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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this morning I am driving my 09 SRT into work and I notice the temp gauge way over normal but fluctuating rapidly as well. So I am thinking, thats odd, wonder if the gauge is going out.

So I pull into gas station and get gas and look under the hood. The coolant is leaking and the reserve is very low. Crap!

Well the engine had not gotten super hot at this point and it's like a 15 mile drive to dealership so I decide to head that way. Roll down windows, turn heater on full (in 85+ temps her in TX in morn!) and head out on highway.

Watching temp gauge the whole way it starts to climb fast even though I am trying to limp as much as possible. I am thinking let me get another mile before getting real hot as there are no real safe places to pull over here. Well that was only wishful thinking as it now is hitting the red zone and the warning light is on. So I duck into a small triangle where the highway splits and have cars wizzing by on both sides. I shut it down and decide to call roadside assistance. They want numbers from the vin and it's not safe for me to get out. So after about 10 minutes I drive it another 2 miles and shut it down before the red. Then I let it rest for about 40 minutes and drove about 7 miles before getting to dealer.

So question is, do I have any possible long-term damage and should I do another synth oil change as soon as I get it back? What about the tranny fluid, is it toast? (It's an auto)

The engine never got so hot that it conked out.
 

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Nah, dude. You're good. These things shut down cylinders and retard timing when they sense an overheat situation. Besides, you took sensible precautions when you noticed the problem. Yes, get her fixed, change the oil (little known fact that oil is one of the most important cooling systems in your engine), and thank God for modern electronics.

Oh...and there is no damage to your tranny fluid. Totally separate system.
 

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You should be OK but don't dip into this well too often. If you're leaking coolant your gauge may not give you the correct temp as it gets this reading from the coolant. If the sensor is exposed to air and not picking up coolant you may be running hotter that indicated. Best practice is to STOP and tow it. I would change the oil and your trans fluid should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Radiator sprung a leak! WTF, this is a SRT vehicle and it was not even very hot when this happened as it was in the morning with temps around 85. Of course we have gone 2 weeks or so with temps right around 100 in afternoon.

So radiator was replaced under warranty but... they will not change the oil. :( Said is not something Chrysler will pay for for this type of issue.

I guess I am back to change my own again. It's only been about a month since I last did it too. :(
 

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I'd recommend changing the ATF in the near future - if these cars are like most others, the ATF cooler runs through the side/end tanks in the radiators. That's how the AFT is cooled - so it will be the same operating temp as the engine's coolant.

Mine's a manual transmission, so I don't have the ATF cooler / lines due to the manual tranny radiator in my application. So I don't know exactly how the cooler lines appear on these models.

The EVIC will likely trigger an oil change a little sooner due to a higher oil temperature that yours would have experienced.

My 5.7 on a long trip (mountain pass grades at elevation) ran higher oil temps (221-228*F) than average and it triggered an oil change message @ 3,050 miles (I've usually averaged 5,500 miles on average).

I typically see 203-210* on highway drives - I have the functional hood scoops on my car, which has dropped the average oil temp compared to the non-functional scoops when I first got the car.

So it appears the EVIC oil monitor will factor in cycles, mileage AND operating conditions into the oil life / change intervals.
 

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Update: Radiator sprung a leak! WTF, this is a SRT vehicle and it was not even very hot when this happened as it was in the morning with temps around 85. Of course we have gone 2 weeks or so with temps right around 100 in afternoon.

So radiator was replaced under warranty but... they will not change the oil. :( Said is not something Chrysler will pay for for this type of issue.

I guess I am back to change my own again. It's only been about a month since I last did it too. :(
The outside air temp has little to no effect on the radiator's ability to do its job. It probably had a bad seam and finally gave out. I wouldn't sweat the oil, oil temps run in excess of 230 deg so you didn't hurt the oil. I would worry more about overheating the heads or blowing a head gasket than worrying about overheating the oil.
 
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