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Mike S.
Mike S., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 6703
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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2002 pt cruiser: then when you drive again it over heats..ground

Customer Question

my 2002 pt cruiser after driving I turn it off and you hear a gurgling sound. then when you drive again it over heats so I fill the coolant back up and it happens again. now the upper hose when I was checking to find where the gurgling noise was coming from was really filled with pressure and the gurgling noise is the overflow bottle and the coolant comes out the overflow hose to the ground. the radiator and thermostat have been replaced. ALSO I CANT GET INTO MY ACCOUNT AND IT WONT EMAIL ME A NEW PASSWORD
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Mike S. replied 4 years ago.

I can't do anything about your account, you will have to contact JustAnswer about that.

It sounds as though you are still having an over-heating problem. Let me ask you this. Is the electric cooling fan coming on when the engine gets hot?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes and at odd times as well like when car not warmed up even though the defroster not on
Expert:  Mike S. replied 4 years ago.

Ok, on some vehicles the fan may run if the ac/heat is on bi-level even if the blower motor is not on because it still runs on a very low speed. I believe that is actually cycling the ac compressor once in a while to oil it. It may even do it if the switch is on ac, like I said even if the blower motor speed is on low or off. Then usually when the ac compressor cycles, the fan will kick on. I do see that vehicle has 2 fan relays, a high speed and low speed.

That is not important right now though, I am more concerned with it not running. If the engine fan is coming on when the engine warms up, then there is no point in finding out why it is not.

Now, moving on, let me ask if you notice any white or gray smoke out the tailpipe when the engine is running, either cold or hot?

Let the engine cool down, if not already, remove the cap and while the engine is cold before it starts to boil over, let it idle and look for air bubbles coming up in the radiator. Either or both of these signs, the smoke out the tailpipe or air bubbles in the radiator could indicate a blown head gasket. It happens alot when engines overheat.

If neither, than let me ask you this. What mix or level of protection of coolant/water do you have in the cooling system? Since it has been boiling over so much, what have you been adding? A 50/50 mix, straight coolant or straight water?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been using a 50% mix. the fan is working.When the coolant is full the temp stays in range. when filling coolant with eng running it keeps flowing out then starts boiling out. I cant smell any coolant coming out the tailpipe or see it. just keeps coming out the overflow
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 4 years ago.
It sounds to me like the thermostat is sticking closed or it is in upside down. Take it out and place it in a pot of water on the kitchen stove and set it a kitchen thermometer that goes up to at least 200 degrees F and see when that thermostat starts to open when heating the water. It should open within 5-10 degrees of what it is rated at.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
when the spring retracts how open should it get it seems to open about 1/8 inch is that enough or should it be wide open
Expert:  Mike S. replied 4 years ago.

It doesn't appear to open that far. Perhaps you should replace it anyhow since it is already out. It's only like $8.

Anytime an engine overheats it could ruin the thermostat, so even though it was new, since it over-heated, that could have ruined it.

Check the bottom radiator hose and make sure it is not soft and sucking closed when the engine is running. You can check it cold, just reach down there and see if you can squeeze it shut by hand. You might also see if you can feel a spring inside the hose, if so make sure the spring runs the entire length of the hose.



Here is my generic response to whenever an engine overheats. It should cover just about everything to check.


What percentage of coolant mix are you using? Perhaps you should test the boil-over protection of the coolant to make sure.





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First of all make sure the coolant level is full. Also, make sure there are no leaves or anything obstructing the airflow through the grille. Make sure you don't have to many fins bent on the radiator; you can straighten them out if needed to. Do you get good flow through the radiator? Run engine until thermostat opens and look down filler neck and make sure you get good streams of coolant flowing out of top few tubes. Make sure you have a fan shroud. Check for air in the system, with the radiator full and engine warm and thermostat open you should not be able to squeeze the top hose closed, should be hard as a rock. With engine off and cool try to squeeze the bottom hose shut with your hand, you should not be able to squeeze it shut or while the engine is running it may suck closed and cause overheating. Of course check for leaks both internally and externally. Check for a sticking thermostat. With engine cool remove cap and watch as the coolant heats up and thermostat begins to open, it should not open then close to open again and spit coolant out the filler neck. Look at the holes in the tubes of the radiator through the filler neck and look for the holes clogged up and if so have the radiator rodded out. Look for good flow once the thermostat opens up. With engine off and engine still warm place you hand on radiator core and feel the entire surface of the core feeling for cool spots. If cool spots are found then the tubes are clogged, have the radiator rodded out. How does the engine run? Any misfiring? Did you recently remove and block off the egr? Is there any smoke or coolant coming out the tailpipe? Any coolant on any of the spark plugs? Any coolant on the engine oil dipstick? Any air bubbles coming up in radiator with cap off and thermostat open?

Make sure there is not allot of dirt, mud or even a heavy coat of paint on engine.

If equipped with a clutch fan make sure it does not freewheel when the engine is shut off, it should only spin 3-5 times then stop, if more than the clutch is bad. Do you have an overflow tank? Check also that the cap holds pressure.

If the auto-transmission has cooler lines that run through the radiator or in front of it and the transmission runs hot then so will the radiator and engine and visa-versa. Make sure the water pump belt is tight and also check the water pump bearing by grabbing 1 fin on the fan blade and push and pull for and aft feeling for any play in the water pump bearing, if so the water pump is going up. Also, make sure there isn't a lot of coolant running out the small inspection hole on the rear bottom of the water pump, if so the water pump is bad.

If you have done any modifications to the engine to create more heat, such as raising the compression ratio then you may want to consider a bigger radiator with another row of tubes. Make sure the exhaust isn't causing a lot of back pressure due to crushed mufflers or dented pipes.

A too lean fuel mixture and/or the ignition timing being too far advanced may also cause excessive heat in the combustion chamber thus overheating. Hot spots on and around the cooling jackets around cylinders can cause overheating. If the coolant has ever been noticed having a rusty color and/or the cooling system never flushed, consider flushing the cooling system.

Is the fan close enough to the radiator and is it the original fan and the correct size and number of blades? On some vehicles equipped with AC check that the AC Compressor shuts off when overheating. Also, I believe an overcharged AC system could cause the condenser to overheat and because it sets in front of the radiator than too will the radiator overheat if the condenser overheats.

Make sure there aren't a lot of tubes cut out of the radiator if repaired before.

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