i have a 2004 dodge dakota that resantly started over heating. I have replaced the thermostat and its still overheating. What is the next thing to look at, the water pump? how can i be sure the water pump is or is not working?everything is so tight in this motor i really dont want to replace it if i dont have to.
Assuming you are not leaking from any hose, the radiator, the heater core, or engine - in other words losing fluids anywhere except the overflow, the next thing to try is replace the pressure cap, flush the transmission and heater core for at least 30 minutes (if you don’t do it yourself, take it to a radiator shop, not a quicky lube place that will not flush entire system, and won’t do it long enough to help), and of course replace the fluid.
In the meantime, of course, don’t drive the truck. You don’t want to kill the engine searching for a cheap fix, even if one is to be found. If you need the truck to get back and forth daily, take it in to a radiator repair shop and get it fixed. It will be costly but far cheaper than a new engine.
If it is the water pump, be sure that the timing belt or chain is replaced at the same time.
Do the radiator fan(s) come on?
How do the hoses feel (soft is bad)?
How many miles on your Dakota? Does it have a timing belt or timing chain? If you have a belt, it may be time for a new timing belt. If so generally you would have the water pump replaced at the same time (much cheaper that way).
Do read kizwiki advice.