Hot then cold /overheat

Hi, i have a 2006 chrysler town &country. It started trying to overheat but always cooled itself down to now overheating. My fans are working. I hear a like Gurgling noise. I can smell the coolant when i turn on my heat and it goes hot then cold. Not sure what’s going on but it’s pretty frustrating this a lease vehicle. I’ve put antifreeze in it several times. Not sure what to do.

From afar, this is just a shot in the dark, but I believe that you have a breached head gasket.

This is potentially very ominous for a couple of reasons. Besides the damage that is done to an engine by overheating (especially multiple instances of overheating), it is entirely possible that coolant/antifreeze has invaded the engine’s oil supply. Because coolant is not an engine lubricant, contamination of the motor oil with coolant can rapidly lead to destruction of the engine’s bearings.

You need to get this vehicle to a competent mechanic sooner, rather than later, if you want to minimize your damages, but–to be perfectly honest–you may already be at the point where an engine replacement is necessary. If that turns out to be the case, your best bet would be a used engine from a junkyard.

Sincere good luck with this problem!

I agree. Right now…it could be a simple fix but if you wait…your engine could be damaged. Get thee to a good independent mechanic ASAP.

A bad head gasket can absolutely be the culprit… The symptom you are describing is a direct result of having Air in the cooling system…this is a no no. You either introduced this air pocket one of a few ways… Did you recently lose coolant due to any coolant line having a leak? Did you lose coolant in any way prior to this issue you describe? If the answer is No…then the only other way air can enter the system is from the head gaskets.

You can do a little test… Fill your coolant system and leave the cap of the rad or coolant tank Loose…so it cannot build pressure and see if the Hot/Cold gurgling sound goes away. Another way is to fill the system and tighten the cap and take notice of your coolant hoses and the overflow reservoir… If the hoses are getting over pressurized and feel hard to squeeze AND you see or hear air bubbles in the overflow or rad tank…then its the Head Gasket. The hoses should be “firm” not “hard” Im sorry for those sort of vague descriptions but…I and other experienced mechanics will know with a high degree of accuracy just from the pressure present in the hoses and how they feel, while the engine is running. When someone says they think a head gasket has failed there are many things to pay attention to while the car is running… The other major clue is after a while of running you will see the system burp up air and coolant into the overflow reservoir…it will do this periodically when the pressure gets to much for the rad cap to hold back.

Your engine is an Air Compressor…if one of the gaskets meant to hold that pressure IN go bad…they leak that air pressure out into the coolant system. Its a sad state of affairs really. There are fixes one is the “correct and permanent” method…the other is a product called “Blue Devil” Depends on what you expect from your vehicle and how much its worth to invest in the repair… The “proper” way will cost a bit of money…

Unfortunately…I THINK that engine is a known “troublemaker” when it comes to head gaskets…I could be confusing it with the earlier engines however…so double check me on this. Look up the frequency of head gasket failures on the net…if you see a ton of people complaining about it…then there you go. For some reason I believe it was a Head Gasket monster…but please double check me on this.


Lease a 9 yr old van with no warranty? Sweet. Is this a buy here-pay here setup? Tell the place to repo the van. I am sure the new motor costs more than the van is worth. At least it is not a cirrus or pt cruiser.

Sounds like you have a coolant leak somewhere. I would have the system pressure tested for leaks.

If you can hear gurgling it’s low on fluid. If you can smell it, there is a leak in the engine compartment or the heater core. Have it pressure tested. Could just be a bad hose if you’re lucky. What’s the deal with the lease? Is it a lease to own?