I have a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan that I am trying to keep going for another month or so until I buy a new van. It has 135,000 miles on it, so I think I got my money’s worth out of it. On January 4, while driving to my father’s funeral of all places, we discovered we had no heat! Not a good thing in the winter in Ohio. The next day I took it in and had the thermostat replaced and the radiator flushed and filled. All seemed well until yesterday. The temperature gauge usually is about halfway between Cold and Hot. After about five minutes of driving, I noticed the gauge was about three quarters of the way toward Hot. We had the air conditioner on so I turned it off and that made the gauge go down a little. It’s been about 1300 miles since the thermostat was replaced. Since I’m planning on getting rid of this vehicle, I would prefer to not sink a lot of money into it. Any suggestions on what might be causing this will be appreciated.
The trouble may be due bad headgaskets leaking exhaust gases into the coolant. You have a block check done to see if that is the case. Also check the coolant level to make sure it is at the proper level. There may be a small leak somewhere.
Is the engine fan running with the air conditioning off when the gauge is 3/4 toward hot? It should be. If it isn’t ,look for a bad fan,fan relay or fan control module. I don’t know how the 2000 is set up but my 2002 has a fan control module bolted to the steel bumper on the drivers side of the grille, behind the plastic bumper cover.
You need to check the coolant level and condition and also the engine oil and transmission oil level and conditions. You might just be low on coolant. There is probably more to this. YOu have to make sure that your fan and thermostat are working. The van would probably have more life in it if well maintained.
As a no cost check - make sure the system has been ‘bled’ properly. A coolant leak would have not left enough hot coolant to circulate through the heater system (no heater). The person installing the themostat and refilling the system may not have bled the system (completely or at all) of air. This would explain the overheating. Should be no problem to correct by someone who knows what they’re doing. Hope this helps.
I let it run in the driveway for about 20 minutes tonight and couldn’t get it to overheat, both with the a/c on and off. The fan did come on. The overflow bottle is low on coolant and it appears to be dripping on the driveway, from the area under the bottle or under the radiator. I guess I’ll take it back in to the place that worked on it in January.
The other thing that is probably under the overflow bottle is the water pump. You might need a new one. Of course there are a number of places it can leak from. Do take it back to the shop for a look. But make sure the radiator & overflow are at proper levels before going - only open the radiator when the van is completely cool, of course.
Well, it turned out the leak came from the water pump. I had it replaced. Thanks for the replies.