Question about 2002 Chrysler Sebring

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2002 Sebring - Engine just overheated!! Engine Sludge?

Ok, I bought a 2002 Chrysler Sebring Convertible in September 08. Just replaced the cam shaft sensor last week. Now today my engine overheated. I was really close to home, so I tried to make it, but there are a lot of hills and when I saw it get to the red "H" level, I stopped and turned the car off (even though I was less than 1/2 mile from home). I waited about 10 min, turned the heat on to the floor on high, as recommended in the manual and came home.

I searched online to see if I could find any info, and I came across a lot of complaints about engine sludge. Ugh. Is there any way to prevent that from happening? I read that the engine overheating is the cause of the engine sludge! I don't know anything about cars and I hate to take it somewhere, but I'm going to have to. I'd just like some advice beforehand so I don't sound like a complete idiot at the mechanic shop. The car has 68,000 miles - my only car I've ever had with less than 100K on it, and its given me the most problems! HELP

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  • miss_chingon May 30, 2009

    It is a 2.7 v6 engine... I have been having the oil changed every 3 months, which is usually less than 3,000 miles for me. This is the first time it has overheated. My girlfriend looked at it last night, there are white spots on the (radiator?) hose where the antifreeze must have built up pressure and come out.

    When I got the cam shaft sensor (my check engine light came on and autozone ran a diagnostic, said it was the sensor), the guy who installed it had to remove one of the hoses to get to the area for the sensor installation. So, my GF thinks maybe he didn't put the hose back on correctly.

    I never had any problems until the 1st time I got my oil changed. The guys at valvoline left my throttle part way open, which caused the RPM's to get stuck at 6000 and I had to turn the car off in the middle of the road & get it towed. The RPM wouldn't go down, even at a complete stop. Their manager came to my house and fixed it. I figured it was just a mistake, and they were so nice and quick to fix it, that I went back for my next oil change. Right after that, the cam shaft sensor is out. Now my engine overheats... I'm sure these are un-related but it's strange and one thing after another! This is first car I've had with less than 100K and I've never had many car problems before!

  • miss_chingon Jun 01, 2009

    Took the car to a mechanic Saturday. He let it idle for an hour and a half and it never overheated. Temp guage stayed right in the middle between hot & cold. He said he drove it around it traffic with AC on, and reported no problems. I picked up my car, drove it 2 miles back to my house, and the temp did not show it was overheating. BUT, when I turned off the ignition, I heard a popping sound coming from the engine. Popped the hood and the antifreeze was boiling and bubbling.

    Today I took the car to bridgestone to do diagnostics. They say the coolant is leaking. They're going to replace the part to stop the leak. They also want to do a coolant flush, but not getting that done there, as I'm being told their price is too high ($140).

    Wouldn't there also be something wrong with the temp guage since it didn't register being hot, and yet the fluid was boiling???

  • chris kelton May 11, 2010

    it sounds like you have a 2.7 v6 those are the worse for engine sludge. but before it would cause the engine to overheat you would hear a rattle in the top of the motor. that is cause by the engine sludge stopping the movement of oil to the top of the motor. other than routine oil changes there really is no way to keep that from happening but u can take it to any repair facility and ask for a motor flush what they would do is pour in an alcohol based chemical to breakdown any sludge in the engine. otherwise looking at the overheating problem i would need to know when exactly it would overheat, like if the fans wouldnt come on or if it would overheat just sitting still. make sure there is plenty of coolant in the cooling system before attempting any of this no water is an inconclusive output. that is a good thing of what you did though pulling over and letting it cool off. no matter where u are those 2.7s are real bad about warping the heads then throwing a timing belt ruining the engine. in fact the chrysler corp. has been sued for those engines not lasting over 100,00 miles. for any reason. tell me what u found out and i will help anyway i can.



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Also make sure the repair shop will replace the thermostat with an oem dodge thermostat even the oem specified stant brand therm can cause the engine to overheat because of it not opening enough for the water to pass. ive have the same problem with a cheap replacement found that the dodge part works great.

Posted on May 31, 2009

  • chris kelton Jun 02, 2009

    yes and no there are 2 different temp sensors one is strictly for the gauge the other is for the radiator fans, and the powertrain control module its not common for the sensor for the gauge or the gauge itself to go out they do not have any big moving parts to wear out. bridgestone is expensive but they do have a big warranty if any problems or it still overheats they can diagnose and should pay for any parts needing to be replaced, since they say it needs that part make sure they stick to it dont let them throw in a maybe somewhere. if it still overheats take it back and make them fix it. because if they diagnose the problem and it dosent turn out to be it then thats called misdiagnoses which we do not like to hear at our shop. plus its a nationwide warranty for anywhere.


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You need to have a coolant flush done to your engine. Overheating the coolant will brake down the properties of the antifreeze. Have a garage flush your cooling system thorougly and replace the old coolant with the proper OEM coolant. You will also need to replace your thermostat as overheating this unit will have damaged the thermostat. Replace the rad cap while your at it because there is a spring that regulates your cooling system pressure and it will now be weakened.
Just a note, Overheating your engine will cause damage to your engine. If the temperature gauge is near the red zone, stop the engine before any major damage can occure.

Posted on May 30, 2009


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