Question about 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 Club Cab

2 Answers

No interior heat / engine overheated 97 dodge ram 1500

Jumped in my truck and headed down the hiway ; after about 15 kms ; I noticed that the interior of the truck was still cold , then I noticed the engine temp getting hotter than normal. There wasn't any smell. There was a weird light "clunking" noise that seem to come from the heat vents ??
Pulled over and checked for antifreeze leaks , the coolant in the coolant resevoir seemed to be bubbling. There didn't seem to be leaking profusely from anywhere... anyway ; I had it towed to the Chrysler dealership. I have to call them and tell them it got towed there on the weekend. My husband is out of town and I don't want the shop to tell me a big story... anyone out there that could suggest what the problem may be before I O.K. the repair ?
Thanking You in advance for your time !

Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • pammylynn2 Feb 17, 2009

    I keep the truck running smoothly all the time. I had the rad flushed about a year ago.The clunking noise was similar to ... like a sucking noise that hit an air bubble ; then the engine temp went down sightly.It did that about 3 times.

  • pammylynn2 Feb 17, 2009

    I just finished speaking with the Chrysler service department , I indicated that I haven't been leaking coolant ( I don't drive that much and there isn't any coolant on the garage floor). I asked them to start with the thermostat and then go from there.While waiting for a tow truck ; there wasn't any coolant under the vehicle either , there was fluid in the resevoir and rad.
    There weren't any "check engine" or other warning lights that came on during this process ; so running a diagnostic would be $$ out the window ; no ?

  • pammylynn2 Feb 17, 2009

    Yep... head gasket job ; 2500 bucks.
    Is it worth it ?



2 Answers

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert who has answered 20 questions.


    An expert that has over 10 points.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Expert
  • 33 Answers

Coolant runs through the heater core regardless of whether or not the thermostat is open or closed. Otherwise your heat would work poorly in cold weather as the heater would stop working each time the thermostat closed to let the vehicles engine maintain the necessary temperature for efficient operation.

Thermostats also don't make noise when they open or close, so the noise you're hearing is not the thermostat.

The noise you're hearing is probably air moving through the cooling system. This happens when you're radiator is low on coolant. The same coolant that keeps your engine cool is also what delivers heat to your heater core. When the system becomes too low on coolant, there's nothing to transfer that heat away from the engine so the engine overheats and the heater stops working. There is probably a little coolant still in the system, which is why you're hearing noises as the water pump continues to try and pump whatever it can. As bubbles of coolant make it through the system, you'll notice the engine temperature fluctuate up and down.

Often times in older vehicles, the fill line that runs from the plastic reservoir to the radiator becomes plugged, so you may have plenty of fluid in the reservoir while the radiator may be nearly empty. You have a very slow leak somewhere. I have a slow leak on an old Jeep of mine, and it runs fine until one day the level of coolant drops below the point where the water pump can easily pump it, and I begin to experience the exact symptoms you describe: Strange noises, heater doesn't work, engine temp runs hot then falls, etc.

Another possibility is that your water pump is damaged. A damaged water pump will not pump well, preventing coolant from flowing through the system. As the pump spins very quickly since it's driven off the engine, a damaged or out of balance pump can often make pretty noticeable noises.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009

  • Jeremy Feb 17, 2009

    The computer codes are set by things the computer can sense/detect. The computer doesn't detect radiator fluid levels, thermostat operation, plugged radiator, failing water pump, or things of that nature. So running a computer diagnosis would probably be a waste of time. If you were going to do that, you could take it to a place like Auto Zone and they will do it for free.

    If the engine is overheating and the heater is not working, coolant is not getting pumped through the system, period. It's unlikely to be a plugged radiator or a bad thermostat because these things don't affect the heater core.


  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has answered 1,000 questions.

  • Master
  • 1,118 Answers

From your description i would say the thermostat stuck closed, no heat, running hot, boiling in resavor, thermostat bad, replace. must of got real hot to makes that kind of clunking noise, I just hope for your sake thats all it is, of course i don't know the history of the truck, but right now it sounds like thermostat. There is an outside chance it could be a head gasget, cracked head, pluged radiator, thies are all worst case sanareo.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009

  • ccn7 Feb 17, 2009

    That noise was most likely the thermostat opening up late, better have it changed, before one day it dosent open and does some real damage.

  • cpayne33 Oct 28, 2010

    i had the exact same probs with mine but when i finally parked it was smoking really bad and i noticed there was coolant all over my what do i do?



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Mechanic can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Mechanic (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Why does my 2012 dodge ram 1500 fuel pump stay on...

About 117,000 results (0.73 seconds) Search Results

    TIPM Repair & Bypass Solutions for 2007-2014 Dodge ...
    2011-2012 Dodge Ram 1500; 2011-2012 Dodge Ram 2500; 2011 Chrysler Town ... test your fuel pump relay, and bypass a bad fuel pump relay to stay on the road. .... Mytesting/bypass device will often narrow down your problem to the TIPM ...

    Dodge Ram 1500 Questions - fuel pump keeps running ... > Questions > Dodge > Ram 1500

    CarGurusNov 1, 2013 - fuel pump keeps running when key removed - 2011 ram 1500 slt quad ...fires right up but will not stay running unless I keep my foot on the gas.

    I Changed The Fuel Pump On My 97 Dodge Ram 1500. Ran ... > Questions > Dodge > Ram 1500

    CarGurusI changed the fuel pump on my 97 dodge ram 1500. Ran great for 2 days then stopped running. I can hear pump working, replaced fuel system relay, engine tur... ...Jun 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM about the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr ST 4WD ... The truck fires right up but will not stay running unless I keep my foot on the gas.

    2011 Dodge Durango Fuel Pump Relay Stays Engaged ...

Feb 03, 2016 | Dodge Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My Hyundai Accent 2005 CRDi cold starts perfectly, after running to few kms if i stop for a while say for 15 mins it doesn't starts at all. It require at least 1 hr to start it again.

You need to scan the ECM to see if there are any stored DTCs. Just guessing, it sounds like a bad cam or crank sensor. They can be temperamental when they get warmed up, if they are bad.

Mar 31, 2015 | 2005 Hyundai Accent

1 Answer

How to replace head gaskets

What engine? Has thermostat been changed? You say it has not overheated since, but water not circulating. If water/coolant wasn't circulating, it would be overheating. Please explain a little more or confirm why you think that.

Feb 25, 2014 | 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD

1 Answer

Milky oil cap on merc c180 2005

You havw a serious problem with water getting into the oil.
Most likely it is leaking from the head gasket. You mentioned that the head gasket was replaced 6 months ago. Did the cylinder head get re-tighten after several hundred kms. If not this should have been done to avoid this problem.

Dec 04, 2012 | 2005 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

3 Answers

Ford focus tdci white smoke problems

What happening is you have a bad head gasket or its starting to go bad. As long a little oil is getting in to cylinders causing that smoke once it warms up that gasket is expanding thus the smoke stops. I would keep an eye on oil levels if it gets milky replace gasket asap. Could also be intake gasket but highly doubt it this sounds like a worn head gasket.

Nov 27, 2012 | 2006 Ford Focus

1 Answer

99 neon misfire error code to fix

43 ignition control circuit not responding

Possible bad igntion control module (built into in PCM)

Oct 31, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Battery's are draining on a 2008 gmc duramax

Check all the interior lights in the truck, look at the visors which are the single biggest cayuse of the battery drain, look at night. Also Have the batteries tested, a shorted cell will draw them down as well. Never overlook the obvious.

Oct 18, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1996 GMC K1500 head lights, daytime lights and interior lights not working from a power surge

i would imagine you blew the bulbs so check them first before you go on the magic relay quest,

Apr 28, 2012 | GMC K1500 Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

My 1995 325i overheating and the gauge flactuates,i replaced thermostat already,I also noticed that when im driving and change the gear to4th & 5th on a hiway, itgoes faster tothe red zone. also heater...

your car is severely overheating. take it to a repair shop and have it checked. it sounds like you are low on coolant, if you only get cold air out of vents, it usually means you you have little to no coolant in the system. you could have a lot of air in the system also. try bleeding the coolant system.

Jan 27, 2011 | BMW 325 Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

2002 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7L- Started over heating a week ago, replaced radiator cap, that didn't work, replaced thermostat, that didn't work, replaced plastic coolant resevoir with a brand new one from...

I hope I am not corect but the dodge engine Mitsubishi has aluminum heads easy to warp and overheat I had three dodge engines with warped heads go for anywhere form 600 head refurbished to 800 remanufactured heads replaced not dealer shop price that would be 1200 to 1600 minimum find a home mechanic have him check the head for warpage do you smell steam sometimes ?? It is a symptom I replaced water pump ,thermostat ,radiator cap, resorvoir , prayed ..prayed but it was the head warp deal ... you can do this yourself BUT replace head bolts and gasket A must when you re install the head

Jun 16, 2010 | 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

1,029 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Dodge Experts


Level 3 Expert

77544 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22306 Answers

Ronny Bennett Sr.
Ronny Bennett Sr.

Level 3 Expert

6927 Answers

Are you a Dodge Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides