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Whn do I know if I need it? my car seems to run out of coolant

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You got a serious leak, Your dam lucky you haven,t damaged the motor in it, You should not evan be driving it if it is looseing all the coolent, Get it towed to a garge to see what the problem is,

Posted on Nov 04, 2012

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My 2004 dodge durango runs hot when sitting in traffic but when I start moving again it goes back to normal and it also seems to lack coolant even after filling it up


First thing I would check is the cooling fan. While running in your driveway allow the car to warm sufficently. The fan should kick on. If it isnt running check the fuse located on the driver side kick panel first. There is also a relay under the hood inside a black box on the right hand hand if facing the engine.

As far as the coolant goes. make sure the thermostat is open when you fill with coolant. If it isnt you only fill the reservoir and then when the thermostat opens it draws down water through the engine making it low again. Same deal, just allow the car to warm up with the radiator cap off. You should see the water swirling if the thermostat is open. SHoudl open around 180 to 190 dpending on which yo9u have installed. Be very careful not to open the cap under pressure. Safe thing to do is squueze the top radiator hot to see if its rigid or soft. If it rigid (tight) dont dare open the radiator cap. If you can aqueeze it easily go and and half turn the cap to allow the pressure to vent just to be safe then remove it al the way. Be caeful because sometimes water will sure out. Be sure to replace the cap prior to shutting the engine off or else if will surge water out whn the engine stops. Good luck and be safe.

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68 ford mustang


Hi there!

This isn't going to be good news Im afraid. These symptoms are typical of head gasket failure.

Head gaskets can fail on one of 3 ways -
#1 Rupture to outside from cylinder - Lots of oil, steam, fire maybe - it's pretty obvious.
#2 Rupture from cylinder into an oilway - You burn lots of oil, blue smoke, lack of power, oil forced out of fillercap, dipstick, air filter gets black.
#3 Rupture from cylinder into coolant channel. You use water - but no leaks under car. White steamy exhaust on starting, Coolant overheats quickly and appears to boil. Inspection of coolant is sometimes oily.

Yours sounds like #3

It probably needs the cylinder head off and the gasket replaced. Quite a time consuming job, but DIY-able with the correct tools.

You can check the compression of the cylinders first just to make sure it is this and not leaks somewhere else -

Check out PetesPonies post on the mustang forum about leaks around the intake manifold. It may be easier to check this first.

Thanks for using Fixya! If it solves your problem, please rate as such. Thank you.

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