2004 Dodge Stratus Radiator Gurgling after shut off

I have a 2004 Dodge Stratus who’s radiator was replaced about a year ago and for the past 5-6 months after I park it and shut it down the radiator “gurgles” as though it is out of fluid. It runs normally and the temp gauge is in the normal position. I fill the reservoir and it seems to be empty all the time. It does not appear to be leaking anywhere. I am getting ready to take a trip and do not want to have to replace the radiator yet again. Any advice?

If it wasn’t done, replace the radiator cap.

If radiator cap isn’t capable of holding the proper pressure, the coolant in the radiator will boil.

And if the cap can’t hold the proper pressure, coolant can escape the cooling system as a vapor.


how do u tell if the cap can hold the pressure or not?

With cooling system pressure tester with adapters to test radiator caps.

Here’s a guy testing a radiator cap.


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TY. I will have it checked.

Or just replace the radiator cap. They aren’t are expensive as the labor cost to test one.

That same pressure testing kit can pump up the cooling system so you can detect leaks. I borrowed the kit at a nearby O’Reilly’s. (Actually, they sell you the kit and refund you when you return it on time and intact.) Pumped about 20 PSI into my cooling system at the radiator cap. Next morning there was a small puddle. I traced it up to a leaking intake manifold gasket. I bought one when returning the pressure kit and had it installed by late that afternoon.

I suggest you have the block checked to see if there is head gasket leak. Hopefully this isn’t the case but it might be what is causing the issue.

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Easy pressure test for me, squeeze the upper radiator hose when cool. After it is warmed up squeeze it, it should be significantly firmer.

Thank You, everyone. The problem is solved. It WAS the cap and the local Jiffy Lube checked & replaced it for free.

Good luck but still keep a close watch on it. I wouldn’t trust IFFY LUBE to clean my window’s much less anything else.

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I’m very glad you solved the issue!

But—Stay away from Jiffy Lube! I wouldn’t even trust them to screw the cap on. They cross-threaded an oil filter on my first car which caused all the oil to leak out, permanently destroying the engine.

Seriously, beware.

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TY very much. Maybe I’ll go somewhere else and have their “new” cap checked. I have taken my car there every year for the past 3 yrs for their free oil change on Vet’s Day and they seem to do that ok, but I will for sure heed all of you guy’s warning. TY again.