(I see the options to “Select a Vehicle Make” and “Select a Vehicle Model” but I am not getting a drop down option. This may not matter but I wanted to go ahead and write this to ensure that my post would not be removed for “illegitimacy.”)
So I own a 2002 Jeep Liberty Sport with a 3.7l engine and I have had overheating problems with it recently. I am not to knowledgeable when it comes to vehicles so I figured I would come to a vehicle community in the hopes that maybe someone could point me in the right direction.
I am starting college in less than a week and I need my vehicle to be in good working order. It has been overheating after I have been going slow down dirt roads, going no more than 30mph. It has overheated three times, and each time is has overheated the engine dings and right after it dings I start seeing steam from the coolant that has leaked out of the tank onto the motor. The coolant is boiling at this point which leads me to think that there isn’t a good circulation going on, but then again I don’t know much about vehicles so I could be wrong in my thinking. Right when I see it getting into the red I pull over and shut the car off to keep the engine from getting any hotter.
Despite this, when I am going down the road, say 50+mph, it is fine. The only times I have problems is when I am going down dirt roads or after I have been on them and am now back on paved roads.
It is worth noting that it isn’t leaking coolant. The only time I found a leak was the most recent time it overheated and I saw a thin mist of coolant spraying from the radiator, but I think this was from it getting so hot and so much pressure building up that it cracked around the molding of the radiator. So other than this little leak in the top right corner of the radiator, coolant is not leaking from the lines.
I think it could be a few things:
- I think it could be the thermostat. My dad thinks that this is the problem to, but right now I know it could be a number of things so I’m not sure that this could really be the problem.
- It could also be the water pump. Like I said earlier for some reason it might not be getting good circulation so maybe this is the problem.
- The fan could have gone bad. I am not so certain on this one as the first two because a few days ago I was testing to see if the fan worked and I put the car in neutral and pressed on the gas pedal and I got out and looked at the fan and it was spinning and it looked like it was spinning normally.
- The fan wire plug could have gone bad. I have thought about this and thinking that maybe while going down the dirt roads this plug jiggles just enough to lose a proper connection and could have blew itself.
- Lastly the other thing I can think of it being is the radiator. I know I need to replace it anyways because of the little hair sized crack, but is there a possibility that it is causing the problem?
Again, I don’t know much about cars. I have a general idea of what problems I could be having, but I am not even sure if the problem is even any of the 5 things I listed. I know that as readers you won’t have as much of a good idea of what the problem is without seeing the problem yourself, but I’m not willing to cause the vehicle to overheat again just to get a few pictures or a video to attach to this post.
So, with that said, I suppose that I am asking people who know more about cars than me to see what their opinions are about the problem I am facing, so just some ideas would mean a lot.
I have watched some videos recently to get a better idea of the problem, and I think the engine layout for Jeep Liberties from the 2002 model up to the 2006 model are almost identical, so if any of you have worked on a Jeep Liberty with a similar problem to me from within this time gap then your post would be great.
As for the thermostat I might as well go ahead and replace it because I know they don’t cost to much, but as for the other parts I am not sure I want to go spending money on replacement parts and it end up I don’t even need them.
Thank you to all who have read my post, and any response will be greatly appreciated.