Hi, I have an '01 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L V8 with 150,000 miles. I have a problem where the coolant isn't sucked into the radiator from the coolant reservoir. I can remember when I only had to fill the reservoir. This truck was involved in a front end accident in '05. The radiator was one of the parts replaced. I can tell you that when you open the drain plug from the radiator, nothing flows out. At the end of '08, the original water pump was replaced. About a year ago my hot temperature light turned on. I made it home since I was only about a mile away. When I opened the hood the coolant reservoir was full, so I waited a couple of hours for the engine to cool. When I opened the radiator cap I noticed there wasn't any coolant inside the radiator! I get some coolant and fill it to the top (it was a large amount).So I replaced the radiator cap and have found that I still have to fill the radiator every 3 weeks or so and the reservoir continues to be full and now I just fill the radiator with water because I don't want to keep spending money on coolant. I do notice an odd light gushing noise near the glove box every time I turn on the vehicle in the morning (I've heard this noise for about 5 years now). I can also hear it when at a stop and begin to accelerate (not all the time though). It was serviced 2 weeks ago and the radiator cap was again replaced, top and bottom hoses replaced, thermostat replaced and was told a flush was performed. So I take it back the next day and tell them I still hear the odd gushing noise. Before I took it to back to them in the morning, I opened the radiator cap and could not see any fluid in the radiator. When I picked up the truck at the repair shop the day before, I saw the employee fill the reservoir and the radiator. He then turned on the truck and topped it off with coolant as the coolant level in the radiator dropped. I am worried that work and money was spent without fixing the problem.
Could the problem be the radiator itself, since nothing flows out when the drain plug is opened, could a clog cause this? Should I be worried about the noise I hear inside the cabin in front of the glove box (the employee at the shop claimed he heard nothing, I guess he didn't even try to listen to it)?
Please help, I need to make a long distance trip soon and don't need trouble on the way!