Replacing thermostat per your YouTube video

Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.3L
  • 3 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,000 MILES
Me and my husband watched your video on how to replace the thermostat in our van. We drained the coolant, took the hose off, took the thermostat housing cover off. We then took the old one out and put the new thermostat in. Then put it all back together no problems. But now we need to put coolant back into the system. The problem is it will not stay in. It keeps leaking out the tiny valve under the drain we unscrewed. If we put the radiator cap back on it stops leaking but as soon as we take if off it starts leaking again. I’m not sure what we did wrong or how to get the coolant to stay in. We were told my someone that we need to replace the radiator now. We may have striped the plastic screw or have a small crack. I don’t know. I hope this makes sense. Your help would be much appreciated.
Thank you,
Caitlin
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 10:04 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
It's possible the radiator is cracked, however another possibility is that the O-ring that the drain seals with either came out or was damaged and it is allowing the coolant to leak past. I would drain the system and check that first, at the same time you can examine the radiator itself for a crack, however if the coolant is only coming out the small outlet the O-ring inside is a more likely suspect. It isn't shown well in the video but should be similar to the picture. The circled parts are the O-rings. You can get a replacement from a parts store or a dealer. Then once you drain the coolant check for the rings or any damage that could be the issue.

This video I assume?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ4luHCzBeo
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 1:28 AM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the quick response. Yes, that is the video.
The piece we unscrewed to drain the coolant doesn t look like that orange piece in the picture you sent. It s black and much shorter and doesn t have o-rings or the hooks at the end. We have an aftermarket radiator, I replaced it about 5 or 6 years ago.
I will see if I can get a new screw piece and hopefully that works.
Thank you,
Caitlin
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 2:17 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Okay, aftermarket would be different, but it should still have o-ring seals. There were a few types of drains used, some only turned 1/4 turn others unscrewed. If you know who made the radiator you might be able to find the part easier. Or just the seals if you took the drain out.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 2:58 AM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
I wish I could remember who made the radiator or where I got it. But after looking up drain plugs I think that might be our problem so now I m on the hunt for that.
Thank you so much for your help.
Caitlin
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 3:09 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
You are welcome. Good luck on the hunt. Thank you for using 2CarPros.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 7:31 AM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
Thanks. After buying 4 different drain plugs because AutoZone website said they would fit and they don t, I was able to figure out where I got the radiator from. 1aaute. Com. So I called them to find out what size plug I need. I told them what I did and what happened and they said that if it s doing that it s broken so now they are sending me a new radiator. I forgot they have a lifetime warranty. Really didn t want to have to replace the radiator again but at least I don t have to pay for it this time.
Thanks for your help.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 7:38 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Well at least they are standing behind the product, that's better than some places these days. Maybe the new one will have a plug that would work and you won't have to change it.
Probably they have changed suppliers though if it's been 5-6 years.
Let us know what happens when it comes in.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
Yes I was pleasantly surprised. I ll let you know how it goes.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 AT 9:15 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I noticed we didn't hear from you for a couple of days. Have you made any progress? We are interested in knowing.

Also, I wanted to provide the directions or radiator replacement just in case you need them or run into trouble. Also, I included the directions for cooling fan removal and coolant refill.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below.
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Thursday, April 8th, 2021 AT 7:36 PM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
Hey, thanks for checking in and the pictures. I just got the new radiator yesterday evening in the mail. Going to be working on it today and probably tomorrow we ll see how much I can do on my own. My husband should be back in town tomorrow. Last time some of these bolts where a bear to get off. Also my 15 year old daughter is going to be helping so we ll see how this goes.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 8:50 AM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
Well, looks like it s going to be a couple more days before I can get it done. My kids brought the box in when it was delivered and my son brought it out to me after I had taken everything apart. Then I notice the box.
I called 1aauto and they are sending another one but won t be here until Tuesday.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 10:35 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Ouch! I'd probably pressure test it and put it on the shelf if it didn't leak (or evil bay it). One of the things I dislike with aluminum cores over good old copper/brass. On those you could cut out those tubes, solder them up and be done. On aluminum you can sometimes repair them, but it's a lot more work.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
CLOVETT6
  • MEMBER
How do you pressure test it?
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

You will need a pressure tester to check it. Most parts stores will lend one to you with hopes to sell parts. LOL

Here is a link that explains how it is done. Let us know if you have other questions or need help.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/radiator-pressure-test

Take care,

Joe
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 6:49 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Yep, use the same test kit but I normally put the cap on it, then block one hose fitting and attach the pressure kit to the other. Then pressurize it until I hear the cap start leaking. To see if it has leaks from there, the easiest way is a bathtub, or tank. Dunk the entire thing under the water and look for any air bubbles. If no leaks it should be fine. I do that with many of them because I've had more than a few "new" ones leak. This also lets you see if the cap is releasing at it's rated pressure.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 8:17 PM

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