We are having a very odd problem with our 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee… first we noticed steam coming from under our hood while driving. Then we noticed we were going through MUCH more coolant than usual. Here’s where it starts to get weird. We thought we had to replace the radiator but then we noticed the car started overheating even though the coolant reservoir tank was 100% full!!! So we waited for the car to cool down, opened up the radiator & saw it was completely empty!!! So the coolant in the reservoir wasn’t flowing to the radiator. So we filled the radiator itself and everything was fine for a couple days. Then one day we start the car and it literally starts vibrating. We turned it right off, lifted up the reservoir tank was empty and so was the radiator!!! We fill them both up completely, start the car back on and the vibrating stopped after like 3 seconds (probably once the coolant started making its way through the radiator)… so what could the problem be? Any ideas? PLEASE?!? New radiator? Thermostat? But what’s up with the reservoir tank not flowing to the radiator? We looked at the hose & it seems to be perfectly in tact. Just wondering if anyone has had this problem and knows how to fix it. I don’t want to spend a bunch of $ on a bunch of parts that are unnecessary. We are very broke. My husband is very good at fixing the problem but we can’t figure out what the problem is!!! Anyone please help!!!
Hopefully you had a new radiator cap also. There appears to be a coolant leak somewhere , a good shop and a pressure test can confirm that, and find the cause,
Remove the oil dip stick and check the oil level and the color.
If the oil level is above the normal reading and looks like a milkshake, a head gasket has probably failed and the coolant is leaking into the oil pan.
From afar–and with a paucity of information–it does appear that this is a case of a breached head gasket, and that is surely not a good thing. .
I recommend that you don’t try drive the vehicle again until it’s diagnosed by a qualified mechanic. Even if it starts and runs again after the cooling system is filled, if you’ve had a headgasket breech it’ll blow the coolant out again, the engine will stop, and it may be permanently disabled at that point. Hopefully, it isn’t toast yet.
Vibrating probably because one cylinder wasn’t firing because of coolant in the cylinder from a blown head gasket. You may not see any sign of coolant in the oil.
The coolant recovery tank won’t draw coolant back into the radiator if you have a leak of a blown head gasket. The recovery system only works if the system is sealed.