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Old 06-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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3.6 Pentastar milky coolant, clogged heater core

A few months ago I noticed uneven cab heat. Cold on the drivers side, extremely hot on the passenger side. Brought my Jeep to the dealer and they told me the radiator needed to be replaced(?), a fitting installed on the heater core hose with a filter in it and the cooling system flushed. Within hours of getting my Jeep back the heater was blowing completely cold. Now they tell me the heater core needs to be replaced. When asked the cause the first explanation was radator stop leak installed at the factory?!?! Then was told that was incorrect and the issue is hard water was installed and the minerals are precipitating out in the cooling system. I don't believe either. Well, day before yesterday I noticed coolant leaking. It appears to be blowing out the radiator cap. It's running up my hood when I drive and splattering my windshield and getting in my intake. It leaves a white residue when it evaporates and the coolant in the radiator is milky. I think there is a corrosion issue in the motor. Anyone else experiencing this?

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Old 06-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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That sounds like it sucks. The last time I saw milky water was in an old Chevy truck, a head gasket had blown and oil was mixing with radiator fluid. Hopefully your warranty is still good.

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Old 06-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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I used to own a 2001 Land Rover Discovery II. It was a piece but I loved it because I could work on it on my own.

One of the big problems with the LR DIIs was that they'd often have oil leak into the coolant. What typically caused this was a bad head gasket. On a Land Rover, that was a $2,500 - $4,000 repair.

I am guessing your Jeep has a bad head gasket...
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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It's a 2012 with 15,000 miles on it. I've seen oil in the coolant before, this doesn't appear to be the issue. The residue isn't oily. It dries white and it's water soluble. Which brings me back to a corrosion issue, aluminum oxide is white but, the system is filled with coolant and water. The system was flushed about three weeks ago when they did the work at the dealer. Maybe time to lawyer up....
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Back in the day milky coolant meant a blown head gasket. Fortunately it doesn't seem nearly as common on modern engines. The "milkiness" wasn't necessarily from the oil mixing with the coolant, more the leaking compression (pressure, fuel, air, etc) from the engine into the coolant. We used to dip the gas probe into the TOP of the overflow bottle (not paying attention led to dipping the end into the coolant and killing the gas analyzer) to check for hydrocarbons, but I think there's a simple dye they use now that reacts to any unburnt fuel that might have found it's way from the cylinder to the water jacket. Either way, it sounds like a crock of poo you're getting from the dealer. They should take care of it under warranty and shouldn't give it back until they've fixed it, tested, fixed it again, and tested again. Sorry for your bad luck on this one. Hopefully they make it right for you.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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Just a thought, but have they checked your grounds and electrical system? I wonder if you have some weird electrolysis going on there.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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It's going back to the dealer next week for the heater core replacement. I'll ask them to check compression as there have been head issues reported. I'll ask about the electrical angle of it too, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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The long term life of these pentastars doesn't look very promising.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Wasn't this an issue with 3.8's in the past? They had some kind of sandy looking crap plugging up the heater cores. Think this is first time I heard it about a Pentastar.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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From other posters, apparently they did not properly clean the casting sand out of the heater core on a lot of 3.6s. It causes lack of heat, or poorly distributed heat.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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The cooling system was supposed to have been flushed three weeks ago. If it was then this production of white stuff is recurring. When the leaked coolant dries it leaves a white residue, reminds me of road salt but, it is bright white.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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Did someone mix the wrong coolants?
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #13
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If the coolant in your radiator is milky, then you have a mixture of coolant and oil, with the most likely cause being the head gasket. If not then I would guess that the dealership is trying to deal with the heater core issue mentioned above by putting something corrosive into your cooling system. But that doesn't explain why you are leaking coolant. Your engine must be running hot to be spitting out coolant. I wouldn't drive any distance until you get this back in to a mechanic that knows the history of your vehicle and does his research with known issue in manufacturing.

Good luck,
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #14
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Uh ooo

1'st they put in a new heater core then heater core #2,radiator,and NEW MOTOR.casting sand in the motor block.Started with NO heat on drivers side.Make them fix it right.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cnhmatthews View Post
Just a thought, but have they checked your grounds and electrical system? I wonder if you have some weird electrolysis going on there.
This. I was going to say grab a DVOM and see what's showing up in the coolant.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:28 AM   #16
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Im going with head gasket as well. Can you smell it while driving ? That burning coolant smell ? Is it me, or is it almost everyone that has had something somewhat major fixed at a dealer through warranty turn out to be worse off then when they started out? I know I have. Im pretty sure dealers are only good for oil changes and rotations at this point. Hope you get it fixed up.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:04 AM   #17
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Wonder if the Pentastar in other models are having these problems
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:14 AM   #18
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The leak could be as simple as a loose radiator cap.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:42 AM   #19
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I would say the all knowing dealer and their a+ mechanics prolly did a shiity coolant flush. The mechanic probably drained the coolant from the radiator then refilled with the 13 coolant. is the coolant pink or purple now?
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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If you have a coolant leak, while it is pooled up on the floor it would initially still have colour to it, correct? Just trying to diagnose some mysterious puddles of my own.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #21
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Did someone mix the wrong coolants?
I agree...this is most likely it!
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #22
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Some coolants leave a white residue like you describe. What color is the coolant that is in there now? Red?
Sounds to me like when it was "flushed" the coolant was replaced with something other than what it normally comes with. Actually sounds like the expensive long life stuff I use on my diesel.
What's going on with your cap leaking? That's a pressure cap that when on there properly shouldn't be blowing fluid.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:01 AM   #23
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I would not take it back to the same dealer. I would do some research and find the best dealer service dept in your area and take it there. Warranty work can be performed by any Jeep dealer, not just the one you bought it from.

Go by first, without your Jeep and ask to talk to a service writer or manager. Explain the issues you are having. If they are knowledgeable, and you get a good feel, take it to them.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #24
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I brought the Jeep back to the dealer last week for the heater core replacement. They had to remove the dash, etc to get to it. I got it back Monday. By Wednesday the heat was blowing hot then cold then hot again, kind of pulsating slow. Called the dealer, got it to them Thursday (it's still there). Talked to them earlier today and they explained they removed the water pump for inspection and removed heater core hoses. They found an obstruction in one of the heater core hoses as well as the filter they installed being clogged up with what appeared to be some kind of clay like substance, casting material i assume. They told me Chrysler did not tell them the filter had to be taken out after an unspecified amount of time. The cap leak was explained as an over pressure condition caused by the obstructions. They flushed it again. The filter was removed and new coolant installed. They want to keep it until Monday. Is there some casting process involved in heater core production? It looks like any other core I've seen. Little tubes and fins soldered together. Can't see how you could get casting material in there. 15,500 and the Interior has been removed, the front of the motor opened up and the coolant replaced three times. Three times a charm. Anyway called the Lemon Law Lawyer before I brought it back Thursday, gonna get that ball rolling.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:23 AM   #25
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They told me 5yr. red coolant
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:26 AM   #26
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If you have a coolant leak, while it is pooled up on the floor it would initially still have colour to it, correct? Just trying to diagnose some mysterious puddles of my own.
It's red, should be able to see through it I'm told, mine gets cloudy/ milky. Mine doesn't appear to have oil in it. Dries with a white residue.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:28 AM   #27
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1'st they put in a new heater core then heater core #2,radiator,and NEW MOTOR.casting sand in the motor block.Started with NO heat on drivers side.Make them fix it right.
Was this your experience?
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:30 AM   #28
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My water pump was replaced within the first 1,000 miles. One of the theories being tossed around on this forum was casting material.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #29
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My water pump was replaced within the first 1,000 miles. One of the theories being tossed around on this forum was casting material.
How's your heat?
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #30
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The material they use for casting is literally a sand. even mixed with oil, it feels gritty and clumps. It tears up bearings and cams and any moving part. Also clogs up filters. Doesn't tend to clump up into paste or sludge though.

I agree that it sounds like oil and coolant leaking. Probably a head gasket. And gaskets can fail do to contaminate (casting sand).

OP, you just ruined my day! I am going to be paranoid about casting sand now. We have had an issue with it in locomotive engines for a couple of years now. Bad stuff. If it is in there, the only REAL fix is a complete engine change, including any component that is connected to the lube oil and coolant systems. BIG $$$$$$

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