Are you shopping for a new vehicle and having trouble finding one, or have you been waiting a long time for a factory order? A reporter would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by Tues. 5/11 for more details.

Car Overheats? whats could be the problem?

shemzshemz Member Posts: 34
What could be the problem, we have cahnged the top and bottom radiator hoses, changed the water pump, the belts squeek a little..but i dont know waht to do? should i change the radiator since we put a new water pump..plz help.


  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    before the water pump are to replace the thermostat with a new one. Test it in boiling water by suspending it with a wire and observe it opens fully. I have bought many defective ones in my life. Clean the outside of the radiator, Buy a good flush and flush the radiator. If that doesn't work remove the thermostat and start the vehicle (cold) with the cap off and the radiator not totally full you should be able to see flow. If all this is OK it may be necessary to replace the radiator. I doubt it will be necessary. Also could be a crack in the engine head. Happens especially with GM 6's. Others will hopefully be able to give more/better advice. I'm betting on the 'stat.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    How are you sure it's overheating?

    To be positively sure, you should check it with a guage that will give you an accurate reading ... rather than the silly "Hot-Cold" guage most vehicles come with. I had an Escort that usually ran cool ... but had a pessimistic guage.

    Assuming the thing IS actually overheating, my guess it's a cracked head, block or blown head gasket. Your anti-freeze is exposed to the combustion chambers. A classic sign of this is a noticeable oily film in the anti-freeze ... and/or a white goo on the inside of your oil-fill cap and dipstick.

    --- Bror Jace
  • bushonebushone Member Posts: 39
    The timing too. Not familure with Dodge engines but I had my Olds engines timing advanced to far (dist moved when I put a new cap on her in the winter) and the thing was over-heating in the early summer.

    Corse by the time I checked that...I had intalled a new cluchfan, Thermostat, Full Shroud, and a Radiator! lol

    Hey...but it was going to need those other things anyway.....someday!
  • jeberjeber Member Posts: 91
    I had a Subaru once that began overheating, we tried EVERYTHING imaginable, even spending half a Saturday replacing head gasket. Turned out to be clogged radiator. Apparently the previous owner had used tap water in the radiator, from a town notorious for having hard water (lots of minerals, etc.). Passages in radiator were so clogged, the guy at radiator shop said he had to soak it in the cleaning solution about twice as long as most!

    If you think radiator has ever been filled with water other than the distilled variety, this is a possibility.

    Note that some cars have radiators that you can get out with one wrench, in about 15 minutes, others pretty much involve dismantling the entire engine :)
  • jeberjeber Member Posts: 91
    re. radiator shop flush:

    if you get the mineral deposit/crust clogging one up as I described above, the prestone "flushes" and the like won't make a dent, you gotta have a specialty radiator shop soak it in their tank......
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you are having persistent overheating problems, and you've eliminated the obvious (thermostat and electric cooling fan not working or a collapsed radiator house), the radiator is the next step--presuming you don't have an obvious head gasket failure (water in oil, or huge amounts of white steam coming out of tailpipe).
  • shemzshemz Member Posts: 34
    I will flush the radiator, change the thermostat and try that thing thad acd said..Thanx for ure help.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Not all radiators can be cleaned of deposits anymore. A lot of them are aluminum cores with plastic side tanks that are crimped together. By the time you uncrimp to remove the tanks so the core can be soaked and rodded out and then re-seal and re-crimp the tanks back on (a weak crimp usually results), it's usually cheaper to replace the radiator with a new one. Ditto for just replacing the core and using the old tanks. I'm not sure what type of radiator is in your Dodge. In my 85 Suburban the radiator is repairable. Several years ago I had a heavy duty core put in when the original one was found to be very thin near the bottom, and it's been fine ever since.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah, I agree...flushing is a preventative procedure, to prevent clogging. Once the radiator is clogged, you gotta pull it.
  • bmaigebmaige Member Posts: 140
    Distilled water in radiators and batteries in certain parts of the country is a great idea. Does any method of distilling create a problem for radiators or engine blocks that anyone knows of?
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    If you distill rye, or corn and dump it it it could be a problem (ethyl alcohol)

    Seriously no. I use RO (reverse osmosis) water. I believe solids in it are as good or better than distilled. Anyway its good enough. Of course you could buy the stuff bottled by Prestone at $2+. If you're stupid that is. I also always dump a can of the water pump lube in also.
  • britton2britton2 Member Posts: 305
    My '86 Honda started to overheat at 13 years of age - took it to a reputable mechanic - he couldn't pinpoint the problem - he suggested a radiator shop - took it there - they flushed out my radiator - problem solved.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,491
    ...once I had my '68 Dart overheat right after I flushed the cooling system. Sometimes when you drain the old coolant, and refill, you'll get a serious air pocket in the water passages. Once you get everything back together, you can fill up the radiator to where it LOOKS full, but once you drive it awhile, when the thermostat opens up it'll suck the coolant out of the radiator, and suddenly you're low.

    If that's not the problem though, the first thing you should check, like the others said, is the thermostat. As for radiators of that era, well, I had to replace the radiator in my '89 Gran Fury last year. It was the old fashioned, all metal type. I probably could've gotten it cleaned out, but the replacement was only $140.00 (installed it myself), so I figured I'd be better off going new. (well, it was probably rebuilt)
This discussion has been closed.