Truck's drinking too much coolant? - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-14-2010, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Truck's drinking too much coolant?

She left me alongside the road(sounds like a country song lol) the other night, overheated being on the highway for about 20 minutes doing about 80mph. I let it cool down and got to a gas station, bought some overpriced coolant and took care of it. This is the second time she's done this to me in the last few months. What's up with using all this coolant? It doesn't seem normal to use up all this coolant, I've gotta refill the coolant tank about once a month, and I keep a full jug of the stuff in the truck all the time just in case.

2000 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4x4 5.2L V8, Tow Package
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-15-2010, 02:42 AM
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When it overheats, do you just fill the tank back up or are you making sure the rad is full too? Any leaks?

When it's running properly, what kind of temperature does it normally run? Does it fluctuate at all or just stay put until it just one day overheats?

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-15-2010, 03:44 AM
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Are there any check engines lights for cyl missfire?

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-15-2010, 08:49 AM
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are you the kind of guy willing to modify your truck to get better reliability, or are you into just keeping it stock?

jdb, Ft. Hood, TX
1999 Dodge Ram 360 V-8, diesel radiator, 180 degree thermostat, flow-kooler high perf water pump, automatic, tow package (stock tranny cooler removed for one 3 times the stock size, fits in same spot), 10,000 mile engine oil changes- non synthetic oil, open element K&N, Flex-a-lite monster dual electric fan, three small electric fans in front of A/C condensor, cab high topper. Moved to Fort Hood this past summer: pulled a GCWR 16880 pound trailer in 105 degree weather - ran max water temp of 205. No blown head gasket/trans problems/pickup is fine.

1998 Jeep Wrangler, 2.5 4 cyl, 5 speed, 6 cyl radiator, 2" lift, 31" tires/rims bought used, other mods as above, more mods (lockers, rear dana 44) hopefully coming.

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-15-2010, 01:54 PM
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I'd have a look under and around the engine for leaks. The lower rad hose might need a new clamp. Old ones are known to rust and come loose. When you're around a auto parts store, grab an ounce or two of UV dye and buy a UV bulb. Clean the under body as best you can, add the UV dye to the coolant and then you'll be better able to pinpoint the leak. Be sure that your pressure cap works as well. A new one runs about $20 here in Ontario, so you can expect to pay less in the States. I would assume that the thermostat is OK, as it wouldn't leak coolant, and even a fail-safe T-stat will still operate but the engine will overheat once you run low enough on coolant, no matter what type or rating the thermostat is.

Worst case is a bad head gasket. If your oil turns into a chocolate milk-like substance, then that's one of the signs of a bad gasket; coolant is mixing with engine oil.

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