Question about 2003 Dodge Durango

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I just got through spending $360 having both the clutch fan and water pump replaced in my 2003 Dodge Durango. When I drove it off the lot, it had kinda a louder sound than when I had taken it in, and louder than it had ever been before (it usually "purrs like a kitten"...or lion, in this case, after it warms up). The louder sound (I don't know how else to describe it?!) makes it seem like the engine might be working overtime, and sounds kinda like a bus or something larger. Outside of the usual stuff (keep reading), it seems to be running better, but is this loudness a symptom of something to come, or something that the mechanics might have "accidentally" messed up when fixing the pump or fan (or is this what a clutch fan sounds like...if so, i guess it must have been broken since the day i bought it?!). I also had a leak in the exhaust manifold a couple of months ago, and had it repaired at that time as well. It has always died at stops and on slow corners (especially when just warming up) ever since I've owned it, but seems to be being more persistent than before. It has 75,000 miles on it, and gets regular oil changes and 19 point inspection (how they found the exhaust leak).

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A viscous coupling(fan clutch) works with gel inside the coupling. When heated(engine getting hot) it engages the fan and the louder noise you hear may be the fan engaging. It should not be audible under normal running conditions and moderate heat. You do hear it after just having started the engine but should go away about 30 seconds later. With the engine at operating temp and switched off you should be able to easily turn the fan by hand. You will feel resistance and attempting to spin the fan by hand will have it turn only about a quarter turn by itself. If you cannot turn the fan at all then it has either been replaced with a direct drive unit, or has been modified. (Some of the less scrupulous service centres will drill a hole through the old coupling, put a bolt through it and tel the customer it has been replaced!!! ) Neither are acceptable practice if the customer has not been informed of this.
If it's been modified you should be in for a refund of sorts if you were charged for a new viscous coupling. If it was not modified, raise the question with the service centre and ask them if they could identify the sound, just to be safe.

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

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