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Thermostat Temp

Discussion in '200, Avenger/Sebring, Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze' started by chuzz, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Okay guys, this one has me stumped. I'm getting near the 150,000 mile antifreeze change interval on my 2013 200 and am looking at replacing the thermostat when I do the flush and fill. I have two options and both are strange temp choices for me. One says 170 degree t-stat and the other option is 203 degree temp stat. SAY WHAT? When did these strange temp stats come into play and how the heck do I know which one to get? I'm guessing I'll get the 170 just to get the cooler running engine. I'm in FL, so not real concerned about a HOT heater. I'd never use it at all if not for the wife. Will the OEM t-stat be stamped or does anyone know what usually is the standard? Or does the 2.4 have two thermostats, one of each temp? I know they're probably stupid questions, but I'm just the guy to ask them.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    There are 2 thermostats. A 170 degF primary and 203 degF secondary. The 170 opens first and the secondary opens later.
    If the heater is working OK and the temp gauge is normal, you probably don't have to replace the thermostats as part of a flush routine.
     
    Doug D likes this.
  3. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Thanks for that info, IC. I was contemplating not changing them. Do any of you know if the 50/50 Prestone mix that I can get at Walmart is safe for my car? It clearly states on the jug that it's safe for ALL models. I would post a picture of the label, but am too lazy right now. I know OAT is recommended, but not sure if O'Reilly sells it. I will check with them. Here's what the label on the Prestone jug says:
    All makes, all models of ANY car or light duty truck
    Works with ANY color antifreeze
    Will NOT void vehicle manufacturer's warranty
    Up to 5 years or 150,000 miles of protection.
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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  5. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Hmmmm, I thought the Dex-Cool was a GM specific product. I REALLY don't want any GM stuff in my Mopar. I might just have to bite the bullet and see how much I can get a couple of gallons for at the stealership. Dang it! I'll see how much they want. I looked in my owners manual and it just says has to meet the MS-12106, which the Dex-Cool does indeed. Thanks again IC.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.
  6. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES" Level 2 Supporter

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    Dealer antifreeze was $24 a gallon when I bought it 2 years ago - orange, either HOAT or OAT, I forget which.
     
  7. AllanC

    AllanC Active Member

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    The primary thermostat is located in the coolant adapter manifold inlet port. The bottom radiator / return hose to the engine attaches at this port. The secondary thermostat is located between the part of the coolant adapter closest to the front of the vehicle and on a plane next to the head. The idea is to keep warmer coolant in the head for better performance, engine operation, emission control. (My guess).

    The thermostats are different size so one cannot get them confused and cause a cooling system performance problem do to a mix up. Now if one thermostat was sticking partially or fully closed it might be a little baffling to try and determine which is the source of the problem. The primary thermostat is very easy and quick to replace. The secondary thermostat next to the head is not.

    AS IC said with this new a vehicle and with no indication of a problem, there is no reason to replace. Now if you are still driving the car after 10 years and 150,000 odometer miles, maybe preventative maintenance would dictate proactive replacement before waiting for failure at a most inopportune time.
     
  8. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Even though it's "this new of a vehicle" it doesn't sit a lot. We drive it (well, my son mostly) about 3,000 miles a month now. I have 141,000 miles on it, so it's getting to the 150,000 mile maintenance interval pretty quickly. I've decided that since it's running great and has no heating or cooling issues, to just do a flush and change the coolant and leave the thermostats alone. I'll also be replacing the plugs, air filter and PCV valve at that mileage too. Surprisingly, the serpentine belt still looks very good. I wonder if I should replace it as a precautionary measure?
     
  9. AllanC

    AllanC Active Member

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    Wow! That is a lot of miles in a short time period. But if you keep the fluids fresh and clean (no neglect) the engine and transmission should go VERY LONG.

    I would tend to look at the pulleys in the drive belt system for signs of bearing wear / noise / failure. There are 2 fixed, non-adjustable idlers and 1 adjustable, belt tensioner idler. Remove the belt and spin the pulleys. Do you notice any strange sound, roughness when spinning? If YES then maybe that is a clue to impending failure in the very near future. Another area of concern is the over running clutch pulley / decoupler pulley on the alternator. Those over running mechanisms wear and can fail. Also I would start to think about replacing the internal brushes on the slip rings in the alternator. Those do wear slowly but at 141,000 miles they could be ready to fail soon. I believe standard equipment issue alternator is a Mitsubishi unit. To access the brushes you have to split the case halves.

    In the belt drive image, #5 and #9 are fixed while #8 is the adjustable idler tensioner. Pulley #3 is the alternator decoupler pulley.
     

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    pt006 likes this.
  10. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    It seems that many rubber belts and hoses can last the life of the vehicle nowadays. I remember back in the 1970's it seemed that we were always replacing belts and hoses as periodic maintenance. Rubber quality is so much better now.
     
    Doug D, pt006 and valiant67 like this.
  11. pt006

    pt006 Member

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    One of the 70's problems was that the valve covers would leak or the front crank seal would leak and the harmonic balancer would spray oil onto the radiator hoses. Oil and rubber don't mix well. I will say that alternators and starters last longer nowadays, likely due to modern cars starting easier.

    Chuzz; My PT's cooling system capacity is 6 1/2 quarts. Your 200 is likely similar. Check your manual. ~6 qts. divided by 2 = ~3qts. So one gallon of pure antifreeze will do it. NOT 50/50 pre-diluted antifreeze. After draining and flushing, pour in the 3 quarts of antifreeze in first, then add the distilled water till full. When flushing, heat the engine till the radiator hose gets hot and then rev the engine ~2500 rpm for a minute or so. This pumps the water thru the radiator faster. Keep an eye [and add] on the coolant tank level for a few days.
     
  12. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I didn't replace the serpentine belt on our '00 T&C Ltd until about 148K miles. That was part of a major tune up (plugs, wires, fuel filter, EGR, air filter) I had done at that point. My '06 Ram 1500 w/Hemi has 239K and has the original serpentine belt. The belts are indeed much better.
     
  13. AllanC

    AllanC Active Member

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    If you look at the capacity for the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine used in the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 twins, cooling system capacity is 7.7 quarts or slightly less than 2 gallons. This capacity is consistent over the several years this engine was used in these vehicles. So 1 gallon of fresh antifreeze mixed with distilled water should give adequate corrosion and freeze protection.

    Performing a do-it-yourself flush at home without a commercial flushing machine is going to be a challenge. The radiator is cross flow so the header tanks are mounted vertically on each side of the radiator (driver side, passenger side engine compartment). The top radiator hose which carries heated coolant to the radiator for dissipation is located at the top of the header tank, passenger side. You would expect the return radiator hose back to the engine would be at the bottom of the driver side header tank. NO, it is located several inches above the bottom of the header tank. So it is impossible to get the radiator completely drained of flushing media unless you remove the return radiator hose and use a suction device in the driver side header tank to remove fluid. There is no drain port at the bottom of the radiator. On a 2008 Avenger with this engine I never found the block drain plug so there might not be a way to drain the block. That makes it difficult to remove sufficient fluid to add 1 gallon of antifreeze concentrate to get the proper mix ratio.
     
  14. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Well, gee, AllanC, thanks for that discouraging news! LOL That really is disconcerting, as I don't have the funds to take it to a shop and have it "professionally" done. I sure do miss the old days of radiators with petcocks, block drain plugs and a complete flow through cooling system.
     
  15. Gerry G

    Gerry G Member

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    Don't be too quick to write off having it done by a shop of a dealer. I had a dealer flush my '04 Sebring and I thought the cost was very reasonable considering the cost of coolant and the time (and mess) it would cost me; maybe $100-$120.
     
    Doug D likes this.