Last post on Oct 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM
You are in the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan
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Chrysler Town and Country, Engine, Van
#1 of 2 Minivan Overheating
Oct 18, 2010 (5:10 pm)
I have a problem with a minivan that my brother wants me to look at.
1998 Town and Country 3.8 149,000 Miles.
I can idle in the driveway for quite a while with no issues, but the heat does not work. The temperature indicator goes up about half-way, and is steady.
As soon as I go about 100 feet down the road, the temperature gauge spikes all the way up, the dash lights up with warnings, and if I go more than a few hundred feet, I begin to see smoke coming from under the hood. It's hard to tell where exactly the smoke (or steam? looks and smells like smoke) is coming from.
No leaks in the radiator, plenty of coolant, the radiator fans are blowing like crazy...
After I shut it down, if I open the oil fill cap, a small amount of smoke wafts out of this opening.
The A/C seems to work, but the heat does not seem to work at all. I haven't left the van running for long enough to really try out much else, because it overheats so fast I don't want to cause any (more) damage.
So... I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to take it into the shop, but I'd like to be informed of what this could possibly be before I get taken advantage of at the stealership.
#2 of 2 Re: Minivan Overheating [yellowcup]
Oct 18, 2010 (5:24 pm)
Sure sounds like a failed head gasket to me, but I'm not a mechanic. I'd recommend getting a pressure test on your cooling system. It sounds like coolant is making its way into the crankcase and, therefore, the oil. Remove the dipstick and see if you can smell coolant on it. Is the oil thinned out? Also, check the coolant level when the engine is cold. Remove the radiator cap and check to see if coolant is all the way to the top. Sounds like there may be air in the cooling passages which may explain why no heat. If coolant is down, top it off before driving it anywhere to have it looked at.