2009 Avenger Overheating

I have a 2009 Dodge Avenger (4cyl/2.4L). It started having problems overheating while idling several months ago. At the time, it was also leaking from the radiator, so I put a tiny bit of Stop Leak in it. That seemed to solve the problem until a couple weeks ago when it again began overheating slightly while idling.

The mechanic I took it to replaced the thermostat housing, and suggested a new radiator. Supposedly he also inspected the water pump and the 2nd thermostat and blew out the radiator. My fans are running fine.

Will a new radiator solve the problem? An other suggestions? Thanks!

The radiator prevents the engine from overheating…

If the radiator doesn’t work, the engine will overheat.


The mechanic suggested a new radiator. At the cost of an engine compared to the radiator I would do it. Of course there is always the second opinion option.

When any part of the cooling system leaks – like the radiator – that prevents the cooling system from building up to the designed pressure when the coolant is hot. The low pressure in the cooling system then is not able to cool the engine properly, b/c the coolant starts boiling at too low of temperature. If you are certain the radiator fans are 100% working, turning on at the temperature they should without fail, then the next step is to replace whatever is leaking. Next ask you shop to do a coolant system pressure test. With any cooling system problem it is also a good idea to remove, inspect, and water bath test the thermostat. If you still have the original thermostat installed, best to just replace it with a new one at that age. . But still test even the new one in a water bath to make sure it opens at the correct temperature and to the correct dimension. It isn’t unheard of for replacement thermostats to fail right out of the box.

When radiators leak they are usually just replaced. A radiator shop might be able to repair one, but it still usually makes sense to just replace a leaking radiator with a new one.

A final note, radiator fans can seem like they are working, but actually are failing intermittently. Usually it is not the fan or its motor that fails, but the temperature sensor that is supposed to turn it on. I’ve had to replace the radiator fan temp sensor on my Corolla two times for that very reason. And one time the overheating from the fan not spinning blew a hole in the radiator before I realized what was happening.

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I have a 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat with the 3.6L. I basically had well still have the same issue,except I know what’s wrong. I have a leak and need a new engine oil coolant housing,a higher $$$ part. Gotta basically take off the top end to change it out. My Avenger decided he wanted to add a new issue into the mix. A few days ago it started putting moisture up into the inside of the windshield:frowning: normally that would scream it needs a new heater core! My question is can a clogged up heater core put that moisture on the inside of the windshield? Nothing in the passenger floor board just fogs my windows very quickly. I am not putting antifreeze in it at the moment as the leak in the coolant housing is so significant that it’s pointless adding antifreeze. If it was due to the leak why would it suddenly start this after months of having the coolant housing leak? Or could the leak have killed my heater core?


Also, No

Seems like you need a new heater core and to stop the leak.

YA know I need to stop that leak,trying to get the $$$ up for the housing. Mopar wants $275 for it,hahahahaha… Needless to say it wont be coming from Mopar,i found a few on the web same part for about $150. It’s just a matter of getting it now and putting it on.

That heater core will still be a leak and your overheating problems will continue if you don’t fix that, too.

Also check you oil. The device you are replacing is a water-to-oil oil cooler. If it leaks to the OUTside, it may also be leaking to the INside into the oil. Make sure the oil doesn’t look like a milkshake indicating coolant in the oil.

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Ok, it has also presented yet another issue into the mix,hence when it rains it pours. It was showing the charge light, and an error light as well. Put it on the computer at Mopar and it came back Cam Position Sensor. I have the part but have yet to get it on. It has been not starting but when jumped off it starts and runs and is fine till it’s turned off again. My lights while it’s running don’t dim up like they would if the alternator was bad…??? My ex in his infamous wisdom decided to rip off the easy jump positive box (have no clue what the technical term is) as it had melted a bit. So now i just have the positive wires floating around under the hood (scary) and I know that is a huge part of why it won’t start properly. The thing is what could have been making it get hot enough to cause the melting to begin with. He had it rigged on a random bolt where it was starting ok for a few days. But he had it loose and it got so hot that it basically welded itself to the bolt:frowning: Any ideas on what is making it get that hot???

You need to have this fixed properly and getting parts over the internet might not be best. Not fixing the radiator and heater core could ruin a very expensive engine. Unless you are one of the 3 people in the USA who don’t have a credit card the interest you would pay is much less that an engine replacement.

The oil needs to be changed (it’s dark) as the car tells me when it starts up. But there’s no milky discolor so that’s thank God not one of his issues.lol

I am one of those non credit card ppl:frowning: I wish I did have one right now.lol my life would be alot easier gotta say. I have a prepay but kinda defeats the whole purpose if you ask me… It is what it is I suppose…Im just thankful I took a year of auto mechanics in high school instead of home ec… I just don’t like working on new stuff the electronics throw me for a loop:(

As $$$ is a bit of an issue at the moment would you suggest bypassing the heater core till i can get the part? The perk would be being able to see to drive or at least that’s what I’m thinking anyway…

Do you not have any relatives or friends that would loan you money ? There are people in my family I don’t really care for but if it meant helping them keep a job or a safety matter for their children then we would do it.

Yes, there is a high resistance connection at the joint. Likely that caused the junction box to melt. In any event if the wires are still getting hot, disconnect them, clean the terminals and reattach tightly. And for goodness sake INSULATE the connection and tie-wrap it down. If the big red wire to the starter touched ANYthing metal it may cause a fire and other bad things.

And you might have a bad alternator. If you can get the car started measure the voltage across the battery before and after starting. It should be at least 12.4 volts not running and at least 13.5 volts running. If its reading 12V or less the alternator is dead. Anything in-between and likely the alternator is failing. Pull it out and have it tested before you buy a new one just to be sure it is the alternator and not some other buggered up wiring in the car.