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Test your skills....i dare you! need help

2001 Chry. Sebring 2.7= New “rebuilt” Engine. Keeps overheating…new thermo. new Rad. cap. New engine.
Runs about 30 minutes or so…if kept under 55 and 2000 rpm. If it idols it heats fast. Filling daily with coolant and water. Hoses are good. New timing chain new oil pump new water pump new head gaskets on used motor. Anyone want to try this one pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee. No signs of water in the oil.


If you have to add coolant daily, then I’d guess the rebuild is bad. Is the engine still under warrantee?

Keith, No-the Warranty expired at 30 days. When the car was first put together, it ran like a dream as smooth as when first purchased. Within three weeks the problem.

You have a coolant leak somewhere. You’ll have to find it. There’s no way for us to tell from here. If you’re not seeing steam coming from anywhere, and you aren’t finding puddles anywhere, then it’s probably internal to the engine, likely as a result of a bad head gasket. A compression test is indicated here, as is checking the ECU for any trouble codes.

Are you sure the air was burped out at the thermostat housing?

Does the cooling system build pressure quickly after starting?

It’s entirely possible that the head was improperly torqued when reinstalled. Try a leakdown test.

If the leakdown test proves good, go back to basics:
T-stat (even though it’s new…try testing it).
cooling system pressure test

I assume the hoses were changed when the new engine was installed?

Is this one of those designs that shares the radiator with the tranny cooler? If so, is there any sign of cross-mixing? Have you checked your tranny fluid lately?

The obvious question is, have you had the radiator examined for lime and other build up?

Another problem, though that was on older cars, is the mechanical fan had a silicon thermostat for the fan blade, and when they took it off to change the motor, enough leaked out that the fan wouldn’t run full efficiency. But, I suspect by 2001 all mechanical fans are long gone.

The second question is, does the electric fan turn on? There is a temperature switch which should turn the fan on and off as it is needed. When you are idling and it is getting hot, that fan should be running full bore. If it is not running, or it is running slowly, the electric fan or it’s wiring or that temp switch may be bad.

Check the transmission fluid. Since the transmission cooler is located inside the radiator, if the transmission is running hot it’ll take no time for it to cause the engine to overheat. And if the tranny cooler in the radiator is leaking, that could be where the coolant is going.


The word “rebuilt” can mean any one of a dozen things. Define rebuilt, what was done during this rebuild, and whodunit.

If you have to keep filling it, the coolant is going somewhere. If you don’t see a leak, the most likely place is out the exhaust pipe, due to a bad head gasket. This will cause overheating too, as hot exhaust gases mix with the coolant.

You say it overheats faster when idling. Do the cooling fans run? I doubt this is your only problem, but it will add to the overheating if they’re not.

Besides The Advice Given, Chrysler Has Addressed A Overheating Complaints In These 2001 Sebrings In 2 Different TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) Written For Chrysler Technicians.

Bulletins mentioned are 07-002-02 (Engine Cooling System Fill Procedure - 3pages), Which includes 2001-2002 Sebring / Stratus models & 07-004-02 (Coolant Tank Hose Routing - 2 pages) for 2001 Sebring / Stratus models.

Coolant fill procedures

Hose routing
When the coolant reservoir cap is removed and then replaced, make sure that the coolant hose that’s attached extends down toward the tank’s bottom and not caught up higher in the tank where it tapers. If the reservoir is fairly clean then you should be able to see its shadow by looking through the bottle.


There is no water coming out the exhaust and no water in the oil. I will check the transmission next. Hoses are not leaking and they are not bulging. Head gasket is brand new. Fans work. Air was burped properly. Yes, it overheats quickly. Where before it was at about 20-30 miles…Now it is about 7. Work was done by a skilled shadetree mechanic…me with the assistance of one other that is a mechanic. We have no warning lights or check engine light so we have no way to check.

Thanks common sense answer…I appreciate those links and will read in the morning.

Thanks to all who have shared their experience professional or not and your wisdom. I will try several of the things mentioned tomorrow to see where it gets me.


When you and your friend rebuilt the engine, did you reuse the head bolts? Did the bolts have washers under them? What type washer, was it a Belleville (belvil, aka spring or cone type)?

If you have to add coolant daily, you’re leaking coolant. Maybe the coolant leak is in the intake manifold. This would be consistent with coolant loss you cannot find and a leak-down test that shows no cylinder leaks.

What does your oil look like?

Oil is clear. Coolant is coming out the reservoir not the engine. Yes we reused the bolts. No signs of a faulty head gasket. Now beginning the process of a coolant flush after coming through a hurricane.

It sounds like air in the system. I had this with a 95 Dodge Intrepid. Put it on ramps and bleed it again. This should help get the air to the highest point.

How’s the mating surface (in the radiator) for the radiator cap?
Does the system build up pressure as it warms up?
From a cold start squeeze the top radiator hose. Should get stiff before it gets hot.

When we bleed the line, it helps quite a bit. However, it begins to overheat before complete.

Radiator Cap is new but will check. System pressure…will check…will also check hose.

Thanks for your suggestions…will keep trying. I have completed the flush and it is still over heating.

Bottom line…it is not the head because no oil in the water…no water in the oil…no water coming out the exhaust…which is all indications of a bad head gasket.