Question about 2004 Dodge Stratus
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Finding the thermostat: Follow the LOWER radiator hose to where it meets the engine. It's in there. Most cars that I've worked on have the thermostat at the end of the upper radiator hose, but not this car. Replacing the thermostat: You need to remove the thermostat housing. (It's the piece that the lower radiator hose connects to.) - You do not need to remove the radiator hose from the housing. - First remove the bolt that is holding a bracket. This bracket just holds some wires in place. - Now remove the three bolts that hold the housing to the engine block. These bolts can be fairly hard to turn, but just keep trying. - Gently pry the housing away from the engine block. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to help pry, but do not scratch the mating surfaces of the housing and the block. - Pull out the thermostat, noting that the spring end goes into the engine. - When you put the new thermostat in, you probably want to use a new black rubber gasket, but you might be able to use the old one if you have no choice. Also, I didn't add any permatex or anything and it seems fine. - I tightened the bolts to 22foot pounds, but this might be a little high. Whatever you do, DO NOT overtighten the bolts. Couple other notes: I first removed the air cleaner cover and tubes to get a little more working room. I also unplugged one wiring harness to make more room. Otherwise, I was able to get my big hands in there. A new thermostat did not fix my problem. Here is a description of the problem I was having and the solution: Problem: The temperature gauge was spiking occasionally, all the way into the red. It would spike up and come back to normal. It would spike usually while in idle, but sometimes while driving. Usually about once every twenty minutes. Things I checked first: - The plastic reservior for the radiator was full to the top. - The electric fans were running, and running on high speed. - The car had working heat. - Replaced the thermostat. Did nothing to help the problem. Problem Found: - Vapor lock. Even though the reservior was full of fluid, it had previously gotten too low and the system sucked in some air. Once that happens, it doesn't matter if the reservior is full, the cooling system will not draw in the coolant. This is because filling the plastic reservior does not pour coolant directly into the cooling system. The coolant is sucked into the cooling system through a tube, like drinking soda through a straw. So the reservior, where they tell you to add coolant, was full but the cooling system (radiator, engine, pump, etc.) was almost out of coolant and wasn't able to draw in any more. Solution: When the engine is cool, open the metal radiator cap that's sticking right up out of the engine. It can be found by following the upper radiator hose to the engine. There is a tall metal tube with a metal cap on it. Pull that cap off (when it not hot) and fill it up with radiator fluid. (I use radiator fluid that's pre-diluted and designed for all makes and models of cars). Idle the car, in park, for about thirty seconds. Stop the engine and put the cap back on. If you're lucky, all the air bubbles are out of the system and you're all set.
Posted on Dec 02, 2008
First, I'd recommend you buy a manual, because the water pump is internally mounted, driven by the timing belt. You will also need a puller to remove the crankshaft pulley. You can usually rent/borrow this from the same place you bought the manual. The manual will also show you how to properly install the timing belt and compress the tensioner.
You will need to drain the cooling system, raise the car (safely), remove the right tire, right inner fender, right engine mount (aka front mount), accessory drive belts, timing belt cover, timing belt and tensioner (which needs to be recompressed correctly), and now you are at the water pump. Since the timing belt has to be removed, you should also replace it.
Posted on Sep 19, 2009
Headlight Bulb Replacement
1. Open the hood and remove the two headlight mounting
2. Remove the push-in fasteners for the grill area by prying under the
head of the fasteners with a flat bladed tool.
Posted on Feb 03, 2010
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