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Steve, Service Manager
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ Years experience as a professional working automotive technician; ASE L1 master technician
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2001 Dodge: Water in the radiator does not seem to get hot

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My 2001 Dodge Ram 2005 does not heat inside - Water in the radiator does not seem to get hot.
   If the radiator coolant is not coming up to normal operating temperature 9195 degrees F) then the only possible cause would be a faulty thermostat.    The thermostat's job is to shut off coolant flow through the radiator untill normal operating emperatuere is reached; if the coolant is not getting hot then the thermostat is either not closing fully, is out of calibration, or is the incorrect one for the truck.     Nothing else will make an engine run too cold.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The thermostat is a new one, and it was heating at first, but then gradually quit. The truck does not overheat. Do you still think that it has to be the thermostat? The temperature gage shows the correct temperature, but the water in the radiator does not get hot and there is no heat fromthe heater.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Waiting on a reply from my questions from 4:19 yesterday, March 9th.
The only component involved in bringing the engine up to temperatuer is the thermostat.    the engine is constantly producing heat as it is running; the thermostat is the component that allows cooling to take effect or not.
   Have you actually measured the temperature?   What you describe is not consistent with a temperature gauge that is reading mid range, unless there is some problem with the gauge...    We need to know if the engine is actually reaching 195 degrees or not. This is critical; if the engine is NOT reaching 195 degrees, diagnosis and repair goes in one direction; if the engine actually IS reaching 195 but the heater is not blowing warm air, diagnostic testing goes in a completely different direction.   
   Do you have a scan tool with live data capability available, to be able to see what the coolant temperature is that is being read through the engine's coolant temperature sensor?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


I have no way of knowing if you are someone working at home, or a smaller repair shop, or an independent mechanic; we get questions from all kinds of people...    I have learned to always ask what kind of tools or equipment you might ahve to work with.   many people that do their own work at home do invest in buying scan tools, as tehya re a required tool for a lot of different repairs.
    if you don't have access to one, you can still check the temperature that your engine is running at by placing a thermometer (such as a meat thermometer) in the radiator neck, and running the engine untill the thermostat opens.   When the thermostat opens fully, you will see liquid coolant flowing past the radiator neck.   The temperature at this point should be 195 degrees if the thermostat is working properly.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I can have Randy check this when he gets home from work this afternoon. I will then get back to you with the results. Thank you for your help. I will let you know what we find out.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They checked the water in the radiator, after is had been running for some time, the water in the radiator is still cold. The water does not get warm at all. I hope this helps you.
If the radiator coolant emperature is cold, then you need to replace teh thermostat; there IS no other possible cause for the engine coolant to be too cold.
   I realize you have already replaced it once, but obviously it is out of calibration or not functioning correctly.   It is always possible to get a bad one, especially if it is one from a discount auto parts supplier.     in our shop we had so many bad thermostats from parts stores that we now only install OE thermostats from the dealer.   The original equipment thermostat for this truck is less than $10 at any Dodge dealer parts department...
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