1995 Dodge Neon Car Overheating

Tiny
JWALTERSCHEID
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 DODGE NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
I have been going nuts to stop my car from overheating and still can not to this day. I put in a new radiator, tried two new thermostats so I know its not that. I have also changed the lower radiator hose, bypass hose, made a loop so the coolant does not cycle through the heater core because I was using it as a second radiator until it no longer blew hot air one day. I have also replaced the coolant temperature sensor to make sure I was getting the most accurate reading. The car gets into the really hot state within min of driving now. Last week the temperature would change from hot to about operating range to almost hot then go back down. I could make it to work with letting it get hot. But now over the weekend when driving to test things it would go hot range and not go back down till it cooled off a little bit. I am not sure if it is water pump or not because I ran it and did see bubbles coming up after making sure it was full but the air could be escaping. Did not notice any water or coolant in oil. I also looked at the exhaust and with a flash light it did look white but was not a stream of white smoke. There was a little condensation after running it awhile but I believe that is normal. It does not seem the head gasket or cylinder head is cracked. I also did not notice any leaks around the water pump. When it was changing in temperature the coolant level remained constant. I did not test to see if the pulley on the pump was because it is inline with the timing belt if I am correct. I am not sure when the water pump was last replaced because I was not the orignal owner. Do you have any suggestions? Should I try replacing the water pump?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 12:09 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
I have two part questions for you.

1. As you are not the original owner, was there any indication that the timing belt was ever replaced? You may want to remove the upper timing cover and check the condition of the timing belt. If you see many cracks on the timing belts, then I would suggest replacing the timing belt AND water pump at the same time. If the belt looks good (no crack, no missing tooth, no oil etc) and the water pump is not leaking, then don't.

2. You didn't mention this. As you were getting overheating, did you happen to check the coolant reservoir? How full is the bottle? Is the coolant boiling in the bottle? If it is boiling, try replacing the radiator cap.

You may want to consider performing a leak down test. Or at the very least compression test. The test is to pressurize your internal engine to see if there is any leak. Your head gasket may not be blown just yet, but it possible that it has internal leak that the engine is not capable of keeping the pressure.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 1:45 AM
Tiny
JWALTERSCHEID
  • MEMBER
I just talked to the person who owned the car before me and he replaced the timing belt about 40,000 miles ago when the clutch was replaced. Along with that he replaced the water pump as well. So I still am unsure if the pump is out again. I have not wanted to take it off because it is not leaking and it requires removing the timing belt. I have replaced the radiator cap when I put in the radiator which was sometime during this last week. The coolant does overflow into the tank so the cap is working as well. Am I supposed to see coolant circulating when the engine running? Is it noticeable? I replaced the lower hose last night because the one that was on it was almost kinked. I never noticed it until I replaced the radiator. I cut some off of it to make it shorter and take some of the kink out. I have not had a chance to drive it last night so I don't know if that helped or not. When I started the car (without radiator cap on) it took it about ten min to get to about normal temperature but the top hose was not warm. Isn't it supposed to be warm when the thermostat is open? Also I don't know if it shows the coolant is circulating but when its full cold and I was running it the coolant was overflowing out the neck area. When the stat opened it took more coolant to then flow over the neck as well after I got it full. Does this show it is circulating? Is it possible the flow from the radiator to the pump being restricted cause it to get hot? It seemed to me that the obvious reason for it getting hot and the changing temp was poor circulation of some sort. When I changed the lower hose I took the radiator hose and put my water hose to it. It did not seem blocked at all. I am think I could have a bad pump still or have blockage in a cooling port.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 8:59 AM
Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
If it is not leaking, leave it alone. It is working fine.

This is where you are mistaken. The system cannot maintain the pressure, so the cap has to release the excess pressure out to the coolant reservoir.

No and no.

No, if the thermostat is stuck open, your engine and cooling system will feel less heat as all the heat gets sent back to the radiator to be cooled off.

***OK. You really need to have your engine pressure-tested. I suspect that you have a bad head gasket.***
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
JWALTERSCHEID
  • MEMBER
I thank you for you adivice. I actually drove the car now after replacing the bottom hose. I drove to work which is about a 30 min drive and the car did not overheat. I was expecting it to and was ready to stop when it started getting hot. The car operated for the most part at its normal operating range. It did change temperature slightly with the car running about 10-15 degrees higher at some points. The car did not take the normal amount of time though to get to the normal operating range. It rose to the operating range within a min or so, which I know is to quick. So when it cools down I will check coolant level. Now I am unsure what to think. I will be taking it to get a pressure test today.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 AT 8:54 AM
Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
I forgot to ask you. Were the fans running when you overheated last week?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
JWALTERSCHEID
  • MEMBER
Yes the fan works just like it should. I drove home from work and if it hit the hot range I just ease up a little on the throttle and it would come back down.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 AT 8:01 AM
Tiny
ZACKMAN
  • MEMBER
You can also turn the heat up in the car. That will "force" the system to circulate the cooling system. Let's perform the pressure test, and advise me what you find.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 AT 9:15 PM
Tiny
CLEM909
  • MEMBER
Could you have the wrong thermostat? Maybe too high operating range.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, July 6th, 2009 AT 7:53 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides