Hey guys, I could use some objective advice. It’s a 2002 Grand Cherokee 4.7L, with 130K miles on it.
I had my Jeep’s radiator/hoses replaced over the summer, and have had a nagging issue where, about once a month, the upper radiator hose will slip off the neck and lose a bit of coolant. Had it back to the shop (Firestone) a couple of times and they did a flush, etc. but nothing helped. Took it back last week, and they said pressure is building up inside the cooling system and that’s what is blowing the hose off. They said they weren’t able to finish a block test as the coolant was overflowing into the test fluid or some such. Based on that, they think it’s either a cracked head gasket or (less likely) a cracked block.
The thing is, it’s never overheated or had any other issues; in fact, if the hose had stayed put, I’d never have known there was a problem. No loss of coolant (except when the hose slips off), no oil loss, no discolored oil, no overheating, no knocks, no vibrations, no power loss, no white smoke from the exhaust… nothing. I’ve had an eagle eye on the temp gauge since the radiator work was done, and it’s never budged past the 12 o’clock mark, even in the Houston summer in rush hour traffic. My father in law was the previous owner (bought it new) and never had cooling issues, either.
We’re taking it for a second opinion to an independent mechanic, and he was a bit wary that Firestone didn’t really track down the issue, and is going to run diagnostics on it later this afternoon. However, he said if it is a head gasket, they would never recommend just doing the heads/valves and would instead recommend putting in a new/remanufactured/rebuilt engine, due to possible damage to the lower parts of the engine.
Anyway, I’m at a loss. We definitely can’t afford a car payment right now, so getting the work done, be it heads/valves or a remanufactured motor are the only viable options. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.