I have a 97 Intrepid with a 3.5 engine. The past few days it has
overheated twice sitting in traffic no longer than 10 minutes each time.
With water shooting out the overflow tube like a firehose. The car had a
new radiator and thermostat within the past year.What else might be
causing the problem? Just drove it over 2500 miles on a trip and didn't
have any problems until about 200 miles from home when it overheated in
a traffic slowdown. Thanks for any info you might have...Matt
Check the fans located behind the radiator to see of they are running. They
should kick in when the temperature gauge rises above the half way point,
give or take a few cms. They are most needed during the kind of driving you
its worth a drive to the car wash and washing out the radiator fins from
under the hood and from the front. when was the last time radiator was
flushed? also when was thermostat last looked at ?
also keep in mind the 3.5L has the water pump turned by the timing belt, so
its not visible on the outside of the engine. if it seizes up it will get
hot very quickly and like in the case of some I've seen, it will work for a
while then later it wont. turn off radio and what not and listen for a
noise coming from up front............that's how I knew mine was trying to
My wife has the same motor in her car and we faced exactly the same
problem last spring. It turned out to be the mixture of Antifreeze and water
was off. (Too little antifreeze - too much water - supposed to be 50-50 or a
little heavy on the Antifreeze). Also, the system had a lot of air in it
from the water having "boiled" a bit, so I had to "Burp" it according to the
local Dodge Dealers instructions. Once I did that, she ran like a champ.
I got my wife's 3.5l Police Package car off of eBay fro 2,500.00. It's
the best cash I've ever spent. I've never driven a "big family sedan" that
drives like this one.
Another thing is you water pump could have the "fins" worn down. This
happens because of electrolysis in the coolant and if the coolant isn't
flushed regularly. I'm not 100%sure of the Intrepid, but I've seen it on
Also, the radiator could have been replaced with an exact fit "wrong size"
radiator intended for the 2.7L. I had that happen once on my Pontiac and
ended up burning up the transmission as well due to inadequate cooling of
the transmission fluid. I sued and lost. I didn't bring in any witnesses.
I figured manufacturer specs and part numbers would have been enough. The
judge was blown away because he tied his shoes earlier in the morning and
was brain dead after that. I think it was the starvation from his hourly
shot of whiskey. That little deal eventually cost me over $3,000 in repairs
from over heating damages.
make damn sure that radiator is the correct one for that motor.
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