2004 Dodge Stratus overheating, I've tried everything,


CarRookie27
10-31-2009, 04:53 PM
Please help, I am at my wits end! I have a 2004 Dodge Stratus with 150k mi on it. It started to overheat about a month ago so I took it into the repair shop and they identified a bad water-pump and they replaced it $878. I drove it for 2 days (non highway) and it was fine. I then put it on the expressway and it overheated again. I took it back and they said it was the thermostat and they replaced it $109. The same thing it overheated again and this time they said it was the radiator. I then paid for them to replace the radiator (and thermostat again so they say)$289. They have bled the line , looked at the 'valves' and so on. Still nothing. Please help, I am out of money and drive 60 mi one way to work!:1zhelp::crying::crying::crying: Please can somebody diagnose this problem???

billieblubird
10-31-2009, 07:45 PM
girl i know how ur feeling. im not a mechanic but i can tell you my mechanic said i needed something called a bleeder which was the temperature sensor, and he also said that it was a factory part. yeah right there 25.00 online with napa auto parts.also what about your radiator cap? and i know you need your car now but you need to contact the automotive repair bureau, if your in the garage for the same problem and they keep charging you, you need to report that.

CarRookie27
10-31-2009, 07:58 PM
Thank you very much, throughout all of this he never even mentioned this temperature sensor. I will report the garage also, thanks again.

serge_saati
10-31-2009, 09:00 PM
they identified a bad water-pump and they replaced it $878.
Replacing the water pump shouldn't cost that much. It should cost 495$ at max including labor. Even if it's drived by chain.

I took it back and they said it was the thermostat and they replaced it $109.

It's too much, it should cost 55$ max. I replaced a thermostat in a Hyundai Accent myself, it costs to me 12$ + 1L of antifreeze.

1) First of all, do you have an antifreeze leak? Check the fluid level.

2) Try to open the the purge valve or the radiator cap, then start the engine to see if you have air in your system. Do that only when engine temperature is very low. (110F max).

3) Do your heater work? A no working heater can show that the coolant doesn't circulate properly in the hoses. If it works, use your heater at max to cool down when it over heat. It helps a lot.

4) Open your hood, and see if the coolant hoses are not obstructed or something.

5) When your engine start to heat (180F), open the hood and touch the hose that connect the radiator to the thermostat. It's hot? If not, then you have a big problem.

6) Check if there's no dust or dirt in front of your radiator, if so, clean them.

7) Does your radiator fan start when your engine get about 210F?

8) Check the spring in the radiator cap.

What is the top temperature when it overheat? Do you have fume from your engine?

They crook you a lot, I'm sure your radiator was good, and your 2nd thermostat too. I suggest you to find another mechanic. Usually, garage shop charges you more and doesn't do their job well.

You can make a complaint against them.

stingray4me
11-01-2009, 10:11 PM
Check the lower radiator hose too when engine is hot. It may be weak and collapsed and not allowing water to go through.
When you squeeze it there should be a spring on the inside too.

CarRookie27
11-02-2009, 06:29 AM
The lower radiator hose is not hot but it looks/feels fine to the touch. Is the spring inside the hose?

stingray4me
11-02-2009, 06:50 AM
Yes, on the inside. I've been getting quite familiar with stratus lately since I took the motor & transmission out of one & put the trans in another car & replaced timming belt, tensioner & water pump in another & put the timming belt correctly on another one we bought. We now have a 2002 & 1 running 2001 & a 2001 parts car all 4 doors with the 2.4 dohc. so let me know if you ever need help with the timming belt replacement.

CarRookie27
11-02-2009, 07:04 AM
Assuming that the work I've already paid for was done correctly, what else could be causing the car to overheat? I don't believe the auto mechanic checked sensors although he did say he checked the valves and that the head is fine. I'll probably have to pay for the dealer to take a look at it. I see this nozzle that I've been told should be loosened when the car is at temp to release air. Are you familiar with this?

stingray4me
11-02-2009, 10:44 AM
The only nozzle I can think of what your talking about is next to the radiator cap. That wouldn't make a difference. There isn't any water on your dipstick is there ? If there is it would be a headgasket needing replacement & would cause you to overheat. I just looked in the haynes manual on overheating & looks like you covered all the other stuff like waterpump, thermostat, radiator & fans.

serge_saati
11-02-2009, 12:19 PM
I see this nozzle that I've been told should be loosened when the car is at temp to release air. Are you familiar with this?

There's nozzles on the metallic cooling line near water pump and near the thermostat. I'm not sure where they're specifically located on the Stratus cause it's different on each car. You can send us a picture under the hood.

Or you can check in your owner manual, they should tell you where is it.

Put gloves when you do that, so you will not be burned with the hot fluid.


There isn't any water on your dipstick is there ? If there is it would be a headgasket needing replacement & would cause you to overheat.

It's a very possible thought. Check your oil dipstick, it should be brown/black between the min and max zone. If it's more the max or if it's dark green, orange... then there's problem with your gasket. At which portion of the gauge the needle have been? To the max temp?

I don't think the sensors will cause this problem.

serge_saati
11-04-2009, 12:29 PM
Forgot to mention that temp sensor controls the fan only. It's used only when you running slowly.

Because it overheats in highway, it's not a problems with sensors.

CarRookie27
11-05-2009, 08:02 PM
You all have been so helpful, thank you so much. I am taking her to the dealer tomorrow and hope to get the problem diagnosed for sure. From what you all have told me, it sounds like the work that was done was inadequate. And I will consult my uncle (the attorney) immediately after the Dodge dealer tells me what is wrong to start litigation. Hopefully it's something small, I do know I do not have any foreign fluids on my dipstick (which is the same one that came with the car). And with me basically replacing the cooling system on the car, if the gaskets are good it would have to be something I've already paid to have repaired. Thanks again.

hundahunta
11-08-2009, 04:34 AM
fan motor?? relay...

serge_saati
11-08-2009, 10:40 AM
fan motor?? relay...
She already have checked the fans. They work.

serge_saati
12-07-2009, 10:18 PM
I don't know if they found the problem up to now (I expect:)).
While diagnosing a Windstar, I discover that a stuck closed EGR valve can cause the engine too overheat. If the DPFE sensor or EGR regulator is bad, the valve is not working properly and can overheat engine. The valve itself can be wrong too.

RDizzle109
01-03-2010, 10:49 AM
If its the 2.4L it doesn't have an EGR valve it uses exhaust cam phasers for internal EGR control. not sure about the 2.7L V6 or 3.0L.

CarRookie27
02-10-2010, 08:02 PM
Wow! Thank you guys really so much.SO now I've got the engine replaced and there is a clicking noise when I hit the gas. What could that be?

serge_saati
02-10-2010, 10:44 PM
That's not normal for a new engine. You should go back to the dealer, cause the engine is still on warranty.

It may be the cylinder valve rocker arm that click.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/thebense/vtece.jpg

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