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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 Dodge Intrepid with a 3.5L engine that's overheating.

After I bought the car in August, I noticed that its A/C did not work, so I simply survived the rest of the summer heat by using the sun roof and rolling down my windows.

Come November, things got very cold here and I noticed that the heat did not work, either. Or at least, it only works sporadically. Don't think I've gotten it to work in at least a week.

Last week I was driving and I noticed that trying to run the heat (which still wasn't working) made the temperature gauge rise, so I stopped trying to run it.

Today the temperature gauge was rising in spite of not running the heat, and the engine overheated and broke down in the middle of the road.

Any suggestions as to what could be wrong? The car has other problems and I planned on getting rid of it once it broke down to the point of requiring a serious repair, so I have to be careful about what I put into it. The guy who helped get me out of the middle of the road seemed to know some things about cars, and he thought it was either the water pump or the thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, coolant is leaking quite badly on the driver side, right underneath the coolant tank. We could see it dribbling out onto the ground as we were pouring it in; the car was not running. Managed to drive the car home (about 3 miles).

I'll definitely have it checked out this week, but any suggestions on what I'm in for? Thanks in advance.
 

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Okay, coolant is leaking quite badly on the driver side, right underneath the coolant tank. We could see it dribbling out onto the ground as we were pouring it in; the car was not running. Managed to drive the car home (about 3 miles).

I'll definitely have it checked out this week, but any suggestions on what I'm in for? Thanks in advance.
That's almost certainly the reservoir being cracked - plastics under pressure and heat have a very finite life - a common occurrence on our cars at the age they are - most have blown out long before now. I strongly advise getting that from the dealer. All the aftermarket ones are made by the same company that uses inferior materials, and they often don't last long at all (maybe yours was already replaced with the aftermarket one). :) It will come with a new cap, which is also a good thing since they do eventually start leaking too.
 

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That rhythm is INFECTIOUS.
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The OEM tanks tend to split in the fashion shown below:



Fortunately replacement takes about 10 minutes. :D

Here's my OEM replacement, complete with the PN on top. Ran me about $65 at the local Dodge dealer.

 

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When refilling the system after replacing this tank, be sure to open the air bleed at the front of the intake manifold. Otherwise you will have overheating issues again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! I actually just talked to my pastor's husband today and he said the same thing, that it was probably a crack in the coolant tank caused by the cold weather. Another person told me that when your car is running out of coolant, the heat goes first as your car is trying to use its reserves to protect the engine, then the engine goes. So I'm hoping this is it.

I will have the car checked out this week and report back. Thanks again, y'all are being very helpful.
 
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