Reader Question My name is Katrina and my 2004 Dodge Stratus is overheating. A couple of days ago I was driving home from work and I noticed my gauge going from cold to hot quickly.
As I accelerated it rose higher, so I slowed down and pulled
over. When I looked under my hood I noticed water spouting out and making a steaming breezy noise. (Please forgive my description and my ignorance on car issues. I hope you can understand what I am saying).
Anyway, the water is coming from this small bolt that has other hoses attached to it. I’m not sure if it is my radiator but it is very close to my engine and my fluids.
Is this making any sense. I don’t know what to do and I am so afraid to take it to a mechanic as I have heard so many horror stories. Can you help?
You need to see a mechanic or at least a fast oil lube place and have them do a “cooling system pressure test”. This will show the mechanic what is leaking so he can repair it. This is a quick and inexpensive test you can wait on.
We charge $38 at my shop for it, and this is the very first thing we do in an overheating or coolant loss type of situation like what you have.
Make sure you have plenty of water inside the RADIATOR (not just the plastic overflow jug on the side of the engine compartment) before you drive this car anywhere. If it overheats enough it will destroy the engine…and cost you BIG bucks!
Follow up question
Thank you for responding to me so quickly. It is so difficult to be without a car. However, something just occurred to me that may be helpful. My AC is also having difficulty. Before this happened some time ago, my AC dial stopped working for slow and mid.
The high will blow air. However in the cold the heat will blow when I am driving on the highway and then go cold when I slow down or come off of the highway. Could this be related?
Your advice has been such a blessing. Thank you.
Hello again Katrina
Yes this problem is most likely related to the lack of antifreeze inside the engine. When the engine overheats your onboard computer starts shutting down unnecessary items….like the A/C to help cool things down.
Get the overheating problem corrected and the A/C will probably function normally again.