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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, long time member but I haven't posted in years.

I've been having an overheating issue with my 2009 R/T for a couple months now. It's not my daily anymore so I just kept adding coolant as needed and it wasn't an issue. I wasn't sure where it was coming from and didn't have the time to investigate.

Well last night it forced my hand. Whatever the leak was got 10 times worse and the car started running real hot on my ride home. The needle crept into the red zone and I was able to shift into neutral on a downhill and coast to bring it back down immediately. The digital engine temp read out (in the hidden screens) hit 253deg for a couple seconds. I was back into the white area and had to give it a little gas as I turned into my neighborhood. The temp gauge went back up again and the car actually shut off. Is this a fail safe computer controlled shut off? I suppose in the intensity of the moment, maybe I did something to stall it (stick shift car). I was able to push the button and it fired right back up while rolling. I drove it another 500ft max into my driveway and shut it down immediately.

All told, I lingered in the "red" zone for no more than 10-20 seconds. After a few minutes to cool down I fired it up again in the driveway and the temp gauge was back down to about 3/4 (normally sits at the 1/2 point). It ran and sounded fine.

Do you think I could have damaged anything? Or am I safe. Tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear... hopefully they are the same though.

Also, what is really troubling is I dove in to figure out the cause and it turns out it is my radiator... again. About 4 years ago I had put a new radiator in due to an overheating issue, and a dealer pressure test found a leak. I actually bought the largest Mopar radiator that would fit and it turns out it is bigger than was ever offered in the Challenger. After checking with the dealer, I found out I bought the radiator that would come with the severe duty towing package on a Charger. I had to adapt the rubber "washer" pieces to fit the thicker radiator, but other than that it all fit just fine.

So now I have a severe duty radiator, oversized for my car, and it failed. 2 radiators in a an 8 year old car??? What gives??? Is it how I drive, or just a fluke?

The car has roughly 115k miles on the clock and since I bought my new Durango I maybe put 2-3k on per year. This radiator lasted me 20k miles... maybe. It's a pain to replace and expensive if you buy Mopar, I don't want to do this again in another 20k... help!
 

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Its likely that an air pocket needs to be bled out - on front of water pump there's a 1/4" pipe plug which is the bleeder port.

If your coolant level got low or when it was refilled and not bled for air, you'll get the symptoms you describe since the air pocket would block the flow of coolant around the water pump and the coolant will superheat.

If you don't have any obvious signs of leaks, I doubt a 4 year old radiator would leak. Unless a hose clamp or fitting isn't on correctly.

The OEM fittings use spring clamps vs. the worm drive screw clamps. The spring clamps generally when installed don't get loose or leak like the screw clamps can get to be.
 

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Hey guys, long time member but I haven't posted in years.

I've been having an overheating issue with my 2009 R/T for a couple months now. It's not my daily anymore so I just kept adding coolant as needed and it wasn't an issue. I wasn't sure where it was coming from and didn't have the time to investigate.

Well last night it forced my hand. Whatever the leak was got 10 times worse and the car started running real hot on my ride home. The needle crept into the red zone and I was able to shift into neutral on a downhill and coast to bring it back down immediately. The digital engine temp read out (in the hidden screens) hit 253deg for a couple seconds. I was back into the white area and had to give it a little gas as I turned into my neighborhood. The temp gauge went back up again and the car actually shut off. Is this a fail safe computer controlled shut off? I suppose in the intensity of the moment, maybe I did something to stall it (stick shift car). I was able to push the button and it fired right back up while rolling. I drove it another 500ft max into my driveway and shut it down immediately.

All told, I lingered in the "red" zone for no more than 10-20 seconds. After a few minutes to cool down I fired it up again in the driveway and the temp gauge was back down to about 3/4 (normally sits at the 1/2 point). It ran and sounded fine.

Do you think I could have damaged anything? Or am I safe. Tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear... hopefully they are the same though.

Also, what is really troubling is I dove in to figure out the cause and it turns out it is my radiator... again. About 4 years ago I had put a new radiator in due to an overheating issue, and a dealer pressure test found a leak. I actually bought the largest Mopar radiator that would fit and it turns out it is bigger than was ever offered in the Challenger. After checking with the dealer, I found out I bought the radiator that would come with the severe duty towing package on a Charger. I had to adapt the rubber "washer" pieces to fit the thicker radiator, but other than that it all fit just fine.

So now I have a severe duty radiator, oversized for my car, and it failed. 2 radiators in a an 8 year old car??? What gives??? Is it how I drive, or just a fluke?

The car has roughly 115k miles on the clock and since I bought my new Durango I maybe put 2-3k on per year. This radiator lasted me 20k miles... maybe. It's a pain to replace and expensive if you buy Mopar, I don't want to do this again in another 20k... help!
Well, lets think it through a little. We see most of the posts, especially the common ones. You are the first I have heard of this problem especially repeatedly. Face it your'e cursed. Lol! Perhaps others will tell their stories of woe but I think they already would have if it were common. Maybe your car just doesn't like radiators.
No really you did everything right. Good luck, perhaps an aftermarket radiator? A good one.
 

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Doesn't sound too me like you got it hot enough for long enough to hurt anything. I would just get another oem type radiator with the limited miles your driving now. mishimoto does offer a completely alluminum radiator that eliminates the pladtic tank desighn problem
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry for the delay on any response here, but with a massive house remodel and a 4 month old my time to work on the car has been rather short.

Turns out, it was in fact my radiator. I can't seem to find any cracks in the tanks nor holes in the fins. However, it looks like where the aluminum fins attach to the plastic tanks seems to be the location of the leak. Is this fixable?

Either way, instead of popping for yet another $300 Mopar radiator, I got a Denzo for about $100. It is pretty close to the same thing. The only notable difference is that the Mopar one has shear-formed tabs to hold the rubber seal at top and bottom and the Denzo does not. I had to use pop rivets to hold those seals on anyway due to the fact that I have the thicker radiator (see original post).

Now I get to jump into the tedious task of refilling the system. For those of you who have done it on the Challenger, you know what I mean...

Fingers crossed that I don't have to do this again.
 

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the tank is crimped onto the core - its not serviceable. IF you have a leak, time to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There's no "if" about it. I pulled the radiator and when I tipped it coolant came rushing out (not out of the inlet or outlet).

At this point it is replaced, but it still bothers me that a radiator would go bad in 4 years......
 

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I use a "Airlift" kit to fill the Challenger, it pulls a vacuum in the entire cooling system, removing all air, then you can close the valve, and make sure it holds vacuum (checking for leaks). Then hook up a hose and it will pull in coolant to all the spots, no air pockets.

never had an issue, never had to open bleeder. Did this as recently as two weeks ago when I had to replace a leaky water pump on my 2011 SRT
 

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I use a "Airlift" kit to fill the Challenger, it pulls a vacuum in the entire cooling system, removing all air, then you can close the valve, and make sure it holds vacuum (checking for leaks). Then hook up a hose and it will pull in coolant to all the spots, no air pockets.

never had an issue, never had to open bleeder. Did this as recently as two weeks ago when I had to replace a leaky water pump on my 2011 SRT

How cool is that???!
 
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