Over Heating


Asked by Jun 03, 2008 at 09:57 PM about the 2004 Dodge Stratus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car has started over heating again.  I just replaced the thermostat last year. Why is it still doing this?  How do I fix it? hhmmmm?

18 Answers

Kevin Whitehouse

engine coolent!

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
David Schultz

well its a step up form a neon.. well maybe not a step up but at least one to the right... i would drvie the thing into on coming traffic and get bent

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I might be a chick, but I am not a freakin MORON!! I have gone through the process of elimination.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Justin Doucette

Wow you guys are all assholes... First check the coolant level, if it's topped up, there may be an air bubble in the system. Pull off the rad cap and start the car, let it get all warmed up and once the Tstat opens any air bubbles should work their way out If that still doesn't fix it, the tstat may be broken, I know you just replaced it but it can happen When is it overheating? on the highway or in stop and go traffic? or both? If your electric fan has died that could cause it to overheat in stop and go traffic

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

It's fine most of the time. I drove less then 12 blocks the other morning, and came home, opened the hood, and it had felt as though I had drove it for miles.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Greg Eastwood

If it is heating up quickly then the tstat may not be opening. to fix replace the tstat. I agree with the previous post, you have to wait till it's cool. Open the cap, start the car and watch for bubbles. if there are some bubbles then it stops it may be air in the system. If the bubbles continue to come you may have blown a gasket or cracked a head. This causes hot gases to get into the cooling system and over heat the engine. So if you have constant bubbles you need to give it some attention straight away. the longer you leave it the worse it will get. But if bubbles stop, use a good coolant to top up. Then wait for the water to heat up and see if the thermo fan kicks in. If the fan is not working that is your problem. it may also be the water pump. If the water does not move through the radiator then it will not cool and thus the heating problem again. hope this helps.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
Adam Dentinger

remember! engine coolant works best if u poor it DIRECTLY inton the engine. ps. kevin is correct.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Mark King

i agree with the last statement but sometimes its not easy it depends on how high the radiator is mounted if it is low like some cars the air bubble in the system will not run down to the rad cap you must have a certified shop do that you should also test the fan if it is warped or a bad fan motor then it will not cool the engine properly and may need to be replaced also the last thing is if the mixture of anitfreeze to water is not correct it will not cool it enough so there is a few options for you if you have any more questions please give me an emailking2982@gmail.com i will be happy to help u out

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Charlie Beller

i agree with gregg, appears as though air is getting in the system, try this.. topp off coolant and let sit overnight, next day start engine and let it run no more than 2-3 min at idle. shut car off and check the top radiator hose, squeeze the hose with your hand, if it feels very hard to squeeze there is likely air in the system prolly from a head gasket or cracked head. my theory here is that after only running 2-3 min there should not be enough heat or engine rpm to create pressure in the cooling system, if there is pressure, its coming from the combustion chamber... dont overlook the radiator fan relay or motor, check for a blown fuse 1st, relays and fuses have been a small issue

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

i would drain the radiator,flush it out,then refill it with new fluid.. my wifes 04 stratus gets hot in the summer. i flushed it out,and its better now.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I've been experiencing the same and suspected thermostat; flushed radiator, replaced tstat and still had the problem. I finally discovered a hose leak (thermostat to heater hose). Replaced all the hoses and have been monitoring for a week and still determining if it is leaking elsewhere. Seems to be good at this point.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Peter Nichols

check the ignition timming . sounds like to me it's not advanced enough .. what kind of water did you put in the radiator ? tap water ? ALLWAYS USE DISTILLED H2O IT WONT LIME UP YOUR RADIATOR ... AND CHANGE THE COOLANT AT THE RECOMMENDED INTERVALS ....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Peter Nichols


Raul Funes

I have 2005 Dodge Stratus 2.7 and it over heated and the outlet water was leaking then at the same I changed the thermostat! It worked! but that antifreeze/ coolant Must be specified for Chrysler! (MS7170) Or call the dealer! With your VIN # they will tell you witch one, but don't put anyone! Also good idea to don't over full because the water need space to run. That cause over heating too! And you need to purge it too. Put the whater directed to the Engine (to the block) trough the water hose! mind while keep Opened the purge valve it. If you're lucky it will purge automatic, if no, you will need to purge it. Remember don't mix the old antifreeze/coolant With the new one! Take out all the water out and replace it! Good luck!


thank you all for your answers. I have a 2001 Chrysler lhs and ever since I've been putting that coolant 50 in it seems to be overheating. they tried a ther but it didn't work, now they think its water pump. I can't stand all of this I live on a ver fixed income...and need that old car. It was pristine before I moved to CA. also, why do bushings and tie rods need to be done so often? email standscot@yahoo.com car is in shop right now and I have no idea as to what I can do or pay for. I'm a cancer patient and need to get to all doctors...again, thank you...

Tianna Meade

i have a 2003 dodge stratus that keeps over heating as well and it needs a new raiator once thats fixed do you think it will help and how hard is it to change the radiator? and expensive?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I have a 3004 dodge stratus 2.7 and I just got it out of the shop. The thermostat was replaced, engine coolant temperature sensor replaced, cam shaft sensor replaced, alternator replaced and it is still running 20 degrees too cool..any suggestions? I need help now!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Simple prescription to prevent overheating in recently purchased 12 year old cars....change oil and and run with a synthetic and add 1 bottle of barsleak rear main sealer immediately after the oil change(--others use lucas stop leak with reasonable success), do this for all future oil changes to assure no leaks at seals which may or may not be caused by using synthetics, then keep doing it....step 2 with clean conditioned, sealed oil system in hand( verified visually) I like to buy a can of gunk engine cleaner and wash it off at the local power wash...Next attempt to seal the other half of your primary engine fluids by flushing your coolant system, refill with manufacture spec fluid and add 1 can barsleak heavy duty radiator stop leak for less than 10 dollars while avoiding the super expensive mega seal gimmick versions which probably will over do it ....I seen a truck leaking a gallon a day of oil daily stop leaking a day later...Oil pan seals can expand, shrink simply with an oil change... Sensitive seals can be reconditioned but they must be continually reconditioned...Do these things before you buy a new radiator or water pump as this protects the engine by stopping little leaks early and preventing super duper expensive repairs and nasty oil leaks which cause more heat, more damage...Barsleak may or may not plug up a thermostat or radiator in the cooling system, so what if it does? If it does the component was probably weak or restricted already....A thermostat can be replaced separately, easily which is why I usually diagnose, replace thermostats as needed afterward and do it myself for 14 dollars instead of 200 installed... afterward DO stay alert for any warning signs of bad water pump such as leaking at peepholes, noise, gasp! water on oil dipstick(park it right there)...If you have a simple leak in a hose or radiator save a lot of money by researching online and doing it yourself, save money for the mechanic and the water pump job if you want it done right and prefer clean hands... A hole in a rusting gooseneck can cause overheating through pressure changes, a very simple inexpensive fix to change the gooseneck....Most of today's new cars will keep running IF the oil is high quality and the water pump is changed preemptively on a schedule, thermostats and radiators are kept like new AND the car owner quickly responds to overheating problems and leaks by NOT driving the car and quickly getting it cooled, sealed somehow...There will be instances of bad temp sensors, dead electric or clutch fans which can also be preemptively purchased but that isn't always necessary...most coolant sensors are painfully easy to remove, replace for less than 20 dollars so why not just buy one and put it in before the car loses track of temperatures and blows the radiator hoses, plastic radiator tank?? Your fan might be expensive, why not wait? No rebuilt water pumps EVER and must clearly require brand new water pump installations, no rebuilds but a discount thermostat would only test your persarverence.... One of the problems you run into with water pump changes are that you typically then need to replace your serpentine belt regardless if you recently replaced it and probably a hose or two so why bother until you do change the water pump?, you can catch the water pump failure too late to save engine damage if you ignore temp changes, symptoms believing you need to get to work....synthetic protects you a little more from extreme changes so it is probably worth it....Improper or poor quality antifreeze could be costly--perhaps awakening the leaky heater core potential which tends to require full dashboards being removed...I run with semi synthetic pennzoil gold myself because most fully synthetic is only semisynthetic at a much higher price (they both fight sludge sufficiently and the barsleak additive only helps) which is why your local oil change place will undersell semisynthetic as an option and attempt to sell triple price air filters...If you owned the car the whole time you know how many miles are on that water pump and if you bought the car you can only ease your mind by investing in that new water pump today and probably every 75k thereafter, push it if further if you know how to quickly diagnose and react to a car running in the wrong temp range.....It all seems to start at the water pump with today's cars...I always note the temp range of my car in certain conditions and look for odd changes before I see steam....If I told you the cost of 75k miles with a few minor repairs was simple a new water pump and serpentine belt shouldn't you take the deal? This is just one of the tradeoffs between 100k cars of the 70s and 80s and the 325k cars built post 90s...With a new water pump installed you have a building point. Many people have added barsleak to a radiator after the previous owner did the same thing and unwittingly double stuff the system with leak stopper which can also be an issue with an older radiator....New water pump, new radiator, belt, thermostat and 75k more miles or more still better than a rebuilt engine

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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