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Hey, all.

My heat isn't working well, and I discovered that when idling, my temp gauge went up to about half, radiator fans kicked on, and the heat was HOT. I began driving around, the temp gauge went down, and the heat cooled as a result of the driving. That's a failed thermostat in my experience. It is warming up to the 40's from the negatives this week, and I am going to attempt to replace my thermostat. However, I have noticed that there are some apparent differences with this cooling system. Like the thermostat going to the lower radiator hose, not the top one as in most cars. And the same goes with the radiator cap. I looked around the engine bay and did not find a bleed screw. So, what is the procedure to correctly bleed the coolant on these motors? I have searched google and this forum for bleeding the motor, and discovered an article on the Allpar How-To's. http://www.allpar.com/fix/radiator-purge.html but I am unsure if this applies to my engine or if it's talking about another 2.5 liter motor. I also have not been able to find described bleed screw, it appears my car does not have one at all. I do not want to bleed this setup improperly and not get all the air out, or worse. Thanks in advance for all your help!
 

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The key is to get the top of the radiator higher than any hoses to the engine, I like the steep hill option, usually safer as far as standing on jack stands and the likes, easier to get to the engine that way, it is still on the ground. Open the radiator cap and remove, start the engine after the fluid is topped off, let the engine warm and open the thermostat, keep topping off the fluid. Rev the engine a few times to force air out of the engine occasionally, and watch the fluid go from the radiator to the overflow. Keep the heater on full blast so the air gets pumped into that little radiator core and doesn't hold air. Not sure about the 2.5 V6, but this works for any engine, any closed hose on the engine higher than the radiator opening itself will always cause a problem, air will go to the highest point in any system, the revving helps push the air through the system to that highest point.
 

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I agree that the heat symptoms are like those of a weak or stuck open thermostat. It is a 2-stage valve type thermostat.
That Allpar link is for the 2.5L in-line 4 cylinder of old. Don't use that.
The 2.5L V6 should purge any air pockets with no problem if there is good flow in the system and the head gaskets are OK. The pressure cap sits at about the highest point of the cooling system, so any air should expel easily out the cap neck. I wish they were all designed this way.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa155/bandaide-al/IMG_8813.jpg
 

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ImperialCrown said:
I agree that the heat symptoms are like those of a weak or stuck open thermostat. It is a 2-stage valve type thermostat.
That Allpar link is for the 2.5L in-line 4 cylinder of old. Don't use that.
The 2.5L V6 should purge any air pockets with no problem if there is good flow in the system and the head gaskets are OK. The pressure cap sits at about the highest point of the cooling system, so any air should expel easily out the cap neck. I wish they were all designed this way.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa155/bandaide-al/IMG_8813.jpg
So you are basically saying that the design of the 2.5 v6 engine is actually better than the design of most? I once did a thermostat on my mom's Chevrolet v6 3100. The reservoir serves as the pressure point in the system, and has the pressure cap on it. In order to fill the engine, you have to open up the bleed screw on the water pump and fill the motor with coolant through that little hole with a funnel. Othewise if you fill just the reservoir, the engine won't have coolant! It was a pain in the butt to figure out, and the internet was no help.

I am pretty sure my head gaskets are good. The engine runs like a dream. The gas milage is suffering because the motor isn't heating up to operating temperature for best performance, but it isn't suffering all that much. I am thinking of getting a kit that has a funnel which adapts to the filler neck/coolant cap to help with bleeding http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-24610-Spill-Free-Funnel/dp/B001A4EAV0 because I was curious about air being in the system about a month ago. When I took the cap off to try and 'burp' it, I started the motor cold and the coolant began to rise and flow rapidly out of the neck, creating a mess until I shut off the motor. I have never seen a car do this, and it adds to my confusion onto bleeding my coolant system. I don't want it to start overflowing the funnel, too.

dana44 said:
The key is to get the top of the radiator higher than any hoses to the engine, I like the steep hill option, usually safer as far as standing on jack stands and the likes, easier to get to the engine that way, it is still on the ground. Open the radiator cap and remove, start the engine after the fluid is topped off, let the engine warm and open the thermostat, keep topping off the fluid. Rev the engine a few times to force air out of the engine occasionally, and watch the fluid go from the radiator to the overflow. Keep the heater on full blast so the air gets pumped into that little radiator core and doesn't hold air. Not sure about the 2.5 V6, but this works for any engine, any closed hose on the engine higher than the radiator opening itself will always cause a problem, air will go to the highest point in any system, the revving helps push the air through the system to that highest point.
How steep of a hill are you talking about? I have a bunch of snow mounds in my area, but I would have to be able to drive the car to them. On a garage floor, maybe it would be best to use jackstands?
 

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So the slope gets the top of the radiator as the highest point of the cooling system, maybe 30 inches from front to rear, so not that steep.
 

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Hi 95chryslercirrus,

I've worked in auto radiator shop for more than 25 years and have seen it all. Not trying to brag,just letting you know a little about my backround and you decide whether or not you'll take my advise . Purging the air is the easy part, yet I've been brought thousands of cars overheating because of air in the system.

We usually just pull a heater hose on the newer cars and stick a funnel in it and top-off the block with antifreeze once you've put things back together, then fill the radiator either through the cap ( on radiator ), if it has one ( some are towards the motor- I think yours is that type- in the top hose ? ) and fill the radiator as much as u can, through the cap or top hose, re-assemble. The reason you need to fill the block, is so the thermostat has liquid on it and can open. Then we keep the radiator cap clicked to the 1/2 off position ( most all systems have this detent for 1/2 way designed to bleed air off ) it will usually spew anifreeze until the thermostat opens fully, thats ok, just stick a pan under car. keep your hand around the top hose where it enters the radiator, when the thermostat opens you will feel it getting very hot rapidly , let it go for a few seconds, the remove system cap and it will be ready to take fluid, replace cap. Top off your resivour. I'm sure the factory has ways that aren't exactly like mine, but this is the way i was schooled and it has never failed me. Some cars have bleeders,some don't, either way ( the cap is designed to be your bleeder ).

As far as your heating issue, your most likely correct with the thermostat being the culprit ( since you get heat at stand-still ), unless of course you already have air in the system. ( you can't rely on the dash temperature guage unless the system has the air out ). Either way I would start there and replace it. That's where we usually start first.

Try that first, if it doesn't work, we can move onto other things. Good luck and hope this helps !
 

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Durang-goer said:
Hi 95chryslercirrus,

I've worked in auto radiator shop for more than 25 years and have seen it all. Not trying to brag,just letting you know a little about my backround and you decide whether or not you'll take my advise . Purging the air is the easy part, yet I've been brought thousands of cars overheating because of air in the system.

We usually just pull a heater hose on the newer cars and stick a funnel in it and top-off the block with antifreeze once you've put things back together, then fill the radiator either through the cap ( on radiator ), if it has one ( some are towards the motor- I think yours is that type- in the top hose ? ) and fill the radiator as much as u can, through the cap or top hose, re-assemble. The reason you need to fill the block, is so the thermostat has liquid on it and can open. Then we keep the radiator cap clicked to the 1/2 off position ( most all systems have this detent for 1/2 way designed to bleed air off ) it will usually spew anifreeze until the thermostat opens fully, thats ok, just stick a pan under car. keep your hand around the top hose where it enters the radiator, when the thermostat opens you will feel it getting very hot rapidly , let it go for a few seconds, the remove system cap and it will be ready to take fluid, replace cap. Top off your resivour. I'm sure the factory has ways that aren't exactly like mine, but this is the way i was schooled and it has never failed me. Some cars have bleeders,some don't, either way ( the cap is designed to be your bleeder ).

As far as your heating issue, your most likely correct with the thermostat being the culprit ( since you get heat at stand-still ), unless of course you already have air in the system. ( you can't rely on the dash temperature guage unless the system has the air out ). Either way I would start there and replace it. That's where we usually start first.

Try that first, if it doesn't work, we can move onto other things. Good luck and hope this helps !
Ps: You can sit on a hill till you're blue in the face with some of these newer cars "closed system"s,and it won't do jack if you have air in the system. Try that on an Audi Quattro and let me know how you make out...lol :excited: Keep the cap loose until the thermostat opens fully ( keeping your hand on the top hose at the radiator so you feel it get hot as it opens, then fill w/antifreeze ). If you aren't getting a sudden rush of heat to the top hose ( after 5 min or so ) or it's always graduall, then replace the thermostat.
 

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Durang-goer said:
Ps: You can sit on a hill till you're blue in the face with some of these newer cars "closed system"s,and it won't do jack if you have air in the system. Try that on an Audi Quattro and let me know how you make out...lol :excited: Keep the cap loose until the thermostat opens fully ( keeping your hand on the top hose at the radiator so you feel it get hot as it opens, then fill w/antifreeze ). If you aren't getting a sudden rush of heat to the top hose ( after 5 min or so ) or it's always graduall, then replace the thermostat.
Durang-goer said:
Hi 95chryslercirrus,

I've worked in auto radiator shop for more than 25 years and have seen it all. Not trying to brag,just letting you know a little about my backround and you decide whether or not you'll take my advise . Purging the air is the easy part, yet I've been brought thousands of cars overheating because of air in the system.

We usually just pull a heater hose on the newer cars and stick a funnel in it and top-off the block with antifreeze once you've put things back together, then fill the radiator either through the cap ( on radiator ), if it has one ( some are towards the motor- I think yours is that type- in the top hose ? ) and fill the radiator as much as u can, through the cap or top hose, re-assemble. The reason you need to fill the block, is so the thermostat has liquid on it and can open. Then we keep the radiator cap clicked to the 1/2 off position ( most all systems have this detent for 1/2 way designed to bleed air off ) it will usually spew anifreeze until the thermostat opens fully, thats ok, just stick a pan under car. keep your hand around the top hose where it enters the radiator, when the thermostat opens you will feel it getting very hot rapidly , let it go for a few seconds, the remove system cap and it will be ready to take fluid, replace cap. Top off your resivour. I'm sure the factory has ways that aren't exactly like mine, but this is the way i was schooled and it has never failed me. Some cars have bleeders,some don't, either way ( the cap is designed to be your bleeder ).

As far as your heating issue, your most likely correct with the thermostat being the culprit ( since you get heat at stand-still ), unless of course you already have air in the system. ( you can't rely on the dash temperature guage unless the system has the air out ). Either way I would start there and replace it. That's where we usually start first.

Try that first, if it doesn't work, we can move onto other things. Good luck and hope this helps !
So you are basically saying to fill the block up with coolant using a heater core hose, so that it has something inside of it to cirulate, and then fill the rest with the radiator cap and bleed with the cap in that halfway notch you were describing? And yes, the coolant cap comes off the neck from the block, and connects to the radiator with a hose. Look at the photo ImperialCrown posted in link to Photobucket, it shows the design of the system a little bit, with the thermostat housing and thermostat pulled off. And I know you're not bragging. It's always nice to have someone around with old-school advice that you cannot find on the internet, and put in their common sense.

It sounds like a thermostat issue with me too. With my Honda, it was 100% cold until you idled, then the gauge would come up and the heat would work. It was stuck open fully. On this though, it gets somewhat warm, but you're still freezing in the cabin. The gauge also doesn't get any higher than 1/4. But when I idle, the gague goes up to about 1/2 and the heat is quite hot. It seems stuck halfway open, halfway closed to me. It's worth replacing to see anyway, and properly bleeding the air out to confirm a fix or not. Since thermostats are so cheap, also.

I know what you mean about sealed systems. My mom's Malibu is like that. I tried many ways of trying to get it to suck in coolant from the reservoir, but it wouldn't. The reservoir is the pressure point in the system, and it has the pressure cap and all. The radiator gets filled by a lower hose from the reservoir, and the upper radiator hose is directly fed from the block. It does have a bleeder screw on the water pump, but it is not actually a bleeder screw for me. It's a fill screw. You take it out, put a very small funnel in, and fill the block with it until it quits bubbling, so the pump has something to circulate. Fill the reservoir and start the car! Keep topping off the resevoir and you're pretty much done after it warms up. Took me several times to figure out hat it's best to fill it this way, having no heat and a wild temp gauge, I figured I would just fill the block manually and quit letting gravity do it for me. I will fill the block on mine with the heater core hose as described, and it will make things hell of a lot easier for sure getting things started, and easier on the motor, thanks for the suggestion!
 

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Yes, thats exactly what I'm saying, fill the block first. I just looked at the photo ImperialCrown had posted and yes, that's what I thought it was. You can probably get the radiator to fill pouring it in the cap there. The main thing is after you start the car, you need to keep your hand on that top hose inlet near the radiator till you feel that thermostat open. I do this on every single car out there, rest assured, once you feel that sudden rush of heat in your hand, that thermostat is open and now you can take the cap off & fill it without it blowing it oats.

Now, you will feel it getting hot gradually at first, gurguling air & such as it comes up to temp. Another thing we did in the radiator shop, is to keep squeezing that top hose at the radiator where it enters (where your hand should be), that helps work the air out of the system as well. One more thing of note, you really can't rely on this heat-rush in your hand as an indication that it means the thermostat is ok, you can get it even if it's a bad one...say only 1/2 opening.

Working at the radiator shop, I've seen many new thermostats that were junk fresh out of the box. Good luck and let us know how u make out !
 

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Durang-goer said:
Yes, thats exactly what I'm saying, fill the block first. I just looked at the photo ImperialCrown had posted and yes, that's what I thought it was. You can probably get the radiator to fill pouring it in the cap there. The main thing is after you start the car, you need to keep your hand on that top hose inlet near the radiator till you feel that thermostat open. I do this on every single car out there, rest assured, once you feel that sudden rush of heat in your hand, that thermostat is open and now you can take the cap off & fill it without it blowing it oats.

Now, you will feel it getting hot gradually at first, gurguling air & such as it comes up to temp. Another thing we did in the radiator shop, is to keep squeezing that top hose at the radiator where it enters (where your hand should be), that helps work the air out of the system as well. One more thing of note, you really can't rely on this heat-rush in your hand as an indication that it means the thermostat is ok, you can get it even if it's a bad one...say only 1/2 opening.

Working at the radiator shop, I've seen many new thermostats that were junk fresh out of the box. Good luck and let us know how u make out !
I would be wise to boil it and very the temp it opens up and if it opens up fully. I did it to the one I put in my Honda to verify, and it didn't give me trouble for the 3 years I had it after the replacement.

So it's normal for coolant to come flowing out of the cap radiator inlet until the thermostat opens? I wonder why. Well, I will be doing this in 2 days, so I hope all goes well

Oh, also. Does anyone know where the hell the drain plug is on this? I looked everywere on the car and never found one. Radiator looks OEM. Do I need to remove the bumper or anything? That would suck...
 

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The upper radiator hose is the radiator inlet, so if the cap is off coolant may try to push out of the neck instead of flowing through the radiator with the engine running. This may be aggravated by a plugging radiator or heater core on the pressure side of the pump. Not saying that this is the case, but something to keep in mind.
I would do a flush and fresh coolant refill if it hasn't been done in a while. Use a quality orange HOAT antifreeze in a 50/50 mixture with soft (distilled) water.
The drain cock should be at the lower end of the tank on one side or the other (probably the drivers side, under the lower transaxle cooler hose). You will have to look for it and it probably isn't easy to get at. You only need turn it ~1/2 turn.

2011-03-19_200406_drain_plug..gif
 

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ImperialCrown said:
The upper radiator hose is the radiator inlet, so if the cap is off coolant may try to push out of the neck instead of flowing through the radiator with the engine running. This may be aggravated by a plugging radiator or heater core on the pressure side of the pump. Not saying that this is the case, but something to keep in mind.
I would do a flush and fresh coolant refill if it hasn't been done in a while. Use a quality orange HOAT antifreeze in a 50/50 mixture with soft (distilled) water.
The drain cock should be at the lower end of the tank on one side or the other (probably the drivers side, under the lower transaxle cooler hose). You will have to look for it and it probably isn't easy to get at. You only need turn it ~1/2 turn.

2011-03-19_200406_drain_plug..gif
I have no idea when it was last done since I bought the car in August, it appears to have been done right before I got it though. The coolant reservoir has a black residue coating the inside, I planned on taking it off and washing it out. It looks like the coolant was really old, and it was flushed out as part of getting ready to be sold. The coolant in the engine is perfectly new and clean looking. Though for safety assurance, I will do a flush, and take advantage of the empty system to clean the reservoir, so I can actually see the coolant level inside it. It isn't the Chrysler HOAT coolant that's installed in it, just the regular green all makes, models, types. Can it be bad on the car not having the HOAT coolant in it?

Thanks for the diagram of the radiator drain petcock. Did searching on Google and a few sites discussed the car not having one, I do not want to pull the lower radiator hose, what a mess! Looks like I will be pulling off some splash sheilds.
 

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With the amount of aluminum used in the 2.5L V6, I would strongly recommend HOAT. The green is cheap and is OK for the older mostly iron engines. A complete rinse out with fresh water would be needed. The coolants shouldn't be mixed. I'm partial to the 'global' coolants that are universal and claim to mix with anything.
The reservoir should be easily cleaned with warm soap and water. Fill it, cap it and shake it. An old bottle brush also cleans up the inside walls nicely.
 

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Yes, it's normal for an un-opened thermostat car to push coolant out a 1/2 opened cap, air's escaping remember? I'm not really anal about which antifreeze i use either, geen or pink, i've always used the green..use what you like,but i personally like the color green. What's important is that you keep an eye on the systems PH level, and keep the acid levels down. Most auto parts stores have ph strips ( fairly cheap under 10 bills ) that can test the levels of PH, freeze point,boil point....yada yada yada..

PS:
I've seen many 90's Chevy Beretta's with that pink global crap GM was using at the time, and their complete cooling systems were solid rust. I have my reasons for preferring what i prefer. I'm sure the technology has improved, but green has never done me wrong and i've put it in thousands of cars, ya just can't drink it...lol
 

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And, yes ImperialCrown, it may NOT flow into the radiator with the cap 1/2 off, but keep in mind too.. that without the thermostat opened, it's not intended to flow into the inlet. That's why they use heater control valve's on some cars to isolate the heat till things get up to snuff. And also, when the thermostat finally opens, it creates a vaccum....and it will pull,not push, else you could never fill it all the way.


It is quite possible though, as ImperialCrown mentioned some blockage or even another issue, but you need to start at the first step, your thermostat.

Do the heater hoses get hot and do both sides feel pretty hot, have you checked your control head ect. ?
 

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Durang-goer said:
Yes, it's normal for an un-opened thermostat car to push coolant out a 1/2 opened cap, air's escaping remember? I'm not really anal about which antifreeze i use either, geen or pink, i've always used the green..use what you like,but i personally like the color green. What's important is that you keep an eye on the systems PH level, and keep the acid levels down. Most auto parts stores have ph strips ( fairly cheap under 10 bills ) that can test the levels of PH, freeze point,boil point....yada yada yada..

PS:
I've seen many 90's Chevy Beretta's with that pink global crap GM was using at the time, and their complete cooling systems were solid rust. I have my reasons for preferring what i prefer. I'm sure the technology has improved, but green has never done me wrong and i've put it in thousands of cars, ya just can't drink it...lol
Durang-goer said:
And, yes ImperialCrown, it may NOT flow into the radiator with the cap 1/2 off, but keep in mind too.. that without the thermostat opened, it's not intended to flow into the inlet. That's why they use heater control valve's on some cars to isolate the heat till things get up to snuff. And also, when the thermostat finally opens, it creates a vaccum....and it will pull,not push, else you could never fill it all the way.


It is quite possible though, as ImperialCrown mentioned some blockage or even another issue, but you need to start at the first step, your thermostat.

Do the heater hoses get hot and do both sides feel pretty hot, have you checked your control head ect. ?
Yes. This was the reasoning for my work on the Chevrolet Malibu we own. They used DexCool inside of their systems, and still do. There were several class-action lawsuits against it. It causes the system to turn into sludge when air is introduced into the system (low coolant) and if another coolant besides DexCool was added, it caused the system to become acidic, and it would eat gaskes, hoses, radiators, etc. One engine in particular, the 3100 V6, was affected, and would cause complete head gasket and intake gasket failures. Of course, Chevrolet sat back in their chairs and laughed at all the people coming in to have their engines replaced or gaskets redone by dealers, raking in the money, not caring for their customers. I have heard that HOAT can do the same thing, but I am unsure of the research on this one.

Watch that be an advertising point... "Introducing the ALL NEW drinkable coolant! Flush out your system and test it's antifreezing qualities on your bowels! Also useful in situations for being stranded! Try some today!" Lol.

Yeah, I remember the cap thing. I was just wondering if it was normal to have it flow out until the thermostat opened. I also have checked the heater hoses, the both get equally warm, one lesser warm than the other when the car has heated up from idling, and the heat is HOT as hell inside. I did check the control head, it was kinda off track, but the cable for the temp control is bent/frayed and it needs replaced. But I have no idea where to find replacement parts like that. It goes to full hot okay, but not full cold. I also have a lot less air flow on the hot side, I am wondering if the heater core fins are plugged with dirt, nature, etc. Anyone here know any tips on pulling out the dash and opening the air box? I would rather not do a refrigerant evacuation to remove it.
 
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