CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2002 chrysler sebring 2.7 lxi

I have a 2002 chrysler sebring convertible LXI 2.7 engine … im having overheating problems and ive tried so many things and still cant get it fixed. not having any luck with a mechanic that is dependable. already spent over 2500 dollars in the last 6 months in this engine. it over heats unless i have the heater running. if i dont have the heater running it over heats really quick… i have already replaced, both fan relays, sensor, thermostat. a mechanic states to me that he really doesnt think its a gasket problem, i just had that done less than 3 months ago. please if someone can help me… im getting frustrated… im a single mother trying to get my boys places they need to be but scared to take it down the street!! please help !!! thanks !!!

If the radiator fans are coming on, it might be a bad radiator. A radiator shop can flow test a radiator to determine if the radiator is at fault If the car doesn’t overheat when you turn on the heater, this is a clue that the radiator may be partially plugged. The heater is actually adding a smaller radiator to the cooling loop.

Thanks Tridaq for responding to me. I know this is something that i need to get fixed as soon as possible, but with me still driving around with my heater on, is it going to make it worse? i have an apt 40 miles away this week and i dont want to make it worse but i need to get there. u think ill be okay?

As @triedaq asked, are the fans coming on at all when it overheats?

I wouldn’t count on the car behaving, if it needs the heater to be on. That’s really only a stop gap method of getting the car off to the side of the road if you notice it overheating. Hate to say it but it really shouldn’t be that difficult to fix for a mechanic, especially if he’s familiar with the history of the car.

the fans are working. seems to be blowing cooler air than it was before, does that make a difference?

and i mean cooler air comming out of the radiator fans, before it used to blow real hot air before all this started messing up… thanks for ur input !

Thats an indication that there is a flow problem with the radiator. It could be the radiator or it could also be that one of the hoses has de laminated and has a collapsed section on the inside that is not visible on the outside, or someone left a rag inside one of the hoses.

Is the cooling system full? You should be able to see the coolant level by looking though the side of the reservoir. Don’t remove the cap when the engine is hot, allow to cool before removing the cap.

okay, system is full… and having the hoses checked. cant find a reliable mechanic here…lol… small town, no help… i appreciate all the advice im having here…

When the engine is hot, you can feel along the upper hose. Use the backside of your hand so you don’t accidently grip a hot hose. If it is hot near the engine, caution, it will be hot, but gets dramatically cooler as you move your hand closer to the radiator, then there is no flow through the hose.

BTW, probably not, but there is a slight possibility that the water pump is bad, but if that was it, I wouldn’t think the heater would have so much effect.