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Instructor jp
Instructor jp, Technical Instructor Master ASE
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  14 Years manufacture instructor
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I have a 2009 Journey and the coolant reservoir empties within

Customer Question

I have a 2009 Journey and the coolant reservoir empties within minutes of driving. It is in the Dodge service for repair. They cannot find where it leaks.

Any suggestions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.

Hello cyndy.


Can you tell me what engine you have?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well V-6 I just received the call from the Dodge dealer they cannot duplicate the problem. I cannot believe it. Even the coolant case turned orange I am guessing it is burned. I am at a loss for words
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.



Thank you. You have one of two 2.7 or a 3.5. Your coolant factory color is orange. 50 50 mix of water and coolant.





Customer: replied 8 years ago.

sorry it is 3.5 and the coolant case has always been the white despite the coolant color.


Why would the coolant come out and pour on to the driveway and street and now it cannot be duplicated. Can that happen?

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.

Thank you,


One of a few reasons.

Engine runs hot due to low pressure on the cooling system.

1. leak a pressure test will show the leak. If not external then internal.


2. Radiator cap is faulty not holding pressure can be tested with a pressure gauge tool.


3 bad head gasket allowing pressure from a cylinder to leak into the cooling system over pressurizing the system.



Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.



How fast does it take for the coolant to spill out?

Do you hear the cooling fans running at anytime?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It probably takes very few minutes and all is spilled. I can tell you the air conditioning is running. I am not sure if I would know that the cooling fans were on.
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.

Ok thank you,


So, From cold in five minutes you have coolant leaking out of the reserve bottle?

You may just have a bad radiator cap.


What else have they told you??



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

They did all the above that you mentioned. How could you tell if the cap on the coolant was bad? Doesn't the cap loosen to allow the pressure out of the cap?

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.




Here is information on testing the cap and tools. THe cap is to hold 18psi of pressure and should never allow pressure to be lost bellow that number.





CAUTION: Vehicles equipped with 2.4L engines use a different pressure cap than vehicles equipped with 2.7L engines. The pressure caps are NOT interchangeable. Verify proper pressure cap part number.

Dip the pressure cap in water. Clean any deposits off the vent valve or its seat and apply cap to end of the Pressure Cap Test Adaptor that is included with the Cooling System Tester 7700. Working the plunger, bring the pressure to 104 kPa (15 psi) on the gauge. If the pressure cap fails to hold pressure of at least 97 kPa (14 psi), replace the pressure cap.

CAUTION: The Cooling System Tester Tool is very sensitive to small air leaks that will not cause cooling system problems. A pressure cap that does not have a history of coolant loss should not be replaced just because it leaks slowly when tested with this tool. Add water to the tool. Turn tool upside down and recheck pressure cap to confirm that cap is bad.

If the pressure cap tests properly while positioned on Cooling System Tester but will not hold pressure or vacuum when positioned on the filler neck. Inspect the filler neck and cap top gasket for irregularities that may prevent the cap from sealing properly.





Belt Tension Gauge Adapter - 8371

Hose Clamp Pliers 8495
Hose Clamp Pliers 6094

Filling Aid Funnel 8195
Cooling System Tester 7700

Coolant Refractometer 8286
Release Tool 8875A

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The cap has a blue color I believe the blue spot has to line up with the hose. If it is on the red color it means it does not line up. This I figured out by playing with the cap.
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.

Is the car at the dealer?


Is the cap not fully locked?


I can not believe a dealer will be unable to lock the cap.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Yes the car is at the dealer. No I am sorry the dealer had no problem with the lock. I meant when the car broke down I was observing the cap.


Right now the service manager is driving it home to duplicate the problem. I will get a call in the morning. Would you like me to contact you?

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 8 years ago.

Hello Cyndy,


Sorry for the late reply. dinner.

It may be you have a radiator cap that is indeed bad. If the car was moving and began loosing coolant it can be an overheat issue or a loss of cooling system pressure.


Let me know how it works out. I know it is under warranty but I just want to make sure your car is fixed.




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