Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Hot Under the Hood and Hot Under the Collar

I have a 1996 Dodge 2500 series extended cab cargo van. In 2004 I blew up the motor and had to put in a new motor which is a 318 (same as was in it). However since it was installed it has run hotter than mormal. I now don’t know what to do to fix it. I have had a new water pump, the raditor flushed, a new thermostat installed, new radiator cap, and added a solution that claimed it would run cooler. My mechanic thinks it may be the head gasket getting ready to blow but there is not water evidenced in the oil. My son drove it like a bucking bronco and it overheated and boiled out. Would installing a lower-temp thermostat help at all? The book calls for it to be set at 192-199 degrees. Would appreciate any input what-so-ever because we have just dumped 1,000 on repairs to fix and there’s 50,000 miles on the new motor.

You may have a head gasket leak … get the engine hot and idling, then look for a small stream of bubbles rising in the coolant overflow tank. This is super hot gas from the cylinder combustion forced into and overheating the coolant.

The radiator might partially restricted where not enough coolant is passing thru it to remove the engine heat. The vehicle is thirteen years old. So it wouldn’t be unusual that radiator is restricted.


Thanks for the suggestion. Did as you suggested and found that the head gasket was not the problem.

My wife read your post and although she is a car-hater said she thought this was a logical possibility. So I went ahead and tried it and thank you, it worked. Really appreciate you submitting your possible solution.

No problem. Glad it solved your overheating problem.