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JackB03

Coolant Issue - Help

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Hey everyone. New to the forum, but having an urgent issue so hopefully this is the right place.

 

I have a 2012 Dodge Journey. The family and I are from Texas and recently took a cold trip to Colorado. We were driving back tonight and ended up in Kanasa before the coolant temp sensor alerted us that it was overheating. It got to about 271 degrees and was constantly chirping at me.

 

We pulled over to a hotel but plan on taking it to a mechanic that’s about 3 mins up the road in the morning.

 

With that said, should I put any water in the coolant or just wing it going to the mechanic? I’m not sure if water will help or hurt, I just don’t want anything further to mess up on the way to the mechanics shop.

 

Thank you!

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As long as its cooled down and it still has coolant, just start it up in the morning and drive straight the mechanic shop.  I think you'll likely be fine.   

BUT, check the oil to make sure it isn't light brown and frothy, coolant in your oil can mean head gasket failure.   I wouldn't want to run the engine in that condition.  If that's the case, you may want to get a tow.  Hopefully others will chime in.  I'm not a mechanic.  Good luck. 

 

Peace. 

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Thanks for the help! I will definitely check that in the morning.

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First thing is to check the coolant level. Hopefully, it is low from a simple leak, such as a hose. That is the easiest fix in the long run but you do not want to drive if you do not have enough and/or the leak is bad. Adding water, for a short distance drive, is not a problem as long as you pay attention to the temperature. Take a few minutes under the hood and look around for evidence of an external leak and do check the oil, as JackB03 suggested, just in case. Look for any pooled coolant on exposed surfaces or evidence of flowing water in the dust and dirt under the hood. The hoses, especially around the clamps at the end, are the most common failure points. Did you notice any steam or the smell of coolant before shutting it down?  Beyond that, you are entering into the realm of more extensive repairs, such as a radiator or water pump, best diagnosed in a better sitting than a parking lot at a hotel.

 

If the coolant is not low, the next question is did it really overheat or were you getting false signals from a bad sensor? No point in speculating or worrying further until the simple and more likely is ruled out. If in doubt, a tow is cheaper, less hassle, and the pain subsides much quicker than the alternative.

 

Good luck.

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Just looked under the hood this morning and the reservoir looks empty. Is this any easy fill or is this a bad sign?

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I would add the water. If the reservoir is empty you have low, little, or no coolant.  Any signs of Leakage?  Wet hoses, etc.?  You need to have it carefully checked...

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59 minutes ago, JackB03 said:

Just looked under the hood this morning and the reservoir looks empty. Is this any easy fill or is this a bad sign?

 

Yes it’s an easy fill. Open the cap and add water. 

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Thanks everyone! 

 

Just took it in to get looked at. They added coolant and tested fine but they felt wetness underneath the radiator but was not dripping. 

 

So they think its a very, very small crack in the radiator. They in some K-Seal and gave me a gallon of 50/50, then said to check the level in about an hour and half of my drive.

 

i got a 7 hr trip in front of me so hopefully it holds up.

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31 minutes ago, JackB03 said:

Thanks everyone! 

 

Just took it in to get looked at. They added coolant and tested fine but they felt wetness underneath the radiator but was not dripping. 

 

So they think its a very, very small crack in the radiator. They in some K-Seal and gave me a gallon of 50/50, then said to check the level in about an hour and half of my drive.

 

i got a 7 hr trip in front of me so hopefully it holds up.

well we will be hearing from Jack again either sooner or later,

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22 hours ago, JackB03 said:

Thanks everyone! 

 

Just took it in to get looked at. They added coolant and tested fine but they felt wetness underneath the radiator but was not dripping. 

 

So they think its a very, very small crack in the radiator. They in some K-Seal and gave me a gallon of 50/50, then said to check the level in about an hour and half of my drive.

 

i got a 7 hr trip in front of me so hopefully it holds up.

 

 

Be sure to thank them for completely ruining your engines cooling system. As well as your interior heating system. 

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Would it be ruined due to the K-Seal? I’ve never heard of it before so I’m not familiar with it.

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Usually plugs not only a small hole, but the radiator, heater cores, and engine block.  I know your far from home but would have been better just to replace the radiator(if that’s what’s leaking). When you do replace the radiator, and don’t wait, have a complete coolant system flush and clean.  You might get lucky.

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Take it in ASAP, have the system properly diagnosed by a trusted mechanic, and get it repaired. The stuff used is intended as a short-term, temporary fix at best. Many, including myself, would not use it but I certainly understand your situation. Just follow thru immediately, get the vehicle repaired properly, and make sure the garage understands your concerns and flushes the entire system.

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