Power steering is out. overflow tank blowing smoke
My 1988 Jeep Cherokee died at a light, and started blowing smoke from the antifreeze overflow. I let it cool down, refilled it and started it. My power steering went out and when I got home a few minutes later, it was smoking heavily again. Is this just a pump and thermostat issue? Or could it be the dampener for the belt causing problems?
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Re: power steering is out. overflow tank blowing smoke
The key to this is likely the belt. Is the belt there? Is the tension correct? If OK, do all the drive and driven pulleys turn when it is running? Did it overheat again on the trip back home? Check the system for leaks. Even if you find the problem was not the thermostat, change it. Do not change the pump unless it has a leak or other mechanical failure. Like a bad shaft bearing.
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You have an air bubble in the coolant system. When the engine is cold, loosen the radiator cap to the first notch. Start the engine and warm to operating temperature. Turn the engine off and top off the radiator and overflow tank. Tighten the radiator cap and allow to completely cool down. After the engine is cold again, top off the overflow tank. The heater should work properly.
First thing you do is check the antifreeze level. Is the plastic overflow tank up to the level on the tank? You will see a mark for the level it should be if cold and a level it should be if hot. If it is low, add antifreeze to the tank as well as the radiator (take radiator cap off while engine is cold). Get the level up and that should fix the problem. If it doesn't, or the level of antifreeze is where it should be, then you could have a thermostat that is stuck open which doesn't allow the coolant to warm up before being circulated. Replace that and I would bet you have all sorts of heat coming. Both of these fixes are very easy on the bank account.
I would suggest replacing the headlight switch as it also controls the brightness of the dash lights by a variable resistor. If it has shorted, it will blow the fuse. Once the fuse gets replaced, it could have burned out the resistor completely. Chances are, unless something caught fire, or smoked horribly, a wire hasn't been burned out.