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Chris
Chris, Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 12725
Experience:  30 years certified Chrysler technician, smog license Certified Master Technician
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I have a 2008 Chrysler pt cruiser turbo 2.4l 62k miles. When

Customer Question

I have a 2008 Chrysler pt cruiser turbo 2.4l 62k miles. When I bought the car it had overheating issue. I noticed thermostat wasn't opening when I pulled it out replaced it and while it idled car ran fine. When I took it on the road it would slowly overheat. Did a penzoil coolant flush put distilled water and nothing changed. Car idled fine while driving started heating up. I decided to change radiator, upon removal some genius left a rag between inter cooler and radiator but I decided to change the radiator since I bought it. Good thing I did radiator on bottom look liked tooth paste. After change I replaced thermostat, radiator cap new hoat coolant car drove fine for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I noticed started to climb to 3/4 heat then temp just dropped below half quickly and stayed that way all day. Tought it was a bad thermostat I replaced it again. After a week now I see each day temp creeps up higher and higher above half like thermostat is failing again but it drops right below half and will stay that way fans come on cool down like nothing is wrong. Only heats up higher and higher after each first start of the day. I have no leaks tested coolant at 18 psi no leaks, 18 lbs cap on radiator. I'm at a loss, what's going on here. I know system is burped, heater on hot while coolant filled, drained under thermostat thru bleed. When I bought the car first I did compression test it was #1 at 142 cold cylinder #2 at 133 #3 139 #4 145.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you today. Have you ever performed a cyinder block test for the presence of hydrocarbons in the cooling system? There is a test kit for doing this.

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I did it last week and nothing came up
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I did it at the radiator, and drove the car and did it at the bottle
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I took the block tester put it behind the exhaust and it worked turned yellow after 2 pumps
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
But at the radiator and bottle after 20 pumps or 4 min nothing did it few times nothing turned up
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

Ok good. I.wonder if air is getting sucked into the system after it cools down. Any small signs of leaks anywere?

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I ran car into warm idle no coolant movement, once thermostat opened I cen see water is flowing at steady pace not exploding and not trickling thru its flowing just like pump is doing its work
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No signs of leaks I just looked at the car now I drove it and lines were pressurized cooled of now they are soft looked for leaks and see nothing.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm just stumped im mechanically inclined but this thing is beating me
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

This may be a normal operating characteristic. I have seen these engines rise in temp at first start, then once yhe thermostat opens up, the temp comes down to a normal operating temperature. Do you ever see coolant get pushed out of the bottle?

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
no coolant pushed out of the bottle, but last week it went up all the way to where the coolant light came on for second, went of and instantly temp dropped to half
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
That's when I replaced thermostat again I tought it was bad, thermostat has bleed hole so if any air got trapped thermostat will bleed of that air. This only happens on initial start each time gauge goes higher and higher but once thermostat opens up car runs good fans come on temp reaches up to half drops like my caravan.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was thinking leak in heater core but floor would be wet, but in this one there is a drain by the firewall and its dry no leaks
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm puzzled
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

Does the gauge ever get higher than 3/4 the initial start?

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
When I first start car it will run normal with new thermostat, after a week when you drive on initial start each day it goes higher and higher at about 10 day it starts to reach 3/4 and starts to go past. Once thermostat opens it will stay normal all day. This time I installed a fail safe thermostat. The dealer in GA doesn't have those because for emissions the want the cars to run hot.
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

This has to be an air in the system issue then. I think that when you open up the system (replacing the thermostat), and then refilling it and burping/bleeding the system, you are getting the air out. Then over time, this air creeps back in somehow. I bet if you don't replace anything this time and just bleed the system. It will work again until the air gets back in. You may have the tiniest leak somewhere, OR a super small head gasket leak That is not detectable by the block tester. Does that make sense?

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Yeah but even if I have a tiny leak my thermostat has bleed hole in it shouldnt stop the thermostat from opening at normal temp, that air would bleed of and I would see coolant in recovery bottle dropping level as well. Recovery bottle stays up on hot level and it's not taking any fluid. As fluid cools down the coolant system will replenish itself from recovery bottle then I know I have a leak.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I just drove the car on ramps now looked for any leaks underneath it and its all dry it's better to see this at night with light
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Or just drill like
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

I don't think the coolant is leaking out, but air is leaking in. I had an issue like this on a Corvette many years ago. It was a hose clamp I think. It never leaked coolant out, but when cold air got into the system.

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Just drill 4 holes in thermostat haha it will bleed it of
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How can I find a air leak like that, that's a pain the only way is to replace all hoses. I replaced upper and lower hoses, I know they are tight and no leaks, the other hoses and turbo have those one time clamp hoses
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

Hmmm, maybe not a bad idea. Can't hurt!

Chris

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I might have to take it to a shop this weekend
Expert:  Chris replied 3 months ago.

Gotcha. Try just doing a bleed hole trick first. may help.

Chris