Question about 1988 Dodge Shadow
How long has it been going on? You need to check if you have a bad head gasket. A compression test of the cylinders would tell you. Not saying that's what it is, but that can be a cause of overheating. And it can also be an expensive result of prolonged overheating. That's why mechanics caution against running an overheating engine. If you find the head gasket is good, it will give you great peace of mind, knowing the Shadow's engine warrants a few more dollars in repairs. Compared to the cost of a new head gasket and having the head checked for straightness and for cracks, other repairs for overheating is minimal.
First check the coolant level and keep it full. It could be a worn water pump. Feel for pressure behind the coolant when you squeeze the upper radiator hose for a second or two. The engine needs to be warmed up and running, so the thermostat is open. Try to squeeze the hose closed, then let off and feel for a surge of coolant, and watch the coolant in the radiator for pressure pushing coolant on through the radiator. Kind of a rough test if pump is circulating coolant. You might also try a new thermostat. They are cheap and easy to replace. Clean the outside of the radiator of leaves or dirt. It should be checked for blockage. When upper hose is hot, the lower hose should also be hot or quite warm, just not as hot as the upper hose. If it is, radiator seems not blocked.
Don't worry about having no heat at this time. When the overheating is solved, and coolant level is full, the heater will return.
Posted on Jan 15, 2013
Testimonial: "Thanx ,I have replaced thermostat,new radiator also,could it be caused by the heatercore,is there another test to check for blown head gasket that doesnt require a compression test? "
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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