Question about 1997 Dodge Neon

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Replaced thermostat and has new radiator still gets hot.

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If the thermostat is good and the radiator is good, I would next look at the water pump. See if the water pump is leaking. If it is leaking then it is bad and will need to be replaced. Hope this helped and best wishes.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

  • Bruce Canfield
    Bruce Canfield Jul 29, 2009

    By the way, is the check engine light on? If it is, then take the car to an autoparts store and have them scan the computer for fault codes. Most parts store will do the scan for free. If it is some sort of coolant sensor or fan relay problem, getting the codes will help narrow the problem down.

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Have you checked ignition timing?

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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2 Answers

If my top radiator hose gets hot but not my bottom one does this mean my thermostat is bad


I don't know how did you test your radiator but if you apply below steps you can clarify your problem easier.

If you want to test your radiator:
A) Park your car (it takes more longer to get real temperature values, if the car is moving)
B) Start the engine (don't forget to engage handbrake)
C) Wait around 10 to 15 minute
D) If your top radiator hose gets hot and bottom radiator hose gets warm; your radiator is functional. (In few minutes your radiator fan suppose to work)

If bottom radiator hose is still cold, it means there is a problem at thermostat. If you see any leakage at thermostat housing at the end of above step C, you need to renew thermostat housing gasket too. Even if you buy new thermostat, i suggest you to test it before assembly. If new thermostat doesn't open enough, your car may run so hot.

If you would like to test your thermostat:
A) Boil water in disposable bowl (thermostat may exposure chemical substances)
B) Put thermostat into boiling water.
C) If thermostat opens totaly, it is ready for assembly.

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I would assume it is because either a) your engine is getting very hot, or b) your temperature sensor is going bad. The way to test would be to use an infrared thermometer to see the engine temperature. Does the car shut down on your while you are driving?
If the engine is getting very hot, it is probably because your coolant isn't flowing properly or your radiator is blocked by a plastic bag or something.
Once you confirm that your radiator isn't blocked, check the level of the coolant in the reservoir and in the radiator. It should be full to the top of the radiator. If not, add coolant (you should check for a leak if it is seriously low).
If there is enough coolant, you may want to check that your thermostat is opening. This would be as simple as checking if both the top and bottom radiator hoses are getting hot. If they are both hot, then your coolant is flowing through the thermostat.

Check these three things (radiator not blocked, radiator has enough coolant, and both top and bottom radiator hoses getting hot) and then reply with what you have found.
My bet, without seeing the car, is that your thermostat is stuck closed and it needs to be replaced. This is a $10 fix. Buy a new thermostat at Autozone or another parts store, and replace the old one (I'll explain how if it comes to this.)

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