Engine Cooling problem
1999 Mazda Protege 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 57750 miles
The day after getting my condenser replaced, my fiancee and I had driven 85 miles when I noticed the check engine light on. It wasn't safe to stop right there so we stopped at the next exit, but when we did, the car had overheated and radiator fluid was steaming out. When we opened the hood, we found the radiator cap was off, sitting upside down placed next to where it should have been. I had not opened the hood at all from the time I picked it up from the shop until it overheated. Unfortunately, the car had blown a gasket and well over $1000 of damage has been done. The auto shop that replaced our condenser claimed they could not have left the cap off for us to have driven 85 miles. Most every other mechanic I talked to said that on that cool morning with calm continuous travel plus one stop the fluid could have come out slowly, and that the cap very well could have been left off. Now their claim is that all the fluid would have come out during our earlier stop if the radiator cap was off. I admit his new point puzzles me, because I can see that the fluid should have come out at the earlier stop, but we saw nothing. I have a hard time conceding that the cap was blown off between that stop and when it overheated, because there is no damage to the cap or radiator. We heard no bang. There was not very much fluid left in the radiator so the fluid must have been slowly expelled such that we didn't notice it.
Any explanation for why it wouldn't have sent out fluid at the first stop? Could it be that they had never put enough fluid in the car in the first place?
The mechanic wants $800 to fix it now (down from $1200) so I need an explanation one way or the other.
have the same problem?
Thursday, June 4th, 2009 AT 11:12 PM