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Wayne Crawford
Wayne Crawford, Shop Owner
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4017
Experience:  MO Safety/Emissions Certified on all makes and models with a strong electronics background aiding in electrical troubleshooting.
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I have a 2010 Grand Caravan with 72000 miles on it. The

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 2010 Grand Caravan with 72000 miles on it. The vehicle seems to be running hot. The temperature is ok while driving, but in heavy stop and go traffic, or slow hill climbs, the temperature gauge will climb and fluctuate between the 1/2 and 3/4 mark. It never goes past the 3/4 mark, but it will start running a little rougher once it gets that hot. It does the same thing whether the AC is on or off. The radiator hoses seem fine, there aren't any leaks and there's no noise coming from the water pump. The fan will turn on, but doesn't seem to stay on long enough, or come on soon enough when driving. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. I would start by checking or replacing the radiator cap. Next I would run a hydrocarbon test to check for combustion gases in the cooling system. It sounds like the beginning stages of a failing head gasket.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'll give those couple things a shot. I'm hoping we don't have a head gasket issue in our future.Thanks!
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

Heres to hope but I wouldnt hold your breath. Hopefully Im wrong but just be prepared.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If it were a head gasket issue, wouldn't I be losing coolant in some fashion? I just changed the oil as well, and I drained at least 4 quarts and it didn't seem that there was any intermixing of coolant or loss of oil. I'm not getting any smoke out of the exhaust either. Just observations of mine. It seems more like the fan isn't turning on at proper intervals. Should the fan kick on once the temp hits the 1/2 mark? Also, when the AC is turned on, should the fan turn on and stay on as long as the AC is cranking? The fan only runs intermittently when the AC is on and again only turns on intermittently after the temp gauge hits the half mark until it nears the 3/4 mark, then it will run until the temp gauge drops to the 1/2 mark. The whole thing is weird to me.
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

The fan should ALWAYS run just at a slow speed. Then when the AC pressure rises or the temp rises to 230 it should go full speed.

Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

You dont have to leak anything for a head gasket to be developing a leak. What I suspect is a leak between the combustion chamber and a water jacket. When its just starting it wont leak until it has the 150PSI or so of pressure from the combustion chamber pushing on it.. what that does is allow combustion in the cooling system but when you turn the engine off the 20 PSI of pressure from the cooling system isnt strong enough to push past the tiny leak so no coolant goes into the combustion chamber.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I ran the hydrocarbon test and it's showing negative for any gases. Is it fair to say there's not a head gasket issue?I have an appointment to see a mechanic tomorrow, but would like to cross the easy stuff off the list before taking it. Any other suggestions or things I should check?
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

Not yet. Run the test while brake torquing it.. try to simulate the conditions where it runs hot while brake torquing it, Pretend you are on a slow hill climb and get the throttle to the same position.. Try to actually get it to run a little hot at the same time.

Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 2 years ago.

If your fan is not running at all until a certain point I would replace it.. it should always be spinning just at a slower speed.