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2010 Dodge Journey SXT with the 3rd row heating stuff

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here 2010 Dodge Journey SXT with the 3rd row heating stuff

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Stephen Bowen Stephen Bowen 6 hours, 56 minutes ago.

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  • #997704
    Stephen Bowen
    Stephen Bowen
    Participant

    specs: 2010 Journey SXT with the V6 and AWD. Has the rear HVAC setup.

    Driving to work on Monday the Journey suddenly overheated. Pulled off the road within seconds and noted a lot of steam and dripping. Was towed back to our work area (I do side work on our own family cars as a hobby) Used a pressure tester the next day and discovered the rear “T” for the heater core to rear HVAC was leaking. It has no visible cracks-but under pressure it was hissing and spiting coolant.

    Obtained a repair kit and installed it yesterday. (Also replaced the upper radiator hose, as it was getting weak) Refilled the system with the correct 50/50 mixture. Noted it only took a gallon. (figured it should be more considering how much it left on the highway). Started it up and did the usual purge procedure.

    The ol’ girl did send some air bubbles up and out. The temp on the gauge was dead center. So I stopped when it hit the normal operating mark. (I did feel the upper hose getting warm) Added a bit more coolant so the level was correct. Then I noticed zero heat in the Journey. Both front and rear units blowing ice cold air. Figured it probably had a large air pocket, so I drove it a short distance so the nose of the ol’ girl was pointed upwards more. (My family lives on a hilly road) Still no heat. I then noticed the temp gauge was starting to creep up to the 3/4 mark and about to trigger the overheat warning. Parked it and shut it down.

    The entire system then started to act like one of the old school coffee pots (and pretty violent with the steam blowing into the overflow jug.) I then reached my hand to the rear heat pipes- Stone cold. Same for the front heat pipes. The upper radiator hose was extremely hot, as well the lower hose at the “t” junction where it puts the overflow hose into the lower radiator hose. So one would think it has circulation. But judging my how much steam pressure that was being generated- I have a feeling that’s what I was feeling at the hoses.

    Part of me thinks it’s air locked and didn’t purge correctly. The other part of me is thinking the part that failed was just a symptom and the water pump failed. (pump fails=rapid increase in pressure while at highway speeds=boom)

    Would there be any quick and dirty methods to check for a potential bad water pump? I’m thinking pulling the heater hose under the intake and pointing it into a bucket. If the water pump is functional- It should purge any air in the block and spew out. (Thought process: Water pump will always circulate to the heater core during engine warm up. If the system is air locked to the heater cores, a wide open path at the source should pump freely.)

    Thought it might be a stuck thermostat, but that should still allow coolant to circulate to the heater cores. If it turns out to be a dead water pump- I’ll probably do a trifecta (timing belt, water pump, and thermostat at the same time)

    Any ideas are welcome as mentioned. This is our daily driver, and I’m using the wife’s “summer fun car” for the next few days.

    S-

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #997710
    EricTheCarGuy 1
    EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

    It does seem like it might be a circulation problem, but if it were me I’d be checking for a head gasket failure. More info here.

    http://www.ericthecarguy.com/faq/what-to-do-when-your-engine-overheats

    Good hunting.

    #997713
    Stephen Bowen
    Stephen Bowen
    Participant

    We’ll chase down both options. Hopefully it’s not a head gasket. The fact it seems to have zero coolant flow to the heater core(s) is very interesting. I’ll have to see if I can ‘rent’ the block test tool. I already own one, but the vacuum bulb grew feet out of the toolbox. (Between the mice and the racoons, I’m lucky to have any tools left…)

    What’s your impression on the best way to check circulation? Do you think pulling the heater hose off the engine and letting it ‘rip’ might yield results.

    We’re also do for the timing belt service as well. Told the wife we might have to do both the water pump and the belt at the same time. Really hopeful it’s not a head gasket. I can deal with doing the water pump and timing belt- However I have to question if this Dodge is worthy of pulling the upper half of the engine apart. I still think it was built on a Friday. It gave my late sister nothing but trouble.

    Thanks!! Have a super day

    S-

    #997729
    EricTheCarGuy 1
    EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

    I like using a thermal camera to check circulation, but you can also use a cheap infrared thermometer to do the same thing.

    #997851
    Stephen Bowen
    Stephen Bowen
    Participant

    Sadly I lack some of the toys. I told the wife the quickest way to check would be to simply unhook the heater hoses and to direct the flow to a catch bucket. Not quite ‘high tech’. But we had what seems like zero coolant flow to the front heater core and the rear heater core. Dodge uses some really strange plumbing on these dual cores. The pipes coming out of the engine where pretty hot!! But the pipe work at the heater cores themselves were stone cold.

    But if we have flow? It should come out with a moderate force. If nothing comes out of the heater hoses? I’m guessing the water pump is either totally air bound (and unable to pump due to an air cavity) or broken. The pump looks to be plastic on a steel shaft.

    We’ll spend some time tomorrow running some tests on it. I’m also planning on ‘renting’ another block tester just to check for exhaust gases in the coolant. This does seem like some really bad violent boil over- I had coolant issues with our old Bronco- It always started rough with issues due to coolant in the cylinders. I’m surprised that this 3.5 is still running smooth as silk during all this.

    I’ll report back tomorrow once we spend some time on it. Was thinking about heading up when I got out of work today- But the saying is “Stay Dirty” (which I seem to manage better then Pig Pen), but not “Heat Stroke” as it was pushing 90 when I got off shift. Tomorrow isn’t going to be much better, but an early start we should beat the heat.

    S-

    #997854
    Stephen Bowen
    Stephen Bowen
    Participant

    Update to the update.

    Wow…HOT day today. But we spent some diag time on this one. Topped off the overflow jug with the 50/50. Disconnected the heater hose at the top of the engine. Removed fuel pump fuse and cranked it.

    Zero coolant flow. Then went to one of our old ‘tricks’ we used to need to do on our VW. Took a shop vac to the heater connection at the rear of the engine. It was dry as a popcorn fart. Did the same to the hose that was connected to it. It finally drew the overflow jug just about bone dry and got a solid prime on the heater system. Had no choice but to drop in a gallon of distilled water for the next top off. (We are fully aware we’ll need to do a full drain and refill once this is worked out)

    This time we started the engine with zero flow to the heaters, and then we hit it with the shop vac. The overflow jug went about 1/2 more empty and then she started flowing like a garden hose. (not a lot of pressure behind the flow- But it was flowing.)

    Reattached the hose and let it warm up. It stabilized about where it should be, and had decent heat on the front and rear heater. Went for a test drive and it promptly overheated after about a mile. (not bad, but was starting to creep up) Returned back to home plate. I did notice if I cranked up the rear heater the temp did float down a touch. So I think we have some flow in the system, but I think it’s not enough. First thought would be a stopped up thermostat. (reduced flow to the front radiator=over heat) However both radiator hoses where under very high pressure and hotter then the sun!.

    Did a block test. It passed. The “Smurf Pee” didn’t change from blue to yellow. Test preformed while cold and for a very short while when it was trying to overheat. Looks like we had no exhaust fumes, but a lot of steam pressure.

    Think it’s time to fire the parts cannon. Unless anything else comes to mind I’ll order in a timing belt kit with water pump. (it’s already a bit overdue for the timing belt to be serviced) And at the same time replace the thermostat & housing sense I’ll already be hip deep into this monster.

    Given the fact with the heater hose 100% removed and wide open- That water pump should have been more then able to give a decent flow with some pressure behind it. While it did have a likely air pocket, Being wide open it should have been able to push that puppy out. The fact we needed to use a shop vac to suck it out– Really leaves me to question the water pump.

    That’s about all we have- It’s in the 80’s already and we’re opposed to sweating 🙂

    S-

    #997894
    EricTheCarGuy 1
    EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

    Thank you for the updates. Please keep us posted if you find a solution.

    #998139
    Stephen Bowen
    Stephen Bowen
    Participant

    Update to this oddity.

    Spent some time doing the tear down. Word to the wise: Some youtube videos that claim to be for ‘your’ car or truck? Double check. I’ll have to reseal the lower coolant hose intake to the block. (Thermostat is on the top on a 3.5, and not the bottom as some state)

    Okay, enough whining. Replaced the thermostat. Removed the parts on the ‘front’ of the engine and after several hours (and even more cuss words due to rust) Had the water pump in my hands. The pump is fine. Impeller is attached to the shaft just fine and intact.

    Now I’m glad to have pulled that apart- The timing belt is about 10k overdue for replacement and the belt was the factory and had a few fine cracks starting to form. The water pump I think was replaced (no branding) and does have some minor lateral play with the bearings in the pump. So yeah, those parts are due to be replaced.

    Currently it’s sitting in pieces until next week when I get a couple of days off. Found the K-Frame is badly rusted out. From a safety standpoint it’s not ‘at risk’ at this time. But there is now a 2″ round rust hole dead center. I’m looking into replacement IF we can get the cooling issues worked out.

    We took the thermostat back home and I dropped it into a pan with water at a rolling boil. The thermostat did open, but only about a millimeter. Being in a pot of boiling water that sucker should have gone full open. Just a crack of about 1/8″? Naaa, glad I replaced it.

    So, the plan is to reseal the lower radiator hose intake. Dodge used an O-ring. Of course, it’s not available to purchase separately. Going to give the mounting surface a light coating of black RTV and snug the bolts down. (OF course, the bolts are pointed right into the A/C compressor)

    Once the timing belt and water pump are installed, I’ll use the shop vac trick to purge out the engine block and cores. Maybe the cracked “Y” for the heater core caused the overheat and that took out the thermostat. I really do not know. But it’s going to be reassembled and I’ll see how it goes. If it’s back to normal and not overheating- I’ll look into the K-Frame as it’s due for inspection this month.

    S-

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