My brother has I think a 2002 Dodge Dakota with a 6 cyl engine. He says
it started running hot then the check engine light came on. He said
there are no leaks. I am assuming it is the thermostat. Where is the
thermostat on this engine and is it hard to get to and change? What
should I look out for? Could this just be the temperature guage sending
Any advice is appreciated!
You might check for proper clutch fan operation too. (is it running
agressively when engine is hot?) Also if it is the thermostat, it will
tend to over heat quickly, if it is a slow process, it is likely not
Before, I had a 99 Ram 1500 with that same V6.
I usually check the fluid levels and the truck never had any leaks.
In 2002 the temp gauge would go max for a moment then back to normal temp.
every once in a while.
I thought it was the thermostat and changed it. Spent an hour changing it as
it was not easy to get to. It is on top down a piece that looks like a pipe.
After I changed it the temp gauge would still do the same thing.
I just thought to check the fluid level in the radiator and it was very low.
Ended up putting about 3 gallons in it.
Never know until you check the obvious.
Do not assume it's the thermostat. In the hundreds of thousand of miles I'v
on a variety of vehicles, I've never had a thermostat go bad. I've heard of it,
never experianced it. So it's not all that common.
OTOH, bad water pump, blown head gasket, collapsing lower hose - those I'v
experianced over the years.
Do not be so bold, I have seen many thermostats stuck closed in my
life (some stuck out too) and had a few happen to me too. Not sure it
is the problem here though. On a side note if you car starts overheat
and you need to nurse it home, roll down windows, turn off AC (if it
is on) and turn heater on full blast as it usually will had enough
cooling to nurse you ride to safety if driven conservativly.
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