Overheating/Coolant Leak

daisy72084July 30, 2007

OK, first off I do not know anything about cars and am hoping someone can help me. I have a 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it overheated the other day and I had noticed it was pretty much pouring out coolant everytime the engine was hot from driving. I took it in to be repaired and they told me I had a small hole in my hose and charged me close to 300 to replace it. However, a couple of days later it overheated again. They now told me the overheating was due to a damaged thermostat. If they replaced the thermostat, will this solve the coolant leak that I have?

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I'd try to find a better place - $300 for one hose ??
Come on ......
I'd love to see that repair order.
The thermo-stat should be replaced every so often, if original, that is an excellent life span.
Cars do over/under heat when the old stat is tired and sticky..
A good garage would have tried to sell you on a new hose set... There are 4 to 10 of them,(varies with the vehicle) and a new thermostat..
Depending on the vehicle, this is about $150 in parts and 90 minutes in labor.
The good old '66 Chevrolet would have cost $15 in parts and 15 minutes in labor !

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:15PM
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These overheating problems can be hard to diagnose.
My next step would be to check the radiator cap because it's cheap and easy to replace.

I agree, you need to find a good mechanic. Ask a family member, friend or coworker to recommend a good garage.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:36PM
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I don't think you should automatically take it to another shop. You're already into it for $300 with these guys who thought they fixed it but didn't. Don't know what your engine looks like or what they did for sure so I don't have an opinion as to if $300 was reasonable or not. Could have happened like this. Your vehicle had a coolant leak and overheated for whatever reason. They fill it up and pressure test. Find that leak, repair it. Pressure test again, no leaks. Run it for a while, gets to normal temp and holds there. They conclude...maybe falsely, the leak was the only problem, that it overheated because because the coolant level was too low because of that leak they repaired.

Under what conditions does it overheat and how long does it take? Idleing in traffic, or cruising down the road? AC on or off? Only when it's hot outside, or does it matter? Overheating usually isn't that tough to diagnose if given enough details. The coolant going away due to a leak would certainly be one of the causes. Other possibilities would be the thermostat not working, electric cooling fan(s) or fan clutch not working will do it. Radiator plugged up inside or a bunch of junk restricting air flow on the outside will do it. Even the cap not holding pressure can cause it.

The shop you took it to is guilty at most of not being thorough enough. That would be easy to do if you came in and said something like you were just driving along and all of a sudden it overheated. jmo

Glad to see you back earthworm. I was afraid something had happened to you.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:27AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I took it back to the original place because they said that it was their fault for missing it when they did the first repair and so they did not charge me to replace the thermostat. I drive in a lot of traffic, so it seems that is when the car begins to overheat. When I noticed that the coolant was leaking and low after they had replaced the hose, I bought sme coolant and filled it up just in case it had just been low. Two days later...all gone. So they didnt fix the leak after all.Im not sure if it only overheats when it is hot out because that is all that it has been lately and this is the first time this has happened to me!

I understand that it is possible that the overheating could have been caused by the damaged thermostat, as they told me. However, could the coolant leak be caused by a thermostat? I couldnt find anything on if the two were related and dont want to find out that after they replaced the thermostat that the coolant is still leaking!

Thanks again everyone!! Much appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:28AM
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I don't think a thermostat would directly cause a leak. If stuck shut and the engine overheats, it can cause the coolant to get hot enough to boil and get pushed out through the over flow. Overheating can lead to leaking head gaskets and such. That should only happen if a person continues to operate the vehicle after it's to hot. When the gage gets near the red zone, or the idiot light comes on, whatever you have, it's time to shut it off right now.

Are you sure it's leaking now? Is there a drip or a puddle under your car when it's been parked a while that's not from the air conditioner?

Reason I'm asking is that once some vehicles get low on coolant, it can be a bear to get it completely full again. Air can sometimes get trapped in the engine. You can fill the radiator clear full, but that big air bubble is still in the engine block. Run it for a while, coolant is way low again. Fill it again, next time you look it's low again. There doesn't have to be a leak, it just might take a while to get the air worked out. Some vehicles have an air bleed to help with this. Others don't. It's not a problem with all vehicles anyway. I know it takes several attempts to get my car all the way full again no matter what I do. Maybe yours is like that too.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:21PM
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Glad to see you back earthworm. I was afraid something had happened to you.

Good to be back, thank you
I'm glad that you, JemDandy , and the diagnostician (whose name escapes me) are still around and well..
Becoming tired of the Saabs and all their problems - I think everyone has them.Except me....lol...lol.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:23PM
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