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Re: antifreeze never goes into overflow
Bad radiator Cap?, Try this procedure:
Dirt and debris can get lodged in the radiator air flow paths. This can block the radiator and cause your engine to overheat and damage the engine.
The thermostat can be stuck close. If you feel the upper hose very hot and the lower hose cooler than normal, it may be a stuck thermostat.
Make sure the radiator and the overflow bottle are filled to the proper levels.
Bleed air from the coolant system:This is best done by running the engine with the radiator cap off until you see when the air bubbles stop coming up.
Check the radiator fans: The easiest way is to turn on the cars air conditioner and turn up the A/C fans. Both radiator fans should come on when the A/C starts
Make a pressure test by using a pressure testing tool (available at most auto parts stores). Use the pressure shown on your radiator cap. Most cars are 16 PSI or less, so don't exceed that pressure. Replace the radiator cap if it doesn't hold the pressure.
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Good job of tying the heater to the antifreeze overflow.
This is a guess. Replace the radiator cap and the hose connecting the radiator to the coolant reservoir. Then fill the radiator, engine, and heater hoses completely with antifreeze solution.
When the engine heats up, the coolant expands. Excess coolant is directed to the reservoir. When the engine cools, coolant is supposed to be sucked back into the coolant system. If either the radiator cap or the overflow hose has a tiny leak, air will be sucked in instead of the antifreeze returning
First off make sure your radiator is full and check the overflow level. Low coolant level will cause the van not to blow out much heat. Check your vent operation, sometimes the doors stick that directs the air flow, your fan can be blowing like crazy but very little coming out of the selected position. On some of these Montanas there is a pump in the heater hose that circulates the antifreeze, if that pump goes bad or the relay you may not be getting enough heat to your heater core to do you any good. Check these things out and I think you'll find your problem.
When you top off the radiator you fill it to the neck where the cap goes. When the engine heats up the antifreeze eventually will distribute and the excess will go into the overflow bottle.
After the car cools, it will draw the antifreeze from the overflow tank into the radiator. Then check the level line on the overflow bottle(tank) for the normal amount of antifreeze per marks on the bottle.
You should have your radiator cap checked for its pressure rating. Use the type of cap which allows for an overflow system. The older caps would not let the antifreeze flow both ways.
First thing to check is if the radiator and overflow tank are properly filled with antifreeze (with engine cool, of course) Next, is the temperature gauge moving up properly? If not, you probably need to replace the thermostat.
Heater not working sounds like a blower motor or heating core. Make sure that your antifreeze is green and mix 50/50 with water, now check and sqeeze your hoses running from and to the Radiator and if its VERY hard and has a crunch sound, it's blocked up, use radiator flush and follow directions, If not than look into the Thermostat b/c if it needs repaired than it will stick and let enough fluid into the engine so that it does not overheat yet with the pressure will back up into the resevoir. My new thermostat is a 140 degree and i've never soon my temp meter get to half way after that.
You have a coolant leak most likely in the heater core. Try disconnecting your heater hoses and coupling them together, then running the engine to see if the leak goes away. If it does, I would have the heater core replaced.
I would check and replace the thermostat if it is bad, recheck the connections of the heater hoses to the heater core, and if none of these are bad, the heater core is most likely gone bad. Also, depending on where the overflow canister is, and if the radiator cap has gone bad, it might be letting too much antifreeze out of the system and overfilling the overflow canister.