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Amedee
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 25235
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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I have a 2000 Dodge intrepid with 193,000 miles on it. In 12

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 2000 Dodge intrepid with 193,000 miles on it. In 12 years I have done regular maintenance. 1 front wheel bearing was replaced and after moving from AZ to back east and experiencing 2 snowy winters the serpentine belt was replaced. Traveling from virginia to michigan the radiator blew, so it is brand new.
Problem: I recently drove from Ann Arbor, Michigan to a small town in Texas. The car overheated all the way. First shop did diagnostics, found nothing and refilled the almost empty overflow tank and added a new cap. Car still overheated. Next shop did diagnostics and found nothing so I asked them to replace the thermostat. Still over heated. Third shop (90 miles from home, I was still in Michigan 3 days after departure) The third shop did diagnostics and found a pin point crack in the overflow tank. Tank was replaced. All shops ran diagnostics. Car still overheated and we drove to Texas in 85 degree weather with the heater blasting to keep the car from overheating. New radiator, overflow tank, thermostat, radiator cap, water pump ok, radiator fan ok. The heat was also heating up the console between the seats. Motor sounds quiet, smooth awesome after 16 years, but...what on earth could be wrong??????
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name isCustomerand I can assist you with your question. Does the cooling fan work? If so, does the engine temp cool down once the fan comes on or does it continue to heat up?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
HiCustomer yes the fan works. The car heats up despite the fan working, the new radiator, new thermostat and new overflow tank and lid. When I drove around town this past year (locally) at 45-60 mph it was fine, but the extended time driving at 70 caused it to overheat after 90 miles. The next day we got 10 miles before it overheated and the third day we got zero. These days we rode with the heater on max and the windows down.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

Was it checked for a blown head gasket? If so how and what were the results/readings?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
it was. results were negative. it a car had a blown head gasget what would the engine sound like? Just curious.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

It may not sound any different. It can still start and run just normal. Was the pressure checked in the cooling system when this happens?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
it was. 3 times. haha.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

And how much pressure builds up in the cooling system when the engine overheats?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
none of the 3 shops could find anything other than the small leak in the overflow tank which was replaced and the car still overheated.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

SO what was the reading?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry, I need to go get the receipts to answer that. Be back soon.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

Sounds good!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
HiCustomer again, I just moved in (here in Texas) and at the moment couldn't find where I put those receipts. Obviously not in the usual place yet in a file box or clove compartment. Argh.. Sorry. Off hand I just know "everything was tested and ruled out by the 3 auto shops, except the small hole in the overflow tank. We thought, when they found that, that we were home free. But as soon as we left the shop it started over heating and the heater got turned on again. Shoot me..
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
In the beginning it was the hills that pushed the temp up, I can go 45 and nothing happens also. So the 70 miles an hour affects it as do the hills.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.
This is usually caused by a blown head gasket.
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.
Provided there are no air pockets in the cooling system and the coolant temp sensor is reading properly.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
a year ago when the radiator was replaced they failed to bleed out the air and I drove from West Virginia to Michigan with the heater on. I took it into a dodge dealer immediately and they bled out the air pockets, which the WV shop obviously hadn't. Car was fine this year in town and on the freeway...at all speeds, but no big hills. So when I left to head to Texas, I was so surprised when it started over heating after the first 90 miles??? So if it is a head gasket, is it worth fixing? I have no idea what that really is. The engine is so smooth and quiet: the car has been amazing all these years. I'm attached. haha
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

The fix may not be worth the cost of the vehicle if it turns out to be a bad head gasket. However, if it is worth it to you because your attached to the vehicle, you can still get it fixed. Once it is fixed, this engine should run for at least another 100,000 miles.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
thanks for the help. Guess I'll think about it. I'm now in the boonies with family and don't need a car now, but I'll think about it. Thank youCustomer
Expert:  Amedee replied 8 months ago.

Your welcome! Have a great night!

I am glad I can help!

It has been a pleasure working with you. Please dont forget to honor your good faith deposit by rating my answer as "Excellent Service" for assisting you today.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.