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Chrystler 200 overheating and burnt coolant smell

Hi all,
My grandfathers car is overheating bad almost to the max, also smelling coolant inside the cab, a loss in power and very little heat coming through the vents.
No warning lights as of yet. I drove it today to test it and at 80klm/h temp rises to over 3/4, and the smell is bad soon as the vents are turned up.

He’s had the thermostat replaced and the coolant flushed, but to me it seems like the heater core has gone bad? I am by no means a mechanic, but I think the mechanic that serviced the car would have tested it. Hard to believe they missed the engine over heating.

He had a small collision a while back and the Chrysler dealership fixed the damage.

He doesn’t drive it very fast 50klm/h max and leaves it to idle for 20+ minutes. He’s old and stubborn and wont listen.

Chrysler 200 2012 Automatic trans

Symptoms of a leaking heater core:
Smell of antifreeze in cab
Windows will steam over on defrost mode
Wet floors with antifreeze smell
Antifreeze dripping from A.C. drain vent

If you have to keep adding antifreeze, it has a leak. Puddles underneath vehicle can help find where leak is coming from. Needs to be found and fixed. Running a vehicle without proper cooling will ruin your engine.

Yeah, very strong smell in the cab, windows steaming up, floors aren’t wet with antifreeze though. He parks on a grassy spot so it’s hard to tell if anything is leaking underneath.
I will put a few pieces of cardboard underneath the car tonight when I visit, and check it all over for leaks. Thanks.

Just read this on a Chrysler forum.

Heat doesn’t work on passenger side of car, windshield defrost does not work, drivers side heat works sparingly. Dealership calls for replacing radiator, heater core and oil cooler due to sludge build-up/clogging in coolant/heating system. This appears to be due to an incompatibility between the coolant used by Chrysler and the chemicals/oils used in the manufacture of the engine system. This is 100% a manufacturing defect and the dealer & manufacturer are unwilling to replace. Doing some research I am seeing this is a fairly common problem with the 2012/2013 Chrysler 200, regardless of engine type. This is a safety concern as the windshield can become fogged very quickly while driving under the right conditions (damp weather) and without warning, posing a safety hazard.

Posted on a forum by who ? Some person or someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Besides this 2012 is out of warranty . If the owner will not agree to take it to a shop then you need to back off . Being your grandfather your parents might have more influence .

Or you could say you want to use the vehicle , drive it out of sight , have it towed to a shop and tell him that it broke down in the middle of an intersection and then it will be repaired.

Don’t argue with Grandpa.

I like @VOLVO_V70 s idea, but how about you needing to borrow the car because yours is in the shop. It sure sounds like the heater core is leaking.
Do as Valvo says and maybe you, your siblings and your parents can pay the bill to fix it.
Split the cost!!!

Then you will be confident that Grandpa will not breakdown somewhere and walk 3 miles to get home in a snow storm.


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Breathing coolant fumes is unhealthy. You need to address this as quickly as possible.

I’ve called him and told him as best I could and he’s going to let me take it to a mechanic.
He’s been having trouble breathing, dizzy, headaches, and itchy skin. Nan said she’s been telling him theirs been a smell for a while but they both neglected to tell me. Once I told him it was affecting his health he listened to what I was saying. Stubborn old people.
I’m calling the mechanic next to ask why he didn’t address the overheating and smell, when he replaced the thermostat twice, and flushed the coolant. Never even tested his work to see if he fixed the problem.

That does sound like the issue here, unfortunately. It wouldn’t hurt to run this situation past his doctor.