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Old 11-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
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over heating issue...

I washed my jeep's engine compartment one day and drove it to the store. About two or three miles from home i heard the BEEP, like the low fuel beep, and saw the check gauges light on. What do i see, my engine temp slipping into the red area. I put the heater on high and pull off the road and into a car wash that was conveniently placed. I cut the jeep off, pop the hood, and in about 5 minutes (i'm impatient) i fire the jeep up for a few seconds and cut it off to cycle new hotter water into the heater coil. A few minutes later i fire it up and the needle starts to fall where it comes to a rest at about 210. I immediately go home and let it cool, check the coolant level and it's fine. Take if for a short test drive and it was fine and stayed fine for a few weeks. Today this happened to me again, minus the washing part. Was in the mountains, running slow speeds on a gravel road and it started running hot again. Only thing I can think of is the thermostat is sticking. Any other ideas?

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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Could be the thermostat. I'd replace it anyhow its cheap.

Also check to see if the temp sensor wire didn't get knocked loose a bit and has good connection.

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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since it comes and goes, checking the thermostat is kinda pointless(toss in boiling water to see if it opens or not) you may get lucky and it would stick but the odds are against you. On the good side, it's a fairly cheap part and a pretty easy job. I'd say replace it and see what happens.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:07 PM   #4
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Addition: both times the coolant was noticeably hotter than normal.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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Already have the part, don't have to/get to drive it for a few days, so i was am just looking for any other input.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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maybe the fan clutch is bad the fan isnt spining fast?
when its in red is the radiator hot? if not then the thermostat.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:35 PM   #7
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i've noticed if i put it on the highway or go atleast 45 it stays where it should. Even coasted down a steep grade for maybe a mile or so and actually brought the temp down to 195 or so.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #8
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i've noticed if i put it on the highway or go atleast 45 it stays where it should. Even coasted down a steep grade for maybe a mile or so and actually brought the temp down to 195 or so.
sounds like a fan to me.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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I would do the thermostat still. Did it in my old XJ in about an hour.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #10
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If it cools off when you're cruising it may be either a plugged radiator (or crap plugging the cooling fins) or a bad fan clutch (or slipping fan belt).
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:31 PM   #11
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Sounds like a fan clutch problem. Mine would overheat when wheeling, not just driving around. Also, if you have been mudding at all, wash out the fins of your radiator at the car wash. I had that problem before as well. Had a lot of dirt covering the fins so it would not cool.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:39 PM   #12
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If it cools off when you're cruising it may be either a plugged radiator (or crap plugging the cooling fins) or a bad fan clutch (or slipping fan belt).
I'm with him on this one I would flush rad and put new thermostat ,clean fins, check all hose check temp sensor. Then make sure u do test run in same conditions as u where having the problem.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:41 PM   #13
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is there a foam or spray i can use to clean the fins. my buddy works for an hvac company and he cleaned the fins on my residential a/c with some kind of cleaner that foamed up and pulled the debris out. is there anything like this for radiators?
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #14
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is there a foam or spray i can use to clean the fins. my buddy works for an hvac company and he cleaned the fins on my residential a/c with some kind of cleaner that foamed up and pulled the debris out. is there anything like this for radiators?
try pressure wash
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:57 PM   #15
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spoke with my buddy and he said he uses the same stuff on his radiators. it's not an acid it's actually an alcaloid. If foams up and pulls the dirt out. He's going to try to get me some.
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Automated jeep wave... Just in case i missed you on the road or trail.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:19 PM   #16
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spoke with my buddy and he said he uses the same stuff on his radiators. it's not an acid it's actually an alcaloid. If foams up and pulls the dirt out. He's going to try to get me some.
I dont think dirt is gonna affect it otherwise your engine would be hot no matter you drive fast or slow.
the way to test it when engines cold, you should be able to spin it. when engine is warmed up also radiator is warm or even hot, it should lock up.

"he way I diagnose a fan clutch is pretty simple. Start with the car off. Jiggle the fan forward and back. If there is any play at the clutch shaft, its bad. Give the fan a spin. It should move freely, but stop almost instantly, as if the clutch were filled with mashed potatoes. Start the engine. The fan should turn pretty briskly; almost as fast as the crank. Now use a rolled up newspaper to gently try and stop the fan. You should be able to when its cool. Throw away the ruined newspaper Rev the engine, you should notice that the fan increases speed, but not proportionally to the crank speed. The clutch is full of viscous fluid, so the air friction on the fan starts overcoming the friction of the fluid in the clutch and it stops accelerating with the engine. The fan won't roar. Then let it get hot. You might have to drive it around some stop and go streets to get it to lock up the clutch. Now when you acclerate, you should hear the fan roaring a little louder. If you stop the car, shut off the engine, and try to spin the fan, it shouldn't move."
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:05 PM   #17
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I did just realize that when the reason i washed the jeep was due to playing off road and pulling a buddy out who covered the front of my jeep with sand. It was a pretty good bit. I'm gonna go ahead an clean the radiator fins and see what comes out, probly change to a 160 degree opening thermostat, and i'll check the clutch while i'm at it.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #18
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I did just realize that when the reason i washed the jeep was due to playing off road and pulling a buddy out who covered the front of my jeep with sand. It was a pretty good bit. I'm gonna go ahead an clean the radiator fins and see what comes out, probly change to a 160 degree opening thermostat, and i'll check the clutch while i'm at it.
check the fan first
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:19 PM   #19
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probly change to a 160 degree opening thermostat
The 160 thermostat won't solve the overheating it will just delay it.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:46 AM   #20
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i'll post on wed after checking. I'll check fan first, if thats not it, i'll do the thermostat and pull the radiator for a good cleaning.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:16 AM   #21
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Thumbs up Heating issue

Everyone has given good suggestions. #1 clean radiator with pressure washer to get out anything in the fins. If you have a/c both units need to be washed of junk #2 Dont even consider the 160 thermostat put in a 190 that is an open fail unit... Robert shaw thermostats are open fail, that means if the t-stat fails it fails in the open position only. Has your t-stat ever been changed? good luck
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:20 AM   #22
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not sure if the t-stat has ever been changed, it's an 04, i bught it in 07. I haven't changed it, prior to that only previous owner would know.
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Automated jeep wave... Just in case i missed you on the road or trail.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:33 AM   #23
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not sure if the t-stat has ever been changed, it's an 04, i bught it in 07. I haven't changed it, prior to that only previous owner would know.
well if its working you dont need to change it. according to what you said its working.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:06 AM   #24
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I dont think dirt is gonna affect it otherwise your engine would be hot no matter you drive fast or slow.
"
I beg to differ. If the cooling fins are blocked or damaged you don't get enough airflow at slow speed to adequately cool the engine. As your speed increases the amount of airflow increases to a point that the undamaged or unplugged portion of the radiator can keep temperatures within the normal operating range. If the radiator is plugged from the inside, then you're correct...no matter how fast you drive there isn't enough coolant flow to keep the temps down.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:17 AM   #25
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A couple of coolant system diagnosis sites to look at:

Steve Litt's Overheating Guide

Troubleshooting Professional Magazine

If your heater is putting out lots of heat then your coolant level and water pump appear okay.

If your top radiator hose is hot then the thermostat appears to be opening.

If your bottom radiator hose is hot, like the top, then there's no cooling going on at the radiator (no heat exchange). Likely a fan problem or external clogging (like a piece of cardboard in front of your radiator).

If there's no gradual temperature change going down the radiator, then radiator appears to be restricted internally.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #26
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replaced thermostat, looks like it fixed it. Let it idle for a while (normal time i've been noticing it climb over 210) and it's stayed just below 210. Noticed back side of radiator is pretty dad burn muddy, gonna clean it just cause it's the right thing to do. Brother stole garden hose to take to job site he's working on.

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