminated with beads of 'stuff' (Oil)? Does the oil cap have a ring of gunk around it?

An emission test isn't the best way to check for a blown head gasket. I'd suggest getting a compression test done.
--
THIS IS SPENCER. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - I HAVE JOE. RETURNING TO BASE.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to PhilAIV

I'd check for the A/C condenser being plugged or blocked with any debris reducing air flow to the radiator first, then I'd check the water pump flow and test the thermostat in a pan of boiling water. If it is a low temp T-Stat, I'd replace it with the proper 192°F T-Stat as a lower temp will allow the coolant to flow too fast/too soon and not give the radiator the soak time to dissipate its heat from the system. Plus a low temp T-Stat prevents the ECM from going into closed loop as it never gets the "up to temp" signal that the engine is up to the proper temperature for the emissions system start working so your performance and mileage will suffer.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



StNickless

@tmodns.net
reply to PhilAIV

Lets go in the correct direction this time shall we ?

The TRANNY is causing it.
TRANNY cooler is in the bottom of the radiator.

Forget spinning on radiator and thermostat, waterpumps leak on those but NEVER have flow problems.
The exhaust valves will tulip like a corsage on a school girls shoulder, but the head gaskets never blow.

I have personally seen that exact same vehicle get so many warranty tranny replacements you wouldn't believe (1 in mind had 12 replacements by 15k miles before chisler ...err Chrysler... bought it back from the owner).

Pull the trans dipstick.
Smell it.
You'll know.



IllIlIlllIll
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Hampton Bays, NY
kudos:7

said by StNickless :

Lets go in the correct direction this time shall we ?

The TRANNY is causing it.
TRANNY cooler is in the bottom of the radiator.

Forget spinning on radiator and thermostat, waterpumps leak on those but NEVER have flow problems.
The exhaust valves will tulip like a corsage on a school girls shoulder, but the head gaskets never blow.

I have personally seen that exact same vehicle get so many warranty tranny replacements you wouldn't believe (1 in mind had 12 replacements by 15k miles before chisler ...err Chrysler... bought it back from the owner).

Pull the trans dipstick.
Smell it.
You'll know.
would an external cooler help ?


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to StNickless

If the automatic transmission is the "cause" to the OPs overheating "complaint", what is the "correction"? Buying replacement transmissions surely can't be your suggestion? I don't see anything that you suggest as a correction.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



StNickless

@tmodns.net

I'm not a person that TELLS other people what thier decision should be.

It's 15 second simple.

Pull dipstick - 5 seconds
Smell fluid on tip - 2 seconds
Gag reflex pause - 8 seconds

He has changed the thermostat...who cares if it isn't the right temp, it didn't change anything.
He changed the radiator and fan clutch to no avail.

Strangely enough, I didn't say he should, or should not ahve changed those. It isn't up to me.

If the trans is as cooked as I know it in all probability is...
he can have the trans changed out with a used or a rebuilt unit.
He can have the trans rebuilt.
He can *try* an aftermarket cooler, but they have little success when it's a "manufacturer refuses to recall it" defective transmission.
He can keep driving it as it is and hope for the best (soe sorta Jesus in the back window sticker may or may not help).

He can also sell the damn truck.

Fuck, it's not my truck or my money.
What do you expect me to say....I care ?


PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA

It is a Dodge, so it probably does have a bad transmission or at least will.

If I ever get it fixed, it will be sold. Biggest pain in the butt. It is nice, but not nice enough for the headache.

I wish it had a blown head gasket at least then I'd know what the problem was and unfortunately know that it would cost a whooping $400 to fix it. Even without a pressure test being done, with all the mileage I've had to drive (it to see if it still overheats) by now the oil would be milky or the exhaust would be puffing white smoke.

***How would someone check to the water pump to make sure it is pushing enough coolant through it?

Thanks.



61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1
reply to Doctor Olds

said by Doctor Olds:

If the automatic transmission is the "cause" to the OPs overheating "complaint", what is the "correction"? Buying replacement transmissions surely can't be your suggestion? I don't see anything that you suggest as a correction.
My guess is he works for a Tranny place and the answer to every problem is a new Tranny.

If the Trans is shifting properly and the vehicle isn't being overloaded, I can't see the connection.

If we wanted to go with off the wall possibilities, maybe one or more of the brakes is sticking "sometimes" and creating extra load on the engine, overheating can result.
--
It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to StNickless

said by StNickless :

Forget spinning on radiator and thermostat, waterpumps leak on those but NEVER have flow problems.
I have replaced two water pumps in the past on 318/360 Chryslers where the vanes were rusted and killed coolant flow....

Of course he may have the 4.7 but can't rule it out as an impossibility.

PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA

It is a 4.7 liter.

The dealer seems to think there is still some stop leak in the engine causing the coolant flow to be restricted causing it to overheat after the twenty or thirty minutes.They recommend dropping the engine and breaking it down to clean it all out along with a whole new system (replacing everything that hasn't already been replaced).



bryanviper

join:2002-10-12
Toronto, CAN
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

said by PhilAIV:

It is a 4.7 liter.

The dealer seems to think there is still some stop leak in the engine causing the coolant flow to be restricted causing it to overheat after the twenty or thirty minutes.They recommend dropping the engine and breaking it down to clean it all out along with a whole new system (replacing everything that hasn't already been replaced).
Wow a little extreme no? & that might not even fix the issue. sounds more like a we dont know what the issue is so we are going to replace every part in the cooling system this way we got to hit the problem.... right?....right?
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PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA

Yep, just a tad extreme.

It's sad that two independent mechanics as well as the dealer have no clue.



bryanviper

join:2002-10-12
Toronto, CAN

So what do you plan on doing then? I'm sure doing that at the dealer is going to be way to expensive?

See another mechanic maybe? lol



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to PhilAIV

A head gasket or other combustion gas leak is a likely candidate. Why was all of this stop leak added?

What is the history of the truck? You make it sound like you haven't owned the truck long. That makes it sound like the previous owner sold it knowing that there was a serious problem (be that an engine repair/tranny repair).
DrOlds has covered all of the basics, StNickless's idea, while uncommon, shouldn't be difficult to rule out.

Some things just don't diagnose well over the internet. Without a chance to see, smell and feel, anything I give you is going to be a guess.
If it does need an engine repair, then expensive or not, I would say the dealer isn't the worst place to get it done.

On what basis have you determined that the dealer has no clue?
--
Striving for Parfection.



61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to PhilAIV

When you say "dealer" you do mean the shop at the place they sell the vehicles right?

When did you take it there? Seems like a very short time to diagnose a problem like that.

Where was this "used" radiator purchased?

I have had a water pump where the impeller broke loose from the shaft and would no longer pump.
--
It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.



salzan
Experienced Optimist
Premium
join:2004-01-08
WA State

1 recommendation

reply to PhilAIV

Any chance you've got a rad hose collapsing on the intake side of the pump?



StNickless

@tmodns.net
reply to PhilAIV

I have seen piss poor mechanics at the dealership, just because they work there does NOT mean they know how to repair a vehicle.

In the same light, I have seen absolutely brilliant mechanics work at WalMart. You have to take a poor job if you need work and nothing good is presented.

Of course the inverse is the norm.

I would find some mechanic ...somewhere else?!? that is willing to actually diagnose the vehicle before replacing 1 single part, save for maybe that little thing (such as a fan relay or thermostat) that would be considered a *just in case* as a part of the diagnosis.

Has anyone tested the coolant to make sure it's 50/50 ???
If coolant is too much coolant to water ratio it WILL overheat.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to StNickless

said by StNickless :

I'm not a person that TELLS other people what thier decision should be.

[snipped rambling]

Fuck, it's not my truck or my money.
What do you expect me to say....I care ?
You were not asked either of those. Now if you want to be civil, oh wait..... never mind.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

PhilAIV

join:2002-02-16
Carrollton, GA
reply to StNickless

The dealership wanted to drop the engine and break it down to clean everything by hand which I later found out was only because they have no clue either.

No leaks. They've done multiple hydrocarbon as well as pressure tests on every cylinder & radiator.

Chrysler dealer not some used car dealer. They had it four hours before they gave their opinion. (their shop opens at 7 am)

They say it isn't the water pump... but who knows, lol.

No collapsed hoses. I wish.

Yep, definitely 50/50.

It was just delivered to a mechanic who is going to look at every single part one by one to eliminate them as being the culprit instead of dropping the engine for the hell of it.



salzan
Experienced Optimist
Premium
join:2004-01-08
WA State

said by PhilAIV:

No collapsed hoses. I wish.
Just as a note on this, a collapsed hose may look fine when the engine is off or when conditions for the collapse do not exist. The radiator return hose often has a spring inside to keep the hose from collapsing under negative pressure. You should be able to feel it by squeezing the hose. Obviously with the engine off and relatively cool.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

said by salzan:

said by PhilAIV:

No collapsed hoses. I wish.
Just as a note on this, a collapsed hose may look fine when the engine is off or when conditions for the collapse do not exist.
A collapsing hose problem is usually easy to reproduce by running the engine until at operating temp then visually watch the hoses (usually the lower hose aka the suction hose) while you increase the engine speed to simulate highway speed.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


salzan
Experienced Optimist
Premium
join:2004-01-08
WA State

As said by Cho Baka See Profile,

Without a chance to see, smell and feel, anything I give you is going to be a guess.
Many of us would rule this type of problem out quickly by just being able to touch and feel things.


61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1

Hence the problem.



wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA
reply to PhilAIV

I had a similar problem with a different model. Broken plastic water pump impeller that would catch and spin "sometimes".
--
We were taking a vote when the ground came up and hit us.



61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1

We had that problem on our Dakota, the impeller broke loose from the shaft and it would be okay until the thermostat opened and created pressure, the scream was unbelievable.
Short drives were okay, just had to watch the temp gauge, it is great they decided real gauges were a better idea than idiot lights that light when it's too late to do anything about the problem.
--
It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.



joey d

@Stanford.EDU
reply to PhilAIV

mine was over heating intermittently and it turned out being the electric cooling fan.



disconnected

@sbcglobal.net
reply to PhilAIV

said by PhilAIV:

It is a 4.7 liter.

The dealer seems to think there is still some stop leak in the engine causing the coolant flow to be restricted causing it to overheat after the twenty or thirty minutes.They recommend dropping the engine and breaking it down to clean it all out along with a whole new system (replacing everything that hasn't already been replaced).
That would be my guess as well. The engine may be clogged with Stop Leak.