2002 Chrysler Van sudden overheating

Tiny
POPPYO
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHRYSLER VAN
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 36,000 MILES
Voyager van overheated Monday. I stopped when it hit the top & started chiming. Got it towed to my favorite mechanic place. They checked it out, it held coolant, ran for half and hour, cooling fans ran, heat and A/C worked. I picked it up and my grandson had to drive it for home, and it overheated within a mile or so. Let it cool and took it a few blocks to a bigger repair place. It hadn't lost hardly any coolant at that point. ! Their Master Technician checked it out and the next day called to say his diagnosis was engine head gasket, plus the water pump and the timing belt that drives it on this model, which I did about 4000 miles ago. Plus some extra & labor, only $2200.00 plus tax. I don't even have that much credit. My wife-type is home with a broken ankle and can't drive her '90 Marquis so I waited until her dtr. Was off work this Sat, I took a deep breath & picked it up, drove it about a mile or so when temp gauge started to go to the top. On advice from the old mechanic, I left it running, popped the hood and jumped out to look if it was steaming or cooling pouring out. It wasn't, but suddenly a mighty gurgling sound went thru the upper radiator hose, that I was holding. I jumped back in to see that the temp gauge had gone back down. So I put on the heater, it went to normal, and I drove it the other mile home. When it cooled down, it still hadn't lost any coolant? I drove it around our neighborhood about a mile, it gauge showed it was heating up again, so I put on the heater & headed home. By which time it went back to normal. So I kept driving around, put on the A/C, they gauge still stayed normal.
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Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 AT 9:03 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So is the coolant full now? How is the radiator cap? A bad radiator cap can cause you to lose coolant and to overheat. Also you can blow a head gasket without loosing any coolant if it gets hot enough. Iam not saying the head gasket is blown I cant see if steam is coming out of the tail pipe while its running. Also I dont know if a chemical block test was done and the results of it. You can have a bad head gasket without it even overheating as well. So to look at things about it overheating you would need a infrared temp gun to measure engine temp to see when the radiator fan is coming on? Or if it comes on or comes on at too high of a temp? Also have you had a code scan done to see if there are any trouble codes in the computer?
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Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 AT 9:37 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Also are you sure there isnt any coolant leaks?
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Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Let me throw one comment in here.

I have heard no mention of doing anything with the thermostat. The symptoms do somewhat point to a sticking or broken thermostat. It may be worth replacing it as an experiment.
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
POPPYO
  • MEMBER
That was my first thought. THat it is old, and just sticking at random. Also, the old mechanic at the big shop suggested first that it probably wasn't mechanical since it does clear up, but maybe the ECT sensor. And suggested that when I drove it home if it heated up just leave the engine running, pop the hood and see if it did overheat enough for steam or coolant to come out under the cap or somewhere, then shut it down. Which I did. But before that as I said I got this great whoosh or whatever through the upper hose, which dropped the them back down. So maybe the ECT sensor IS doing it's job. They didn't really give me a printout of what they actually did, just what they intended to do, which included a dye test. That Tech is not in today, but will be tomorrow, so I will go down & see him, with the comments above by Saturntech9.
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 10:37 AM
Tiny
POPPYO
  • MEMBER
See below. I should have replied to you instead maybe. I will go see the particular Tech to see if I can get what he actually did to come up with the Diagnosis & repairs they thought needed done.
No, the coolant wasn't leaking when I got home. I check the radiator and the overflow tank when it cooled down.
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 10:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Well keep us posted on what you find.
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 2:37 PM
Tiny
POPPYO
  • MEMBER
Well, WrenchTech. I took your advice, since the thermostat was my first uneducated guess. Took it back to my little trusted shop that p.M. And he agreed we'd try the thermostat first, and also the test of the ECT sensor. He called back the next morning and informed me that when they took the upper hose off, the thermostat was in backwards! Put a new one in for good measure ($18.00) + a half hour labor, ran it around the block this time and it was fine. I picked it up, came home and drove it some more--it's holding fine. He wondered who last replaced the hoses or put it in, but I couldn't remember anytime lately. Finally remembered that a master mechanic friend replaced the water pump & therefore the timing belt maybe 3 yrs. Ago now because another big Tire shop said that was a problem, and he had his son help. They took the hoses off to get better access to the pump, which is buried under there. Maybe the son learning the trade put it in backwards? SO there is still the mystery of why it made it thru the hot Florida summers and just started to act up. NOTE: wouldn't it have been ironic if the big auto supply and repair place DID all that work and it STILL overheated?
I really appreciate the support. I am happy to donate as I promised.
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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear that you had a happy ending I wonder where they came up with the head gasket issue? Hope you and your family have. Wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 AT 10:36 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Yes, glad to hear you got it resolved.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and you also Louie.
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Thursday, November 27th, 2014 AT 3:51 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family as well wrenchtech iam making dinner and having my family over.
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Thursday, November 27th, 2014 AT 7:59 AM
Tiny
XTERIAL
  • MEMBER
Hello, I do not know if anyone is getting this? I also apologize, but I could not find a date when this was posted? I hope someone can help?

Exact same vehicle with same problem. I have done everything including changing the thermostat. My backyard mechanic and I have been thru everything and cannot find a leak. The car pressure tests OK. It will shoot up all of a sudden to top and light will come on. I let it cool down, open and add fluid. After about 30 to 50 miles it will overheat. Each time it looses between a 1/4 to 1/2 gal of fluid.

Mech does not believe there is a head problem although we have not done anykind of testing. I am considering just replacing all including pump and see what happens. I saw this info and thought I would see what comes up. Thank You.
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Friday, January 22nd, 2016 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
This question is a year and a half old and it belongs to someone else. Please start a new question of your own. Each question is only for the benefit of the original poster.
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Friday, January 22nd, 2016 AT 3:20 PM
Tiny
POPPYO
  • MEMBER
Latest update on 2002 Chrysler Van, Grandson rear-ended a car at a stop light, air bags went off, Insurance company totaled it as they are more expensive than it's value ! Dang shame, otherwise it was fairly intact without much damage. Ended up at a auto auction place. Poppyo
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Friday, January 22nd, 2016 AT 7:33 PM

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