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Old 01-12-2019, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,082 posts, read 1,539,895 times
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The car in question is a 2005 Dodge Caravan that just over heated. Using the general forum because this issue can hit any car. Had a Jaguar XJ-12 with the exact same mystery issue some time ago.

In 2010 this same problem occurred. It was the radiator cap that time. Ran low on anti-freeze in 2018 so I bought another radiator cap. Well - it just happened again. Only 4 miles from home, only ~10 minutes from starting the engine. Would not have noticed but the car started "beeping" to let me know to stop and check things out.

It just took 7 quarts of water and anti-freeze to top it off. It does not seem to leak. Had not run hot until this morning. Not even a little hotter. Though I noticed that the heater was working very intermittently last week. Alternating between blowing cool and hot air. Thought that was odd.

Preparing for a very long trip and nervous about this event.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,125 posts, read 9,284,628 times
Reputation: 7871
How does the oil look? How about the oil cap?
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Here and there, you decide.
11,699 posts, read 22,986,002 times
Reputation: 3973
2005 caravan is all you had to say. Dollars to donuts blown head gasket. Probably cracked the heads. This is extremely common in the caravans
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:40 PM
 
455 posts, read 337,193 times
Reputation: 1008
Pressure test the system first. It could be leaking in a weird hidden spot. Do a good visual inspection of all the hoses and clamps. If you have rear HVAC, it's possible the heater hoses running to the back are leaking. I've heard about certain Chrysler minivan engines having leaky intake manifold gaskets. Worst case scenario, you have a blown HG.

Definitely don't take the van on a long trip until you track down the problem.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,082 posts, read 1,539,895 times
Reputation: 4148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
How does the oil look? How about the oil cap?
Oil looks fine. Engine runs great. I think I just have a leak somewhere.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,082 posts, read 1,539,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclasser View Post
Pressure test the system first. It could be leaking in a weird hidden spot. Do a good visual inspection of all the hoses and clamps. If you have rear HVAC, it's possible the heater hoses running to the back are leaking. I've heard about certain Chrysler minivan engines having leaky intake manifold gaskets. Worst case scenario, you have a blown HG.

Definitely don't take the van on a long trip until you track down the problem.
I'm pretty confident it is simply leaking somewhere. The engine is now almost 15 years old - built in 2004. Car was a gem - until today. This is literally the worst it has ever treated me. Had to walk/run almost 4 miles on snowy roads with boots. Bit of a work out.

It was pretty cold - about 15F. Could have been a factor.

Canceling the 5000 miles of driving that was going to start in a couple days.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:25 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,438 posts, read 1,453,521 times
Reputation: 3696
If it's leaking that much antifreeze externally, there will be a puddle. Maybe put some cardboard under it overnight to help get an idea where it's coming out.

But yeah, head gasket failure is common on those engines. Check for an exhaust smell or soot in the coolant. Check to see if the radiator hoses immediately pressurize when you start the engine. Run the radiator overflow into a clear jug of water and see if you have a constant supply of air coming out... particularly if it increases when you load the engine against the torque converter.

If you confirm a blown head gasket, don't drive it that way for long. It'll make it to the shop, but if you continue driving it that way, it'll do subsequent damage.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Pac. NW
1,916 posts, read 1,398,211 times
Reputation: 3394
Oil is lighter than water/coolant. Remove the oil pan drain plug. If water comes out it's a blown head gasket. If the car pumps steam out of the exhaust when at full temp, the coolant is being burned in the cylinders. Pull out the oil dipstick. If it has foamy sludge in it coolant is leaking into the crankcase.

If the water pump has failed, it'll overheat and warp the head. Loosen the belt to turn the pump by hand - the pump should turn freely with no sign of bearings binding. If the cooling system has an external leak the coolant level will be too low to cool the engine and it'll overheat.

A blown head gasket doesn't have to be severe or obvious. A small gap is all it takes to cause a problem. The engine can run like a dream and still have a seeping gasket.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:55 AM
 
8,986 posts, read 9,827,013 times
Reputation: 6853
https://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/...nt_leaks.shtml
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: rural south west UK
3,233 posts, read 1,855,637 times
Reputation: 3661
sounds like a blown cylinder head gasket to me, my old car did that, ran alright but had trouble up steep hills, finally it wouldn't go very far. garage job very expensive, so just changed the car.
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