1995 Dodge Caravan


Old 06-19-06, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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1995 Dodge Caravan

I have a 1995 Dodge Caravan with a 3 Liter V6.

I was driving home from a trip when it overheated. I pulled to the side of the road as I turned on the heat. No heat came out of the vents and the car immediately died as I slowed to a stop. I could see steam pouring out from under the hood. I noticed something spattered in the engine on my right, I assume it was coolant boiling over. The oil was fine and I looked at the reservoir on the left side of the engine and it was still filled with coolant. I was towed to a garage, but as they were pulling up to tow I realized that the coolant reservoir was empty. I checked under the car and saw no leak. The mechanic said the engine must have sucked all the coolant. He said the problem was probably the thermostat, so he changed it, a gasket and refilled the engine with coolant. He also said that my compressor was making a lot of noise, and that I should not run my AC until I could get it checked by a mechanic at home, because it might be adding stress and overheating the engine. I haven't used the AC since. I drove off and 6 miles later the car overheated. He came out, said there was probably an air pocket, he added more coolant and sent me on my way. I made it home without incident. The car now seems to shake a little bit, mostly when I'm slowing to a stop or idling. The heat has not really moved again, except for one minute while driving to my house, but it immediately went back down. My Brother-in-Law as well as another mechanic said perhaps the thermostat was not the right part or was installed incorrectly, so he replaced it. There is a whining sound coming from my engine as well as a ticking. As far as I can tell, they are both on my left side when facing the engine. The ticking increases in tempo as I accelerate. There is still no leak, so they don't think it is the waterpump. I can turn on the heater now and it does blow hot air. The compressor is definetely on its last legs, so I do plan to replace it (or the car, whatever the case may be). But any advice on the overheating, shaking, whining or ticking would be greatly appreciated. Also, on a side not, the plastic handle that releases the hood broke, so now we are using vice grips.
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Old 06-19-06, 01:54 PM
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get the plastic handle from the junk yard.

water pumps don't have to leak to be bad. they can knock.

but you should try using a long pry bar to touch the compressor and put your ear to the end of the bar or buy a mechanics stethoscope to listen and track down where the sound is coming from.

Both a/c compressor and water pump can make a knocking sound. With out hearing it first hand I can not tell wich is making the knocking sound.
Old 06-19-06, 01:57 PM
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Also I would get a radiator pressure tester and pressurize the system to see if it can hold pressure for about 15min.

Are you losing coolant. To get rid of the air leave the radiator cap off and let the car run when till hot and continue to run you will see bubbles and stuff coming up when the thermostat opens you may need to bump the rpms some to when doing when the thermostat opens which will cause some coolant to over flow sometimes.

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