COLD Durango in Colorado

A few weeks ago in the bitter cold the car wouldn’t stay started on its own–had to sit in the car and give it gas to keep it idling. This went away after a few days (and seemed to correspond with the bitter cold) The current symptoms are: coolant empty (we don’t remember it boiling over or leaking noticably), the thermostat isn’t moving, and there is no heat–Do we have a thermostat stuck open? Air getting into the coolant system? Please help me warm up!

WHERE is the coolant empty? The overflow bottle, or the radiator? This is your first concern. Find out, even if you have to hire a mechanic to do so. If the engine goes, because of a lack of coolant, all the other problems are immaterial.

Durango Colorado is always cold this time of year, although it’s usually not very windy.

You have no heat because you have no coolant. The heater uses hot water from the engine circulated through a separate tiny radiator called a heater core. The temp gage my not be moving for the same reason. Many temperature sensors have to be immersed in coolant in order to read the engine’s temperature. First step: Fill the radiator, not just the overflow bottle. Do it with the engine cold as you will (obviously) have to remove the cap. Otherwise you may have a graphic representation of old faithful and/or damage the hot engine by adding cold coolant to it. Second step: Fill the overflow bottle. Third step: Drive it and watch the temperature. If it goes high, see if it has used or leaked any coolant. Fourth step: Report back.

We refilled the coolant yesterday in both the radiator and the overfill resevoir–it took almost two gallons–then ran it to see if some air would come out (venting the radiator) and a little did. The temp never moved.

We replaced the water pump and the thermostat in September when the old water pump threw the serpentine belt.


It was empty everywhere sadly…we did refill it yesterday but still no heat