2001 Dodge Intrepid Overflow Tank Problem....


Old 08-24-11, 07:51 AM
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Exclamation 2001 Dodge Intrepid Overflow Tank Problem....

I just replaced my upper radiator hose a few days ago & that solved my overheating problem. This morning when I pulled into the parking lot @ work I noticed water coming from under my car, opened the hood & saw water spitting out from the back of the overflow tank. There is a hole (it APPEARS that it is part of the design but I am not sure) in the back of it that the water was escaping from due to the tank boiling. Is this hole part of the design? Perhaps made to relieve pressure? I did not notice if the cars temp was high & cannot look till lunch time. Any ideas? I am a single woman, barely making my bills & am freaking out. I found several websites where I could ask a mechanic that was online but they wanted payment for answering the questions & I cannot afford to do so. PLEASE can anyone help?

Last edited by kittykim; 08-24-11 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:36 AM
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yes, relief tube is meant to be there. when tank overflows, it dumps extra coolant down on the ground.

you MUST check if your temperature is right when this happens.

I do not like word "boiling". does not sound too good. coolant should be hot, but not boiling. if it is, let us know, you may have different issue to fight with.

my first guess is, when radiator was replaced, and system refilled with coolant, too much was added. coolant has quite high expansion ratio, anywhere between 25 and 75%. basically, volume of it increases as temperature goes up. hence the expansion canister. if there was too much coolant added, it expanded and over flew out of canister.

unfortunately, if you engine overheated, then coolant started boiling, and gasses pushed it out of canister. either fan did not kick in, or you had air plug somewhere in the system that caused this.
Old 08-24-11, 10:57 AM
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Thank you ukrbyk for the reply!

I went out on my lunch & opened the tank, it was about half a gallon low on water so i added some & went for a short drive. The car did not overheat though it did heat up a tad quicker than normal. When I returned back to the parking lot I noticed water on the ground again, opened the hood & saw the water spitting out of the same place again.

Yes, the water is boiling (or bubbling) within the overflow tank. I work in a small office but two of the men I work with have said they think that it is my thermostat, that it has gone bad.

Thoughts anyone?
Old 08-24-11, 11:06 AM
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You said the car did not overheat but where was the temperature gauge - was it hotter than normal?

A stuck thermostat will cause the car to heat higher than it should.
Old 08-24-11, 12:36 PM
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Okay, I've figured out that this "hole" I am speaking about is NOT the "relief tube" as ukrbyk referred to. That is located on the front of my overflow tank & has a hose attached to it. The hole I am speaking about is located in the rear of the tank up towards the top portion of the side. So now I am VERY confused about what the heck it's purpose is & if it's even supposed to be there. SIGH. It really does look like it was part of the design, I cannot describe it better than that. If I had another one in my hands I could look at it & see if it has one too but I don't, so hence the confusion.

In reply to Mitch17 trying to help ~ THANK YOU! The temp gauge on my car did not go any higher than what it is at normal temp but the overflow tank was bubbling when I stopped driving.

I am VERY confused.

Old 08-24-11, 01:54 PM
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Are you sure it is not just air? Was the radiator filled after you replaced the hose? If not then the radiator would have had air in it and that air has to be expelled somewhere. When the system is cooled enough to safely remove the radiator cap you need to do that and see if coolant is all the way to the top of the radiator. If not then you need to fill it to the top. Then replace the cap and fill the overflow tank to the proper line of fill.
I hope you have a mixture of anti-freeze and water (usually 50-50 mix) in the system and not just plain water. If you have plain water only in there then no wonder it is boiling out!!!
Old 08-24-11, 05:47 PM
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1. take picture of that hole and post here. very easy, Photobucket/image link
2. any non stock hole will plain look irregular, jagged, or some like that.
3. afraid am I your temperature sensor is not working. As a result, while you have boiling coolant, it does not signal to the system to start cooling fan.
4. you need to find from Dodge people, if you have open to air or sealed canister. if it's sealed, you should have an air tight cap on it, that is designed for a specific pressure in the canister. like my Silverado does. it's completely sealed system, with canister being part of it. drain tube is normally attached to the neck of such canister, AFTER pressure cap. OK, I have easy check. does your radiator have cap, or not? if yes, canister is not sealed, if not, canister (or thermostat housing) should have pressure cap. knowing Dodge, it might as well be on thermostat housing.
5. based on my experience with Mitsubishes, and Chrysler/Dodge had been in design kahutz with Mitsubishes for long time, you probably have air bleeder bolt somewhere in the highest point of your cooling system, usually - thermostat housing dome. that screw needs to be removed for refill purposes, or air plug, an embolism, forms, and locks the system, causing overheating.

you should have two main hoses coming to radiator, top and bottom one. ask someone to check on their temperature, by hand. it should be same with engine at normal operating temperature. if there's difference, usually, one past thermostat being colder, you have blockage somewhere in the system. kinked hose, stuck thermostat, or air lock. radiator hoses must be just right, or they will narrow at an elbow, and significantly reduce coolant flow.
Old 08-25-11, 04:56 AM
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Uk beat me to it; I was going to ask if your radiator had a cap or whether your tank was the pressurized kind that incorporated the cap on the tank. A 2001 is certainly old enough for a presurized tank to have deterioriated to the point of leaking.

Looks like this maybe?:


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