Getting Hot

1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport

I recently acquired the above vehicle. The last owner noticed antifreeze leaking and took it to the shop to have it looked at. They said it was a radiator crack. They said they could seal it and it’d probably last a little while. The leaking came back a few weeks later so he just got into the habit of adding water every couple of days. Yesterday, it got very hot on the way home from work, and this morning I wasn’t about to make it to work because it was getting very hot. I stopped, let it cool off and drove it back home. Opening the hood, I see the water i had added is still in the reserve area. and seemed “cool” to the touch. I’m wondering if you think the waterpump has went out also or if the crack has got so bad that it’s causing too much air to allow circulation?

Wanted to update this. So, I went back out, there was no liquid in the radiator but the reserve was still full. Filled the radiator and drove, still getting warm pretty fast. Water was leaking out as i was filling it. You think the above is possible?

It is a 1995 but you did not mention mileage. Any way, I would go ahead and replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, upper lower radiator hoses along with the heater hoses. You really don’t know if this was done by the previous owner. Well, again, you know the radiator was not.

Sorry, the mileage is 147k.

The leak is so bad now the system can no longer draw coolant out of the reservoir.
At the very least the leaky radiator needs replacing.

Water within the radiator and engine will seek its own level. If teh radiator was empty, so was the engine. If the engine is empty, the air inside should still draw fluid in from the reservoire when it cools and contracts, but at some point all bets are off. You could have even cooked the radiator cap such that it’s no longer sealing and the contracting air is simply drawing in air past eth cap seal rather than drawing in coolant from the reservoire.

I would add to Wizard’s list a new radiator cap. And a prayer.

From your post it seems that it could also be drawing air from the hole in the radiator?

Yes you probably have low pressure in the coolant system due to the hole. The system depends on suction created when the fluid cools and contracts to draw the fluid from the reservoir. Also water is less effective than coolant at cooling the system, and you will need to make sure to have antifreeze protection before winter.

Yup, that’s what I was thinking.

I’d also like to suggest you discontinue the use of plain water. In addition to helping prevent boil over and freezing, coolant not only has additives that prevent corrosion, but also lubricates the water pump. Wet your fingers with some water and then some colant and you can feel a dramatic difference in friction. Many a tool has slipped out of many a fella’s hand when the hand was covered with coolant.