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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi

just got a call from my son in his Intrepid in Montreal - I live in eastern Canada.

It's a warm day today there. He was driving along with earphones in and going along the highway at about 65 MPH - been driving for about 15-20 minutes. There was a sound maybe (headphones on!) and then steam from the engine he did another 10-15KM engine temperature gage was normal hoping to get to his destination . Then suddenly engine temp maxed over about a half mile (no steam) and then engine temperature warning light and audible warning came on so he stopped and switched off engine and called me. He's leaving it to cool down and we're wondering what to do next.

He has coolant in the trunk -not sure how much. Obviously, you see steam, you stop (!) not drive on, but the question is what to do now? I think probably there was low coolant, it hasn't been checked since last summer.

So one idea is have Canadian Tire come and look and suggest and then maybe haul it off to a garage somewhere to look at. To me this is the safest option.

Otherwise, he has a bit of coolant with him so he could put that in and leave it 10 minutes and see if any runs out the bottom of the car indicating a coolant leak. If not he could start it and run it for a couple of minutes and check again and if still no leak then maybe ok to drive.

It's a 2.7 and I wondered about maybe the coolant now being in the engine, but he checked the dip stick and it looks absolutely normal.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Uggghhh!

Cheers..
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 05:24 PM
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Sudden steam usually means something suddenly let loose - like a coolant hose, or the coolant reservoir, or a plastic side tank on the radiator.

The radiator side tank suddenly split on my 2.7 one time, dumping all the coolant very quickly - and I kept driving (saw the sudden cloud of steam, but assumed that it was because I had driven over a water puddle - wrong!) - temp. gage didn't show overheating because there was no coolant in contact with the sensor. I stopped and looked things over and it wouldn't start. I assumed I had done her in. The good news is that once it cooled down, it started up fine (only thing I can figure is after I turned it off, the heat soak either got to the cam or crank sensor or fuel rail, and no problem once cooled). I replaced the radiator, and it has been fine ever since, as if nothing happened. Still driving it.

So check for a crack in one of the radiator side tanks - usually, but not always a vertical crack up the rear side of the passenger-side tank, and the reservoir - usually cracks on the side facing the engine. If neither of those, check hoses, and the metal pipe on driver's side of transmission that goes downward towards the front, and connects with a 4" long piece of heater hose to the thermostat housing, just behind the alternator - it can rust thru.


'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Peva,

I really appreciate your thoughts on this. He's parked it for now and I think plans to get it towed by Canadian Tire to a garage tomorrow to have it looked at early next week - I'm just glad it's stationary for now and cooling down. I'll have him review your thoughts. Glad to have some hope, I thought it was a total gonner frankly: no steam when he stopped because no coolant left to boil out and an engine in seize up.. may still be the case though I fear..
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the latest news is that my son called the recovery truck and they ran the engine to get it loaded. Seems the first run was a bit lumpy but then it started and ran just like normal so the engine certainly hasn't seized. Very very pleased and hoping for the best! It will probably be Tuesday before they look at it though. I'll keep you in the loop. Thanks for the help!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 01:04 AM
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Just got an email from my son. Seems a hose split but the engine's fine. $285 repair at Canadian Tire. Great to hear the engine survived!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Back from Canadian Tire, everything seems fine. Phew, some relief. Thanks for the advice, helped me get a good night's sleep last night!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:23 PM
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Good to hear. Another 2.7 saved!
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