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Cooling Systems -- Problems & Solutions (Radiator, Fan, etc)

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Comments

  • steve248steve248 Posts: 1
    I have a good info, found on other web site.

    First, I had similar symptom: a '97 Town & Country. Starting 6/06, when A/C on, my overheat is slightly different - The temp on dashboard shows it is OK if car moves with smooth traffic. In stop-and-go, such as traffic light, I can see the steam. Or if the car was moving OK w/o overheat, pull to my garage and turn off the engine, I can hear the water boiling and steam comes out. I replaced the thermastat, and back-flush the cooling system. Add coolant to 40%. When engine is off, no more steam, but the coolant comes out the rad cap.

    2. Cause A: I found this info a web site

    http://autorepair.about.com/library/faqs/bl695c.htm

    Partial quote from this web. Some '98 has this problem:

    "There was a recall on your Caravan for this very problem. To correct this condition, the radiator fan relay must be replaced and the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) must be reprogrammed (flashed). The dealer will do this free of charge."

    3. Cause B:

    http://autorepair.about.com/library/faqs/bl287f.htm

    Below is the quote

    A. That's not a recall, that was a Technical Service Bulletin. And, sorry to say, it does not apply to your vehicle. The one that does apply to your vehicle is:

    NO: 08-34-96
    GROUP: Electrical
    DATE: Oct. 25, 1996
    SUBJECT:
    Radiator Fan Relay Operation
    MODELS:
    1996 - 1997 Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager 1996 - 1997 Chrysler Voyager (International Market)

    DISCUSSION:

    Conditions related to the radiator fan relay may result in the radiator fans not turning "ON" or not turning "OFF" as designed.

    The screws that mount the relay to the left front frame rail may break causing the relay to overheat and turn off because it no longer has heat sinking capability to the frame rail.

    If broken radiator fan relay screws are found, they must be replaced with revised screw P/N 06035202. Also, the relay may have been damaged because of the overheating (but may still be functioning) caused by the lack of heat sinking and should be replaced.

    Some vehicles may have an intermittent interference condition between the radiator fan blade(s) and the fan shroud that causes a high current draw that will fail the radiator fan relay.

    The relay can fail in an open condition preventing the fan motors from running and causing the engine to overheat. The relay can fail in a closed condition causing the radiator fans to continue to run with the ignition switch turned "OFF".

    If a failed radiator fan relay is found, it must be replaced with revised relay P/N 04886288AA AND screws P/N 06035202. Revised relay P/N 04886288AA has a higher current capacity that is able to handle the extra current draw related to the intermittent radiator fan/shroud interference.

    A number of vehicles may have corrosion develop in the radiator fan relay connector. On vehicles with this condition, the radiator fan relay connector should be replaced using pigtail service package P/N 04897034AA
  • dgrasserdgrasser Posts: 12
    Thanks for all the great info. I contacted the local Dodge dealer and provided my VIN number. They have a record of the recalls that were done on my van, including the relay, however, he said it may have gone bad again. For my 1998 Grand Caravan, this was a recall.
    Also, tonight I applied 12 volts to each fan and indeed the passenger side fan motor bearings are shot.
    This doesn't explain why the other one doesn't run though.
    After reading your info., I thought that perhaps the relay was "stuck" on causing one fan to prematurely wear out, but that would mean the other one should still be running.
    Anyway, I am going to have the dealer look at it and see if I can get the relay replaced again.
    I still haven't figured out if I can replace on of the fans/motors without taking the entire fan shroud out.
    Hopefully, I can get by with just replacing the one fan motors. It looks like it is mounted with heavy duty rivets though, so I'm not sure.
    Thanks again.
  • kappajenkappajen Posts: 11
    Hi! I need some help. I have a 96 Plymouth Neon and a friend believes that there is an air bubble. When I drive for a while at about 65 to 70 the temp gauge starts to go up and I turn the heat on (I know!) and then it goes back to normal. I've never watched to see how high it goes! To scary!! But I was wondering if anyone had any information regarding the proper procedure to bleed the air bubble out. Haven't been able to find a repair manual yet, so any help would be much appreciated! It's been so hot all over the place and i hate driving with the heat on!! Thanks again! :)
  • dhackdhack Posts: 7
    i have a 92 acura legend and it started overheating. so i changed out the radiator cuz it cracked one day when it was overheating, put new hoses and thermostat in it. still didnt stop it from getting hot. I found out that it was the head gasket leaking, had to get a new motor, found one on ebay and to get it down here and having it put in cost me around $1500. so pray that its not the same with your vehicle
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,692
    With a Neon of that age, you have to look for a bad head gasket...a chronic problem with these cars and a possible cause of your distress.
  • 1996219962 Posts: 2
    Did the continuous running cooling fan get fixed? My 1997 van is doing the same thing. Engine is off but radaitor cooling fan stays running. Help?
  • 1996219962 Posts: 2
    My 1997 Plymouth Voyager radiator cooling fan runs with engine off. I pulled the fuse to save battery but with fuse in the fan will not stop running.
  • I have a 98 Chrysler Town & Country AWD that is overheating at highway speeds when the a/c is on and only in the summer. I turned the a/c off and temp goes to normal. If I turn a/c back on sometimes it will overheat. I replaced thermosat a year ago and both fans work. I saw the water in the radiator with particles. Any help would be appreciated. If I need to replace radiator, do I need to bleed the air out and how?
  • fkovfkov Posts: 1
    I am having similar problems with our 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan ES with 3.3L engine with 170K miles. Could you tell me if this recall extends to this vehicle?

    Thanks, Fred
  • randy09randy09 Posts: 1
    hey i got a 98 Voyager with the same thing. but witch one is the fan relay? what is it called?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I have a Ford Windstar w/ 3.8L that was diagnosed to have externally leaking front cover and intake gaskets about 1.5 years ago. Now it seems the leaking has progressed to internal as there is a layer of oil in the coolant overflow bottle. I do not plan to spend the required $1500 or so to replace these gaskets on an engine with almost 100,000 miles.

    I'm thinking a little oil in the coolant is less of a problem than getting coolant in the oil. Am I right about that or is the engine now near death?

    It seems like the overflow bottle can even act as an oil/water separator. The oil floats on the top but the coolant is pulled in from the bottom. So I was thinking if I keep the bottle over-filled the oily gunk will at least not get pulled back into the radiator and engine.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    What about the water going into the oil system and diluting the oil?

    Water does not lubricate rings, bearings, and lifters very well.

    You are close to a total motor lockup.

    Or, with exhaust gas going into the cooling systems, a huge overheating of the motor.

    A salvage motor might be the best idea to keep this vehicle on the road.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    What about the water going into the oil system and diluting the oil?

    But, I am not seeing any water in the oil, so far anyway.

    Or, with exhaust gas going into the cooling systems, a huge overheating of the motor.


    Why would I be getting exhaust gas in the cooling system :confuse: . The head gasket is not leaking, AFAIK. The front cover would not leak exhaust gas...not really sure what exactly the intake gasket is, but does not sound like it would be associated with exhaust. I do watch temp gauge, and it is always normal.

    Since, I did not know how long it took for the oil to accumulate and I added some bars leak stop to the coolant, after seeing the oil, I am doing an experiment. I drained the overflow bottle, washed it out, and put clean coolant in it. After driving to work and back yesterday (about 20 mi total) it was still clean.

    When I drained the coolant overflow, I would say there was maybe about an ounce or so of oil slurry floating on the top of the coolant. This had accumulated in the last few weeks, because I know it was clean when I checked the fluids about 3 weeks ago.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, with oil getting into the water, I don't see how water isn't getting into the oil.

    Maybe, but....

    You shut the car down, the cooling system is still pressurized to about 15psi until it cools down, the oil pressure drops to zero immediately - what's going to happen.

    Is the oil on the dipstick 'chocolate' looking rather than solid oil? Is so, this is water in the oil.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Is the oil on the dipstick 'chocolate' looking rather than solid oil?

    Nope, oil looks fine. I know that chocolate milk look :sick: ...once had that in a Voyager after it had been leaking oil from every seal for a while.

    You shut the car down, the cooling system is still pressurized to about 15psi until it cools down, the oil pressure drops to zero immediately - what's going to happen.

    I see what you are saying there. Is it possible the bars leak stuff had temporarily allowed a bit of oil to leak into the cooling sytem, but replugged the leak before any significant coolant went the other way???
  • morehpmorehp Posts: 30
    I have a '93 V6 Camry with about 160K.

    By way of background, I was told by the Toyota dealer about 3 months ago there was a crack in the radiator. I decided not to have it fixed because the coolant level seemed to be holding steady and there was no cooling problem at the time.

    2 days ago, I noticed the temp gauge creeping above the mid point when stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. It would go as high as about 3/4 of the way up toward the red zone but not right to the top or into the red. (It has never done this before in 13 years and it wasn't that hot outside).

    Revving the engine to about 1200 rpm at idle, or speeding up to > 20-30 mph resulted in the temp going immediately back to normal. Temp remained normal once at speed.

    I can hear the fan going at idle, and as the temp rises above the midpoint the fan seems to really speed up (which I presume is normal). Coolant level was a bit low (at the "full cold" level when hot). The heater was working well and turning it on seemed to help a bit. The car was running fine through all of this.

    The dealer wants to replace the radiator and believes the condition was caused by low coolant level.

    Does this sound reasonable? It doesn't seem as if the coolant level is that low. I'm also not entirely sure why a coolant level problem would manifest only at very low speed. I would have suspected the fan but it seems to be running and, if it were the fan, why would increasing the idle rpm improve the situation?

    I'm happy to replace the rad if it will fix the problem but I'm not entirely convinced.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
  • Your radiator also cools the transmission (if it's an automatic). If the separate oil tank in your radiator is leaking, you'll get auto trans fluid in your coolant.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Interesting...never thought of that. Would the oily sludge from that appear reddish, though? My sludge is black.

    I just checked and trans fluid looks normal, too. I'll check my trans fluid appearance along with the oil from now on...thanks for pointing out this possibility.

    Here is another strange thing. I opened the radiator cap yesterday to see if there was any oil visible there. There did not seem to be, just some of what I think is "leak stop" crud. But the coolant was not full all the way to the top. It was at least a couple inches low as I could not reach the coolant by sticking my finger in there. So I put some coolant mix directly in the radiator to top it off.

    I have not driven or even started the car since then, but today when I opened the radiator cap the coolant level was down again. Again I could not reach the top of the coolant level with my finger. There is no coolant on the garage floor under the car. :confuse:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I think you should get the radiator changed. You have a radiator with plastic end caps (either side or top/bottom) and a metal core (aluminum). Most likely one of the seals is leaking between the metal core and the plastic cap. The symptoms you describe are classic for low coolant. Most likely the last time you filled the radiator up you didn't wait for the coolant to percolate down and it actually was still low, so when you looked at it the second time it was still low. If you really have 13 years of service on this radiator, that's real good. Most of these modern radiators don't last that long.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It's a 1997, so actually 10 years not 13...but a leaky radiator is certainly a possibility. Before I put the bars leak in the coolant I was losing some every time it was driven...but never saw any leaks.

    That type of leak could explain coolant loss but not oil in the coolant, right?

    Adding a new radiator to the $1500+ already needed for the gaskets, would just confirm my decision not to fix it.
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