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Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
13:35:41

Subject: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Hey there guys/gals, I was wondering if anyone could help me out with an overheating issue with my truck.

We first ran into the problem going up one of the steep passes here in Washington. It was really hot outside and we had the AC on, and about after 15 minutes on the pass, we heard the temperature warning light come on. So as soon as we had a chance, we exited at one of the ski resorts, popped the hood and noticed the coolant was bubbling really loud like the radiator was about to explode. (no coolant spurted out of overflow container). So we turned it off to let it cool down a bit, and it took a while but eventually the temp gauge warning light went off. The gauge was still sitting almost between medium and hot, but the warning light was off.

We took it to a local mechanic and he couldn't find anything wrong with the truck. He said the thermostat and the radiator were fine, and everything else was in good condition. So he basically couldn't replicate the overheating.

I've also noticed that it was running kind of warm (1/4 past the medium mark in the temp gauge) when I was just driving around the city.

It really started overheat though about a week ago when we were going up(moderately steep inclines) to this cabin in eastern Washington, except that this time the light didn't come on, but I think it's because we took it a bit slower up the inclines and also turned off the AC since having the AC on seemed to make it worse.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

-----------------------------------------------
2001 Dodge Dakota Cab Plus, SLT, 4.7 V8, @75Kmi



steamed
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
13:50:55

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Something is wrong. Plugged radiator,clutch fan,t-stat,plastic impellar in water pump failure,blown head gasket. Get it fixed before you warp your head(s).

Feel the radiator for cool spots,a laser thermo would be optimal. Take it to a different mechanic,your local one sucks.



daddio
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
13:52:09

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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first thing to do is make sure your electric aux cooking fan is coming on when it is supposed to. it should be running under 2 conditions.
1) when demand for a/c and engine temp above 130 degF

2) when engine temp is above 210 deg F

it thats working ok i'd try a cooling system flush, refill with fresh coolant and maybe a new radiator cap.



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
14:09:28

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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steamed:

I think I might just end up doing that since I do not want to blow any head gaskets.

daddio:

I was reading about this test in Vanschlick 's overheating post but it wasn't clear to me how you guys figure out the engine temperature (The temp gauge in my truck only has ticks but no degree indicators), and also which one is the aux cooking fan? Someone mentioned it might be the lower left one?

Thanks a lot for your tips.



daddio
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
14:12:18

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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on my '00 the middle mark on the gage is 210. there should be only aux cooling fan mounted on the radiator inthe fan shroud. believe me you'll hear it if it's running.



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
14:12:47

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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-edit-

My girlfriend just reminded that the mechanic had said he also tested the two fans and that they were in working condition so I'm guessing that is not the problem.



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
14:52:29

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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daddio: I just went out there to test for myself and the aux cooling fan did come on. Thanks for your help though.



DSW
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
15:37:18

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Have the fan clutch checked again, it might look OK, but not functioning properly. I've seen several 4.7's start to overheat at 70-90K miles and the fan clutch needed to be replaced. I just got my Durango back from the dealer because of overheating problems and they replaced the fan clutch.



Forseti
Dodge Dakota
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8/11/2007
23:19:52

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Replace the radiator cap with a new one. The system should be like 14 PSI. The more pressure water is put under the higher the boiling point it. So if you cap failed and it isn't keeping the system pressurized then the coolant will start to boil way too early.



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/12/2007
13:33:44

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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DSW: just curious, but what did the dealer charge you for the fan clutch replacement work?

Forseti: that sounds like a good idea, I think I'll go pick one up today. Do you know if there's a way to see if the current radiator cap is bad?

Thanks.



DSW
Dodge Dakota
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8/12/2007
21:47:20

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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The fan clutch was covered under an extended warranty, so it didn't cost anything but a portion of the $100 deductable. The fan clutch from Dodge is probably $140 plus $60-100 for labor.

On my old Daks I bought fan clutches from AutoZone for about $70, took 30 minutes to replace.

The radiator cap is a good idea, I'm going to do this along with the radiator hoses, antifreeze and thermostat in a few weeks.



partsmanager
Dodge Dakota
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8/13/2007
23:34:59

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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the Radiator cap and coolant are the first things on the list to check. just replace the cap with a good one either from the dealer or parts store and see if they can check the new cap with the tester and see if the new one is holding like it should too. test the old one too and if its still ok keep as a spare. coolant mixture is very important at higher altitudes as you lose 3 degrees of boiling point for every 1000ft you climb in altitude. so a 50/50 mix might not be ok for you when you head for the hills. I don't know how high your cabin is but if its 5-6 thousand feet a 15-18 degree drop in boiling point can be a problem for you especially uphill and under load.



OBIO3
Dodge Dakota
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8/14/2007
12:35:27

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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I live over 5,000 feet and play in the rocky mountains which puts my Dakota at better then 6,000 feet. YES the boiling point changes but if the cap is operating at its designed pressure no matter if your at sea level or 7,000 feet the atmosphere and boiling point in the cooling system is constant. the mixture only changes the freezing point but should never exceed 60/40. 50/50 is 35 below.



partsmanager
Dodge Dakota
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8/14/2007
19:24:23

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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I left out 1 part OBIO3 I meant with a faulty or early opening cap the truck will boil/overheat that much faster at higher altitudes under load. On a different note antifreeze mixture also has an effect on boiling point as well. An 50/50 mix also boils at 223F not 212 like plain water does the radiator cap adds about 42-45 degrees to the boiling point



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2007
18:27:16

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Thanks for the tips PartsManager/OBIO3.

I bought a new cap a few days ago, and I'm just waiting to see if it made any difference. We'll probably go up to the pass this weekend, so that should be a good test. Hopefully it was only the cap, but if it keeps overheating, I'll take it to a different mechanic.

Thanks again



James Conaway
Dodge Dakota
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9/01/2007
07:27:54

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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Check for a blowen head gasket,the eng could be pressurizing the coolen system.Check plugs ect.



Miguel
Dodge Dakota
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9/02/2007
15:06:19

RE: Overheating (Coolant Bubbling)
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thanks for the suggestions James, I'm taking it to the dealer next week and I'll make sure those checks are on their list.



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