1997 Jeep Cherokee engine overheating

Tiny
WILBURH
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
My radiator seems to be losing coolant but there are no leaks. My engine starts to overheat and all I have to do is add coolant or water and it will be fine for about 3 to 4 days. I was wondering if I need to change my thermostat, and if it was sticking would it cause the coolant to burn off?
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 2:49 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
ANIMALFARM
  • MEMBER
Just curious, have you checked your oil dipstick lately? Wondering if you see water drops or milkshake-thick oil indicating loss into the block (head gasket, cracked cylinder head, loose sylinder head bolts.) That is the WORST-CASE possibility. What does your Temp. Guage read ususally? Now, things that could cause the coolant to "boil off" with no visible leakage from the engine:
1. Loose drive belt (not turning water pump sufficiently).
2. Bad water pump.
3. Radiator cap not holding pressure, replace.
4. Bad Thermostat.
5. Internal Radiator blockage/REALLY dirty Radiator Grill.
6. Anti-Freeze thieves/Selling your antifreeze on Ebay.
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 3:20 PM
Tiny
WILBURH
  • MEMBER
Yes I have checked the dip stick to look for water beads, and I changed the oil to make sure. I first thought it was a head gasket or cracked head, it is not that. Normally it runs at abot 200 - 210 degrees. And I dont think I have antifreeze thieves selling it on the black market. Never thought about radiator cap, also how could I tell if it is a bad belt drive or bad water pump?
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
ANIMALFARM
  • MEMBER
Bad Belt - Obvious "Squealing" noise from under hood, especially if cold, may still occur when warm. Might as well look at the belt, check for cracks. Belts will stretch, even new ones and have to be tightened every once in a while. Easy to do, actually.

Bad Water Pump - There is a small "weep Hole" underneath in the "nose" of the pump between the engine and the fan. When water pump goes bad, coolant will leak out of this hole indicating worn bearing and/or bearing seal. Replace if water leaking from there. And again, not too hard to do for shadetree mechanic, don't even have to pull radiator on straight 6.

Tighten the belt and see if this cures the problem, replace belt if it looks like it has lots of cracks going across, no sense in getting unexpectedly hammered by an avoidable problem in the middle of winter. This is a shadetree-capable item, too!
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 3:56 PM

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