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When the outside temp gets above 50 my 2001 Dakota 4.7L overheats.I changed the thermostat and flushed the radiator.The pump seems fine when I turn on the heater,to help cool the engine I get plenty of heat.It started the spring after I hit a deer and took out the airconditioning.What did I miss?

does this have an electric cooling fan?

Greg, Does It “Overheat” While Cruising And Idling, both?

I’m sure you’ve checked the cooling fan’s operation and properly purged the cooling system of air, right?

Do you lose any coolant when it “overheats”? Gauge reading “High”?
How are you determining the overheating, that it’s getting too hot?

I’m almost embarrassed to suggest this, but a Chrysler Technical Service Bulletin says the radiator cap on these Dakotas can be installed incorrectly. They say you have to look and make sure the little locking tabs are seated where they are supposed to be on the radiator neck. You may have a factory or aftermarket radiator and I’m not sure if this even pertains to your situation.


It has an electric and a clutch fan.

The gauge and the smell tell me it is overheating.the coolant level stays constant.there is no problem in the winter.I will double check the new cap I put on.

cooling fan is coming on???maybe bad fan clutch too

When you say the deer “took out the air conditioning” should I assume you mean it took out the evaporator? Did anyone check the flow through the radiator after the accident?

Yep, evaporator slamming into radiator could crush the fins.

Does the coolant temp drop a lot when you turn on the heater? That would tend to confirm a clogged radiator or poor radiator flow for some other reason.