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Dodge Durango Overheating Problems



  • So here is my problem. About 9 mons ago I had my heads done on the car. Drove great no problems. At that time, he suggested I got my valves done but I didn't really know the mechanic and I thought he was trying to get more $$$ out of me. I said no. Fast forward to late Dec and I'm told I need a new egine by many. I took it to the guy who did the heads and he told me it was the valves that I didn't get done before. He fixed it - I mean this kid is great - the car literally purrs - sound BETTER -than when i brought it. Before he did the valves the car was overheating. I changed the thermostat twice as well as the water pump, the radiator cap and flushed the radiator. EVERYONE I speak to that is mechanically superior is stummped. It may run good for a day or so, then it will overheat. I fill it up with coolant and later that day I can smell the coolant but don't see any puddles. When it overheats, the coolant drains from the overflow. PLEASE HELP!!! I am trying to get back into sales and having a car is critical!!!
  • well your right it worked for a few days the radiator cap. started over heating again. we filled it with fluids and it smells like atafreeze but no leaks I am giving up and looking to trade this asap!!!! will never buy another dodge product
  • sdoutsdout Posts: 23
    It sounds like you have already replaced some components that could cause the problem, so lets go on from there. Since the car runs good for a day or two, we can assume that the external cooling parts are generally doing there job (the fans). I would take the truck back down to your mechanic and have him perform a pressure test on your radiator or you can remove the radiator and take it down to a radiator shop and have them pressure test it for you (this will tell you if you have a leak or if its clogged). My shop did it for nothing and it only took a few minutes. You also stated that the coolant is coming from the overflow. It is important not to overfill your overflow and make sure it is holding coolant. If you have a leak in your overflow, you will slowly drain your car of coolant causing it to overheat. If you overfill, obviously it will cause it blow off the excess and make it difficult to see if there is a leak somewhere else. While it sounds like you are sure there aren't any leaks, it may pay to look over your system once more. I've had a leak in my Durango that was hard to find because the plastic parts under the radiator caught almost all of the coolant. I hope this helps.
  • Thank you for the reply. I am truly at my wits end. The car works great for a few days than the overheating begins. Now I have no heat. If I drive with no heat the car will not overheat. I am really upset. I am in sales and my car is ESSENTIAL!!! Talk about a catch 22, I don't have the money to take it in to ge the car fixed but if I don't I'm probably going to loose me job because I'm not producing like I should be because I can't get out and see my account. I really don't know what else to do. I'm going to replace the radiator next week and pray this helps. Again, I appreciate your reply and any other info you can add. I really didn't think someone was going to respond.
  • my husband kept telling me to change the radiator cap and it really worked for me for now anyway it has been a month now and it still works fine no overheating and i have heat RADIATOR CAP
  • Thank you for the suggestion. Over the past 2 months I have done the following...

    Heads resurfaced
    Valves done
    Changed the thermostat - twice
    Changed the water pump
    Changed the radiator cap
    Changed the Heater core
    Flushed the system...

    and I'm still having problems...

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
  • bredmanbredman Posts: 1
    Been weird. For awhile, it would get hot and all of a sudden would just drop in temp to normal. Heat would not work when it was going up to hot. Lately, got hot and did not come down. Took the thermostat out...replaced effect. Did a water pump before this problem started because I was loosing water...The other day, I took off both radiator hoses and ran water through the radiator and the engine in both directions. Water does come out from the upper and lower hose in the radiator and through the engine. Flushed and put back together without the thermostat. Still runs hot. Thinking radiator? Top hose gets hot but the bottom hose remains cool? Email please.

  • My dad's 2000 dodge durango 4.7 is overheating we replaced the thermostat thinking that was it. That did not do it. You can see the fluid circulating so it's not the water pump so at this point we are stumped. What do you think it could be. We check the timing belt cover and it is not detiorating so what now?
  • rfc1180rfc1180 Posts: 1
    Just curious, what is the normal operating temp, where does that relate to on the temp gauge (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, etc).

  • 1/2 is where is sits at normal operating temp
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Typically it should hover around 210F. Lower when cruising, higher when under load. when it's 115F in Arizona and I'm climbing a hill I get about 220-225F, when I'm on a flat spot it will drop back to 190 or so. I consider it normal for cooling system in good order. My Suburban was about the same, but I remember pulling a heavy trailer once and it was running at 240 or so when under load.
  • shannel27shannel27 Posts: 1
    I have a question and you seem to be the one with all the answers. I have a 2000 Durango 2WD, it has 112,000 miles on it, I purchused it used last Feb, It started overheating, about two weeks ago, it was over 100 degress, it went to hot very fast then the check gauges light was on, once I pulled in the driveway, it made thgis loud noise and this rusty water came out everywhere through the fan thing in the front, and the top. The next day I tried to drive it, when I would stop it would turn off, now its sitting waiting to be fixed, what do I check first?
  • Replaced radiator,thermostat, fan clutch and it was still overheating. Performed boil test on the AFTERMARKET thermostat and it did not open up at all, water was at 220. Put in oem thermostat and it is running as designed. Maybe i was lucky.
  • Same issue! I have the 5.9 L, V8 2WD.
    Can anyone tell me about an "Auxiliary" pump located somewhere back by the firewall on passenger side? I read a blog where a man replaced everything I have replaced on mine, (radiator, hoses, filler neck, water pump) I also flushed the system very well and I finally had to remove my thermostat on the side of the road one day. I'm going out to replace the fan clutch now and will post my results. If that doesn't do the trick, I hope to find out more on the "Auxiliary Pump".
    When the man replaced his, all his troubles were gone. My auto manual does not mention this, nor can I find it on any auto parts websites.
  • sdout, i hope you are still following the threads here as you seem to know durangos! I have a 99 durango 5.9l, we have had it in and out shops and no one seems to be able to duplicate my issue and they all think my truck run great! Besides costing a small fortune in diagnostics, and little fixes, we end up having the same issue after a couple months each time. And once the problem starts, it happens once a week for a couple weeks, then once every couple of days, then more frequently. I can deal with it, but would rather know what the issue is.
    My durango bogs out, you go to start it, and it starts but then acts like their is no gas and will stall...most times you can pump the gas pedal, which causes it to cough and choke, it basically sounds like it is hitting and missing untill eventually, you pump it out enough times and it stops bogging.....I then need t hold my foot steady on the gas, holding it at approx. 1000 rpm until i can release the gas and it stays running. After this happens it is good to go. Whether related or not, it also will sometimes idle rough, it starts out idling fine, then will start to slow down and almost stall out, sound very rough. The last thing is that we recently tried to tow a 3500 lb trailer up a mountain, we got almost3 km and overheated, pedal was all the way to the floor, and couldn't get it to go above 2000rpm...felt like we were gonna start going backwards, next thing we knew the transmission overheating light came on, then check engine, then plain overheating....we had to pull over and wait almost an hour before filling with water, going back home and getting a friend to tow our new trailer for is... mechanic figures could possibly be a clogged muffler(unrelated to original unsolveable issue) and suggested unhooking muffler after the new (replaced 3 months ago) catalytic converter, and rehooking up trailer and trying far we have had the injectors cleaned, a new water pump, new computer module as that was the first diagnosis$$$, sensors were checked, hoses checked....oh just about everything...any ideas??? I am more concerned with the bogging then the overheating as this is a major issue for us! Any ideas anyone>> Similar issues?
  • I have a 2002 Durango with a 4.7 engine that keeps overheating. The truck has 97,200 miles on it. I replaced the following all in the same week. I replaced the thermostat but unfotunately that wasn't it, then I replaced the water pump and still no luck, I also replaced the top radiator hose which I had to order from the dealer due to the middle cap part on the hose and that wasn't it. The temperature raises faster within minutes once the AC is turned on. I don't turn the AC on because of that and I can drive for about 20-30 minutes before the temp goes up and my check gages light comes on because its overheating.I don't know what else to do or what else can I replace. PLEASE HELP!
  • we have been told that ours overheating when we were towing up a steep mountain was more then likely a clogged muffler....only way to tell is to disconnect muffler after the catalytic converter and retow up the hill :)
  • Hello! This is my last resort... My hubby wants to get rid of my durango!~ I have a 2001 Durango with a 4.7L engine. I hit a deer last November, I started leaking antifreeze from the radiator ( there was a small leak) We replaced the radiator, but now I am leaking antifreeze from the overflow every time I stop, and also when I drive on the highway, it sprays out all over the engine. The overflow stays full, I have to fill the filler neck every 4 days or so with a 1/2 gallon of antifreeze. We have replaced the upper radiator hose, (fiiller neck), the water pump, and not quite sure what steps to take from here. It will get hot when the fluid gets low, but will cool down if I keep driving, as soon as I slow down or stop it heats back up, which hubby says means it is probably not the thermostat. He thought replacing the filler neck would solve the problem, but no such luck! We are open to ANY new ideas!!!
  • Please dont get rid of it i had the same overheating problem after spending alot of money i was still smelling and leaking atifreeze it is your AUXILARY WATER PUMP YEP THERE 2 WATER PUMPS ON THE DURANGO LET ME KNOW IF THIS WORKS IT IS A DEALER PART ONLY THOUGH I GOT MINE FOR 116 BUT IF YOU GET IT FROM A DEALER IT IS GOING TO BE 152.00 IT IS THE AUXILARY PUMP
  • I should specify, my car does not get hot unless the fluid is low. It constantly leaks fluid out of the overflow, even under normal operating temperatures. It keeps pushing the fluid out the overflow bottle...
  • Someone at dodge put the stock thermostat at the coldest point in the cooling system---where the lower / return rad hose enters the block. The coolant mat be cold enough there the thermostat isnt open yet the top of the engine is HOT. To fix the problem remove the stock thermostat and install an aftermarket thermostat in the upper rad hose where it conects to the block. this is the place everone else puts their thermostats --- the hotest spot in the cooling system .
  • I have a 2000 4.7L 4WD sport. What I've seen with these Durangos is that they have the thermostat located at the outlet of the radiator, at a low point in the system. Also, the radiator itself is a crap design. The outlet isn't even at the bottom of the radiator, it's half way. The thermostats are reverse poppet type; there is a water pump suction port in the housing that diverts water from the block to the water pump while warming up. I think what's happening is the flange on the end of the poppet shaft isn't completely sealing the port when the thermostat opens. I plugged mine with a 7/16 bolt with teflon tape and Permatex aviation gasket sealer. I switched to an EMP Stewart/Robert Shaw 180 thermostat. My system is running friggin' great. As soon as I get up above 30 MPH, it starts cooling down. The water flow is excellent. I might consider going back to a 195 Robert Shaw it's running so good. Pass this on to any one with overheating problems with their Durango.
  • replacing the Auxilary Pump fixed mine also after hundreads spent on everything else 126.00 for Auxilary Pump have to get from dealer no after market
  • If your system keeps pushing water in to the over flow tank, there's air in the system. That's another good reason to switch thermostats to stewart/robert shaw. The holes in the poppet help bleed the air out.
  • I have an 03 Durango and have recently had water leaking onto the Driver side floor. Also had water blowing out the radiator cap when I shut it off. Changed radiator cap and it started leaking out the lower radiator hose instead. Overheated one time. Replace thermostat. Replaced water pump about 6 months ago. Now it gets hot after about 30 minutes but cools off if rolls down hill or keeps moving fast. Doesn't appear to be leaking water from the engine, but still water on driver side floor. Also when I started the engine with the radiator cap off, the antifreeze wasn't flowing. Shouldn't it be moving as soon as the truck starts, or does it get warm first? Another problem that I believe is unrelated is my heater blower resistor has been replaced twice, probably meaning I need to now replace blower...but it's hot air coming out.
  • try the auxliary pump it is a small electric pump and i had to replace on mine and has never overheated since!!! 154.00 it is a dealer item. cant get it at a parts house
  • Do all Durango's have an auxiliary pump? Mine doesn't have the rear heater.
  • mine is a 2004 so i am sure yours has one and i bet that is your problem they guy that replaced my water heater and flused it and did all kinds of work on it didnt even know they had a auxilary pump after spending over 700 on trying to fix the heating problem it was the auxzillary pump
  • Wow, it's actually good (well mostly bad) to hear that I am not alone with this issue. Thankful for finding this forum before I spend hundreds more $$$. My question is on the auxillary pump - once you buy it at the dealer is it easy to replace yourself or did a mechanic do it for you? Thank you!
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