Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Engine overheating - summer problem?

yabadayabada Posts: 19
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
During last hot days the temperature gauge in my Concorde LXi goes all the way up till the last white line while using AC. It happens in stop and go traffic but I don`t think this is normal. After about 20-25 minutes of heavy traffic I have to turn off the AC and open the windows. I had the same problem when driving with AC turned on with the speed of about 90 miles /hours for about 2-3 hours. The strange thing is that when I stoped and turned the engine off, after about 10 minutes, the engine temperature dropped 3 points on the scale. Anyway, what may be the problem.
The AC, the thermostate or the temperature sensor. Or maybe it is absolutely normal. Anybody with the same problems?
«1

Comments

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    My LXi (and yours, I'll bet) has a remote overflow tank that is part of the PRESSURIZED zone of the cooling system. The radiator cap sits right on the remote tank, not on the radiator. Let me discontinue further explanations and ask you to check and see if in fact you have enough coolant and water mixture in your cooling system. It can be hard to inspect and see the level! This can be critical after a bit of leakage. Also, replace your radiator cap if it does not test out to hold prescribed pressure. Please let me know what you discover.
  • yabadayabada Posts: 19
    Thanks for your message. This is a '98 Concorde that I bought 2 weeks ago so I am not very familiar with the engine compartment. I will check the coolant level tomorrow, though it is indeed difficult to see.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Verify that the engine cooling fan comes on when the AC is turned on.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    If you just got the car I would change the thermostat, and flush and fill the cooling system, just to be safe. That is one of the first things I recommend doing when you buy a used car, along with an oil change, air filter, and pcv valve. Alcan is also on a good lead, make sure that fan comes on, if not you have problems that need to be addressed. Another thing to look at is the radiator, make sure it's cooling fins are not clogged up. If you are handy loosen the radiator, and get the leaves and other debris from in between the radiator and A/C condenser. It is not unusual for the engine temp to rise slightly with the A/C on, but if it takes you to the edge of overheating it needs to be looked at. The A/C condenser is in front of the radiator, so the air going through the radiator is going to be warmer than regular air temp while the A/C is on.
  • yabadayabada Posts: 19
    Thanks a lot. I just checked the coolant level and it`s OK. The fan comes on also. The dealer who sold e the car said that all oils and liquids were changed in the car be their mechanics (huge dealership). I checked them and I can confirm that they are fresh but I am not sure about the PCV valve and thermostat. I don`t think they were changed, so this is my next step. My temporary emission inspection expires in two days so that would be a good opportunity to visit a mechanic.
    I will post you with my findings.
    Thanks again.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Also it depends on how extreme the outside temperature is.

    If you are crawling in traffic in Phoenix AZ in summer with the a/c on, or slowly and laboriously climbing some long hill in brutal hot weather, I suspect just about any car will overheat. There's a point here where heat simply cannot be dissipated fast enough.
  • yabadayabada Posts: 19
    In my understanding any car (pretty new I mean) should handle a 90-100°F weather but I am afraid I was wrong.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    of course, that's assuming they can move along so there is an assist in airflow through the radiator than just the fan. on a upper-70s day or warmer, during a/c testing, GM manuals used to warn that a big old shop fan should be put in front of the radiator to insure the car didn't get out of the normal range. a/c is from a 10 to 15 HP load depending on car size and thus compressor size, and there is generally also an idle speed boost when the a/c is on to prevent stalling at idle, so you are working the car noticeably just sitting and honking in traffic.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    It really depends on the car and the type of driving you are doing. If the previous owner did not maintain the car you could have a plugged/corroded radiator from the coolant turning acidic. If that is the case no amount of flushing will help at all. Get that thermostat changed out, that should help. If it still is a problem before you replace the radiator loosen it and check for debris stuck between the radiator and condenser. That debris really cuts down on the cooling ability, so get that cleaned out good. You almost have to remove the radiator to clean it out good. Autozone sells the radiator for $320 so make sure it is clean before you change it out. Also while you are messing with the thermostat change the radiator cap, it's cheap insurance against overheating.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    If you have a good radiator shop in your town, you might want to go there for a little advice on your situation. They can take a look and give you their opinion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Your radiator can be flow tested. It doesn't have to be "fixing by guessing".

    Overheating is actually a difficult diagnosis since there are so many causes, many of them internal and not inspectable.

    You could also try some "water wetter"--might help a little.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I forgot all about that water wetter stuff. A friend of mine uses that in his big block Camero. It cut his temp down by about 10 degrees. You can get it from http://www.summitracing.com or http://jegs.com

    Shifty I never heard of a shop flow testing a radiator. I may be going to the wrong shops, none of them ever offered to flow test it, they just said "You need a new one" I wish I could find a shop that would do more than leak test the things.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Some radiator shops are just drop off places for people in the car repair business. They stick to fixing delivered radiators. At the other end of the spectrum there are some radiator shops that do it all, and could well be called automotive cooling system specialists.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Here's how I look at it...if I can look down into my radiator and see a clogged, rusted mess, okay, you pull it out and recore it---but if the core looks good visually or I can't see it, then I want it flow-tested and I'll pay for that.

    Otherwise what have I got? Potentially, a brand new core and the car still overheating.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    My most recent encounter with a radiator specialist shop was about five years ago, and the propietor is a guy I've known forever. He rebuilt my radiator core (rodding and cleaning, soldering). He is a master of the business and a fine human as well. He gave up the shop to his partner for health reasons not long ago. I am wondering if he is an Americana treasure that will not be replaced after his partner retires, too. Maybe the general expectation is now becoming a change of parts with no more rebuilding.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Especially with plastic radiators---sure, switch and swap is the future, let's get used to it.

    Things change, "progress" marches on, nothing you can do about it except act silly and wave your arms around like a lunatic demanding that your radiator core be flow-tested rodded and repaired.
  • yabadayabada Posts: 19
    Well, during my todays visit at a local mechanic I described the problem and asked for the price of the thermostat replacement. The guy ( in spite of the almighty dollar) didn`t want to change it because as he said "I don`t have a problem with the thermostat". During the emission test (NY)
    the engine didn`t overheat, so his conclusion was that everything is OK. The next thing I plan to do is to flush the radiator. Do you know what cost I should expect. Unfortunately I can`t do it myself. The car has 69k and was used in TX, though I don`t know the owner and I don`t know how he maintained the car. Do you think this is my last resort before changing the radiator?
  • yabadayabada Posts: 19
    Can anybody help me to locate thermostat in Concorde LXi (98)? I decided to replace it myself if the job doesn't require disasambling the whole engine. I found one on www.chryslerparts.net for
    $12.30 I believe this is a fair price.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    literally. two big hoses come out of the radiator. One goes direct to the bottom of the engine. the other goes up higher, near the water pump. at the point of attachment, there is a metal (usually cast iron) knobby held onto the engine by a couple bolts. get a replacement gasket and some #1 "non-hardening" gasket compound when you get a thermostat, because when you drain the radiator, and pull those bolts, underneath is the thermostat. put the new one in the groove exactly as the old one was (there is generally a preferred "up" position), put the gasket with a thin continuous layer of gasket compound on there in the right posiition (don't get any sticky goo on the 'stat) and bolt the knobby flow director back on over it. refill the radiator and engine with the proper 50/50 mix, leave the cap off, and start up the car. if it leaks, fix the leaks. if not, keep pouring in 50-50 until the 'stat opens at temperature, the level of fluid drops, and after you fill it up this time, it starts to rise and trickle over the neck of the radiator. now stop and cap everything up, make sure the overflow bottle is up to the "full cold" mark with good 50/50, restart and check for leaks as the heater blows hot air and the engine gets fully to warm-up.

    no leaks? the job is done. leaks? go back and undo the short cut ;) don't ask me how I know that.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    You can find the t-stat at the local parts store. You can get the actual location of the t-stat from the store, and the gasket and gasket sealer. The sealer is in a little brown bottle the stuff I use is called Indian Head. The parts are very common to the stores, and are probably cheaper than ordering online and paying for shipping.

    Another thing I do is boil the t-stat with a thermometer in the water before installation to make sure the thing opens at the right temp., I have had them not open at all brand new from the box.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A bad thermostat will usually give you a pretty fast overheat won't it? I mean, it's not like you can drive long long distances with a thermostat stuck shut, correct?
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    You can drive forever with 'em stuck open, but your engine will not maintain an optimal running temp, nor support the heating system in cold weather. Etc. ad nauseum.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    It's easy and doesn't take long to do.
    Fleetwoodsimca, I have also heard of some vehicles that if the thermostat was removed or was stuck open, would actually OVERHEAT because the water did not stay in radiator long enough..(older vehicles had bigger radiators and would cool enough (or too much actually like you described) but newer vehicles could overheat, weird huh?.
    I have noticed an odd behavior with the thermostat on my Blazer. My Blazer is a 95 with the 4.3 motor.
    Motor has been replaced, and the original replacement was also replaced under warranty (bad reman job).
    I have noticed ever since it was new, and this behavior has been consistent with all 3 motors and all 6 thermostats (I have replaced them a couple times just checking them)...that the first time the thermostat opens it is slightly hotter than the normal operating temp. After the initial opening the temp stays at normal temp (except on VERY hot days where it operates slightly hotter especially on uphill grades). I have a 99 truck, same engine, does NOT show anything like this.
    I think there is an air bubble at the thermostat that delays the first opening, and then the bubble goes through the system and the thermostat is properly submerged and works normal after that point, but I'm only theorizing here. Anybody got any other suggestions?
    I think that year model is just marginal on cooling capacity actually.
    Rando
  • SPYDER98SPYDER98 Posts: 239
    I think every car has its limitations. Last summer on my way to the beach, my car began to overheat for the first time ever on the highway. Especially on the inclines. It was also 100 degrees that day.

    I've never experienced overheating since.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    If you can't 'find' the thermostat on your own, I'm not sure I can recommend you attempting this on you own.

    It could be a relatively simple job. Or it could be a mess. On my 4L Ranger truck, the 3 bolts holding the housing on took 2 different size wrenchs. And one of the bolts was tough to get out and back in. I've done a fair amount of mechanic work, and I once broke a housing putting it back on.

    I just would not recommend this as a first attempt at mechanicing.....
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Good advice. Concorde Chryslers have a special air bleeding valve at the thermostat area to deal with that would complicate matters.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I have had a couple of thermostats not open completely, the car would run at normal temp around town, but when you got out on the freeway for 1/2 hour it would start to overheat, not enough water passing through the radiator. That is one of the reasons I test them now before putting them in, makes sure they open completely and at the correct temp.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Buying top quality thermostats can save a lot of repeat work, as well. I try to buy premium quality ones at NAPA, when they are available for my particular applications.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    The only new thermostat I've ever had a problem with was a NAPA. The first time it opened, from a cold startup, from the temp gauge it looked like it was opening about 20 degrees (or more) above the 'usual' temperature. After the first opening, it seemed to work fine.

    But this bothered me so much, I could just see the thing staying closed and overheating, I pulled it, made NAPA refund my money, and put a Delco in the GM vehicle. It worked fine.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I get the OEM ones if available, if not I get Robertshaw. I still boil the things to make sure it opens at the right tempo and all the way. I doesn't matter how good the manufacture is, they still end up with a bad one from time to time.
This discussion has been closed.