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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Big problem here guys.

Hi guys, I recently bought a 2002 dodge intrepid 2.7 engine. In the month I've owned it I've developed a love hate relationship already. I read thru the forums here read quite a bit of info on the water pump. In this post on here a member here said an indication of the water pump and engine going is a coolant loss and no heat when idle. These are the exact problems I am experiencing with my intrepid right now. Its with the mechanic now who is fixing all of my brake lines and he took a look at it and said the thermostat housing is leaking but the water pump looks okay.. I'm not sure if he's being genuine or why he would lie but from everything I've read it seems as though my water pump is going. My coolant is leaking, and I only notice the puddle right after is runs. I have checked oil and it's not sludgy.. Yet. I added only synthetic since I got it. After the brake lines get fixed I was thinking of taking it to a different mechanic to fix the water pump. I bought a new water pump and a new upper thermostat housing just in case and like I said the plan is to take it to a mechanic asap to get it fixed. I don't want to risk driving it.. Is there anything else I should be doing? Do you think the mechanic was right about the coolant leak coming from the thermostat housing not the water pump? Do you have any advice for guys. Please and thank you. Merry Christmas as well everyone.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 04:13 PM
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If the thermostat housing is leaking then you'll have the symptoms you describe. Air in the cooling system and no heat along with the leak. It's a common issue for the housing to leak. Once it's replaced and the air bled out of the cooling system then you could very well be good to go without any other problems.

What's the mileage on the car? If it's over 120k miles then you should replace the water pump as a precaution but that's a labor intensive, expensive repair. It's up to you.

Did you buy the parts from the dealer? If not then you probably wasted your money. Aftermarket parts, especially those two items are crap!

I would go with the thermostat housing repair with a dealer part and go from there.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick response. I ordered the parts on 1Aauto .com but I'm going to cancel them if that's the case. My mechanic had said the part was like 30 bucks for the thermostat housing to fix but wanted something like 275 in labor to fix it. So I figured I'd try to get the part and take it elsewhere to a mechanic with lower labor rates. I know there is a coolant leak and that the heat is only working when accelerating and the thermostat in the car is always reading low.. Never even gets to halfway between H and C. If you think the thermostat housing leak could be causing this than a weight has definitely been lifted off my shoulders. The car is at 130k miles though the mechanic said the water pump may have been replaced before because it looks good. So I'm not sure. The reason I thought he could of not checked the water pump is because it seems as though it's hard to access. Again man, a thousand times, thanks for the reply.. Any other thoughts?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 04:55 PM
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You can't really see the water pump as it's inside the engine behind a cover. There are "weep" holes that are supposed to let the coolant drain if the water pump seal starts to fail which would be an indicator that the water pump is failing. However it's not a 100% indicator as the water pump could leak inside the engine and not out the weep hole.

Your symptoms describe air in the cooling system from a leak. The question is if there's just one leak and where it is.

The thermostat housing made by Dorman and the rest of the aftermarket is crap. It'll fail probably within a year! The dealer part is much more expensive than $30 but it'll last.

Part number you need is: 5017183AB

Here's a link to an Ebay listing that has the genuine Chrysler part:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cooling-Wat...BR~C2N&vxp=mtr

$82.70 with free shipping. THis is the revised improved version with the bleeder screw on the metal outlet pipe instead of the older one where the bleeder screw is on the top of the plastic housing.

And this is what the part looks like:


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 04:56 PM
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The reason the labor is high is due to having to remove the intake plenum to get access to the hoses on the heater pipe that goes to the back of the engine.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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The mechanic had shown me that the part was like $30 bucks and labor was 270 or something so I wonder if the mechanic was gonna put in a cheap part. I might as well buy the right one then. When he says it's the thermostat housing leaking it's the part you linked from ebay correct? I could buy that part and bring it to a mechanic to put in.. I just want to make sure that the thermostat housing that he is talking about is the same as you had linked. Idk if this information helps. But when I do notice a puddle from the coolant leaking it's usually under the coolant res on the drivers side. I'm not sure the location of anyrhing under there but I'd imagine the leak is above that spot if that's where the puddle is... Like I said before it only seems to really leak right after I drive it. I know it's impossible for you to know if it's multiple leaks but with the information I've given you do you think buying that part you linked and taking it to be replaced would be a wise decision? Thanks again
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 05:11 PM
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One thing I'd like to ask is whether your mechanic was referring to the water outlet that Ron is talking about (where a thermostat would be in most vehicles) or whether he was referring to the actual thermostat housing which is located down on the drivers side of the engine block and is also where the waterpump weep hole is located. That housing down there doesn't typically leak and is normally a sign of a bad waterpump.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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He said thermostat housing. And it does leak under the driver's side.. Oh boy.. So if that is what is leaking then it could be the water pump huh..?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 05:52 PM
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$275 labor is way too cheap for for a water pump replacement. Might want to get more details before commiting.

The water outlet housing I've been referring to is at the top of the engine front center.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm going to take it to get fixed, but i want to buy quality parts to put in before I take it in. When fixing the water pump, given the information I have given you guys.. do you also change the timing chain or anything else? how much is a good price for the labor? Can someone link a good quality water pump replacement part for me? I want to know the range I should be paying to have the water pump replaced. I am not sure if it's the thermostat housing or the water pump leaking from the weep hole but I imagine with this car, it's the water pump and either way it should be replaced. I appreciate all your help guys.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 11:39 AM
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Youíve gotten good advice here.

Also consider that the coolant reservoir could be cracked and leaking (the capís sealing rubber can also start coming apart and leak) - that also is an eventual certainty since the reservoir is pressurized, and the plastic gets weak and brittle with age and heat. Just another possibility to consider.

That is another part that is available in aftermarket but that is greatly inferior in longevity compared to the OEM part. You can find genuine Chrysler coolant reservoirs on eBay at considerable savings compared to buying from local dealer. Comes with new cap.
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