Question about Dodge Caravan

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About a month ago I had some radiator fluid on the ground once my car cooled down. I refilled it and put some stop leak in it and it was fine. Today, I have pretty much all of my radiator fluid on the ground. It's out of the passenger side right by the axle. The car never overheats, but it's concerning to have a river of antifreeze running out from under your car. Also, The past week or so I've been having some light squealing. It sounds like a belt loose or something. I don't know if they are at all related

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  • kgoodman0564 Apr 23, 2009

    Thanks for all your suggestions. I took it in. They told me that my water pump needs to be replaced, I might have a blown head gasket and a belt saturated with antifreeze. The said it wasn't good, that I need a new engine or to just get a new car. sad day, but thanks again for your help.

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Sorry to hear that. Usually replacing a water pump and a head gasket doesn't mean replacing the whole engine but if other things were wrecked in the process, then I can see why they would say that as the costs would start adding up quite fast otherwise. If you have any further questions on this problem or want any advice on any cars that you may be looking to or on what to do, please let me know. I would definitely get a second opinion from someone else on what they think after looking at the engine. Replacing the water pump should happen every 70k -120k miles depending on the vehicle. The head gasket is a bigger problem for sure, so good luck.

Benjamin

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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Hello and thank you for your question, my name is Marc and I will do my very best to assist you.

There is a definite leak in your cooling system that will need to be investigated. The fact that you have previously put Stop Leak into the system can indicate that the leak is not too large at present. However there are several possibilities here.

The first being that you have a worn or loose hose. You will need to open the hood and have a good look around for signs of where the leak may be coming from. Often you will also see what looks like dried rusty water marks around or close to the area.
If the hose has a hole in it, then it will need to be replaced. This is a fairly simple process but you will need to purchase the correct hose and securing clips from your dealer or good parts store.
When replacing the hose ensure that the engine is cold and that most of the water has been drained from the engine. After refitting you can then top up the reservoir tank with the correct mixture of water and coolant. The hoses can be secured into place with Jubilee clips. These are very cheap and your dealer should stock them.

Sometimes a hose can become worn and leak where it is secured by a clip. i.e the clip cuts into the hose causing a leak. The procedure for this is as above but sometimes, If the pipe concerned is long enough you may be able to trim a little off with a Junior Hacksaw and simply replace it with a new clip.

The second scenario is that the system may be leaking from the point where a rubber pipe connects to a metal fixing such as to a radiator pipe. The metal pipes can often corrode causing leakage. These can be welded to repair them however this would only be a temporary measure and not best practice. If the leak is at the radiators or similar metal pipe then the radiator or corroded metal part will need to be replaced. Your dealer or a competent mechanic should find this to be an easy process.
Finally you may have a leaking gasket. A gasket acts like a washer to form a seal where two metal components are joined together. They sometimes wear and need replacing. Once again this can be a simple process of unbolting the item, replacing the gasket applying a little gasket sealant and re bolting. However if you are unsure about such a procedure then you should consult a mechanic.

Please do not run the engine in this state as it can cause damage. Even though your temperature gauge may not say hot, the temperature increase can cause parts of your engine to warp and this can be very costly.
I would also avoid putting in more Stop Leak as this can in turn block your heater matrix. This is like a mini radiator that provides you with heat inside your vehicle.

All in all it should not be an expensive problem to solve provided you act quickly and not run the vehicle without coolant.

I hope that this clarifies the matter for you and I wish you every success.
If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to ask.

My very best regards

Marc



Posted on Apr 17, 2009

  • Marc Buck
    Marc Buck Apr 17, 2009

    Further to this, the squealing will most probably be your alternator belt or fan belt. This may need to be tightened or replaced if worn. The fact that you have so much moisture under the vehicle and possibly near to the alternator only contributes to "slipping" of the belt, causing it to squeal.

    My regards as before

    Marc


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