1997 Dodge Dakota Over Heating

  • V8
  • 2WD
  • 189,000 MILES
Yesterday I replaced the water pump, hoses and thermostat. After driving around in the city the car seemed to be acting normal and no over heating. Well this morning driving to work on the freeway the car started to overheat and boiled over in the overflow tank and then on the ground. The clutch fan does work. I have been told it could be a few things. 1) The new thermostat is faulty, 2) Air pocket in the coolent system, 3) radiator is clugded, or 4) I just need to buy a new car (not an option). Do you have any ideas I can look at or suggestions on what to do.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, August 22nd, 2008 AT 11:58 AM

1 Reply

Lucky for you replacing an entire coolant system is cheaper than buying a new car.
First and foremost you need to flush your radiator. You can get a can of flush from just about any parts store. Follow the instructions to the line. This should also remove any air pockets in the coolant system.
Another thing to check is your heater core. If your radiator turned out some nasty stuff then chances are you have a nasty core too. Unfortunately there is no reliable way to fix this problem. I usually recommend that it be replaced. It is a pain but if this turns out to be the problem then let me know and I can get you some help with that.
The usual plan I go with when troubleshooting a coolant system goes like this.
1. Check for leaks.
2. Pull the bottom radiator hose to see if any sludge pours out or if anti-freeze is nasty. If it is I go straight to step 5
3. Check the thrermostat.
4. Check the heater hoses.
5. Flush the system.
6. Start the vehicle and watch for overheating.
7. Use a water hose to blow out the heater core.

By step 7 if no problem has been found or if the vehicle is still overheating after the system has been fixed then unfortunately that usually points towards removing the heads to clean the coolant ducts. This can take a while and SHOULD be taken to a machine shop to be done. You can chance taking the block and heads to an automotive shop to have them put in a parts washer or always try the good ol' water hose before doing this. But, those two methods are much less reliable. Don't be discouraged though. I have only ever encountered that problem once with an old GM 350 with a ton of mileage on it. So. Chin up and skin some knuckles my man. =)
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Friday, August 22nd, 2008 AT 9:24 PM

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