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    2002 Dakota Overheating

    So I have this 2002 Dodge Dakota V8 that has started giving me problems this week (well actually 2 years but who is counting). Earlier this week I went out and started it up in the morning to warm up and when I jumped in the truck 20 minutes later it was blowing cold air from the vents even though it should have been hot air. I turned off the fan for a moment and turned it back on and it started blowing hot air. 1st thing in my head was that it was low on coolant but the reserve tank was at the right level.

    2 days later I'm in the McDonalds drive thru and decide to turn on the heat, blew cold air (temp gauge is normal level). So I turn the fan off and turn back on and of course hot air is flowing.

    No problems for the next 2 day until today when I'm sitting in the Home Depot parking lot and notice the gauge is creeping to the left to where it was close to setting the check engine light off. I get it home and check for any visible leaks, none. Open the radiator cap (you should never do this kids because hot coolant can burn skin) and had good pressure and observed coolant moving in the right direction.

    Any ideas what is going on? 2 years ago I had the radiator replaced as it was clogged. In August I had the clutch fan replaced and I replaced the thermostat in December just for the fun of it. Truck has just over 100,000 miles.



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneDaddy View Post
    Any ideas what is going on? 2 years ago I had the radiator replaced as it was clogged. In August I had the clutch fan replaced and I replaced the thermostat in December just for the fun of it. Truck has just over 100,000 miles.
    I was going to say thermostat, but sounds like you already did it... Unless, by chance, you took it to CARx in which case there's a very real possibility that they SAID they replaced the thermostat and CHARGED you for replacing the thermostat but didn't actually replace the thermostat at all...



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Sounds like you might have air pockets in your coolant system. It will look like its full of coolant, but the air pockets are tough to move through the heater core.

    Could also be the heater valve. Its a valve that opens when commanded after you turn on the heat. It might be sticking or might not have a good connection (most are vacuum controlled).



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Had a similar problem with a 1998 Dakota, and Benson Motors in Ames replaced the thermostat and that fixed everything.
    Posted via Mobile Device



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Is your engine temp running around 185-200 range when at normal operating temperature? If your reserve tank is at the correct level and your temperature guage moves all around then you could have either a water pump going bad or a air pocket in the cooling system. If your temp guage stays in the operating temp I mentioned above, I wonder if the same crud that caused you to replace your radiator has plugged up your heater core so you aren't getting good flow through that limiting your heaters ability to heat your truck. This is also assuming the thermostat you replaced in December is still good. If you have air pockets in your cooling system and it gets to the thermostat, the thermostat can't heat up to where it will quit working properly, but then your engine most like runs cool all the time this time of year.

    Having cold air being blown out your heater, shutting off the fan, waiting a bit and then turning it back on after awhile and having hot air come out does not make sense unless maybe your heater core is filled with crap but moves enough coolant to build up some heat when no air is moving through it. Would you by chance have antifreeze smell at all inside the truck?


    Last edited by Cyclonesrule91; 02-25-2009 at 10:15 PM.

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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Head gasket problems can cause overheating. I hope that isn't the case but a lot of times that is the problem.



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUAlum2002 View Post
    Sounds like you might have air pockets in your coolant system. It will look like its full of coolant, but the air pockets are tough to move through the heater core.

    Could also be the heater valve. Its a valve that opens when commanded after you turn on the heat. It might be sticking or might not have a good connection (most are vacuum controlled).
    Could be air pockets or your thermostat.
    When you car is warm, feel the coolant line returning to resevoir, if it is warm and the coolant is flowing, it probably isn't the thermostat.
    For air pockets, start your car when the engine is cool. Let it run until the thermostat kicks in and you can feel the warm coolant in the return line. Before it gets too hot, open the cap on the resevoir and let it run for a while. The Air bubbles will get forced out the resevoir.



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by bhoodjer View Post
    Head gasket problems can cause overheating. I hope that isn't the case but a lot of times that is the problem.
    If it's a head gasket, the truck will run hot because it is not pressurized any longer and he will be losing antifreeze either through the exhaust or by leaking. I am thinking this would not be the problem if it runs at normal operating temp and he isn't losing fluid.



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneDaddy View Post
    So I have this 2002 Dodge Dakota V8 that has started giving me problems this week (well actually 2 years but who is counting). Earlier this week I went out and started it up in the morning to warm up and when I jumped in the truck 20 minutes later it was blowing cold air from the vents even though it should have been hot air. I turned off the fan for a moment and turned it back on and it started blowing hot air. 1st thing in my head was that it was low on coolant but the reserve tank was at the right level.

    2 days later I'm in the McDonalds drive thru and decide to turn on the heat, blew cold air (temp gauge is normal level). So I turn the fan off and turn back on and of course hot air is flowing.

    No problems for the next 2 day until today when I'm sitting in the Home Depot parking lot and notice the gauge is creeping to the left to where it was close to setting the check engine light off. I get it home and check for any visible leaks, none. Open the radiator cap (you should never do this kids because hot coolant can burn skin) and had good pressure and observed coolant moving in the right direction.

    Any ideas what is going on? 2 years ago I had the radiator replaced as it was clogged. In August I had the clutch fan replaced and I replaced the thermostat in December just for the fun of it. Truck has just over 100,000 miles.
    If the radiator was clogged, there is a chance there is a similar problem in the heater core as well. Or as others have said, maybe air in the system or a stuck heater control.

    But that doesn't explain the overheating, unless the thermostat you put in is junk. That would explain getting cold air, but not the erraticness of it. I guess it depends on how long a "moment" is. I had an Altima with a plugged heater core. When I'd first crank the fan, I'd have heat, but not hot. The longer I ran it, the colder it got. Then I'd shut it off for 5-10 seconds and turn it back on, and i'd get some heat temporarily, but it would only last until all the heat was extracted from the core.

    When things get totally confusing, oftentimes it ends up being more than one thing.


    Walking on water is easy. Just do it in December when it's frozen.

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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Its a Dodge.


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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    I had a water pump problem with mine... Check and make sure the fan doesn't shake...



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  12. #12
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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    Would you by chance have antifreeze smell at all inside the truck?
    I don't have an antifreeze smell in the truck or coming out of the tailpipe. I thought maybe I had a head gasket problem but wouldn't I smell antifreeze coming out of the tailpipe?

    It could be that the heating core is clogged or I have an air pocket ... I won't rest until I solve the problem though



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneDaddy View Post
    I don't have an antifreeze smell in the truck or coming out of the tailpipe. I thought maybe I had a head gasket problem but wouldn't I smell antifreeze coming out of the tailpipe?

    It could be that the heating core is clogged or I have an air pocket ... I won't rest until I solve the problem though
    Head gasket problem is what I had in my old '97 and I could smell the antifreeze but only after the problem was to the point of having to replace the head gasket/engine.


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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by JHudd View Post
    Head gasket problem is what I had in my old '97 and I could smell the antifreeze but only after the problem was to the point of having to replace the head gasket/engine.
    When you change the oil wouldn't you see anti-freeze in the oil. I always have Stew Hansens change the oil, you would think they would be on top of that as they love to try to suck money out of me all the time.



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    Re: 2002 Dakota Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneDaddy View Post
    When you change the oil wouldn't you see anti-freeze in the oil. I always have Stew Hansens change the oil, you would think they would be on top of that as they love to try to suck money out of me all the time.
    I doubt it. They probaly drain it into a big container. Take an oil sample your self and send it in to a lab. If you are not losing much anitfreeze than I doubt you have a problem with af in your oil.


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