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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:10 PM   #1
precocial
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Rego Park, NY
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Quirky overheating issue?

Hi, new here.

I am recently having an issue with my '99 Jeep Cherokee. Sometimes while driving with the AC, the check gauge light will go on and the temp gauge will rise to the notch one prior to the highest temp. I shut off the AC and open the windows, and after a short while, the temp gauge will return to normal.

However the last time this happened, the temp gauge actually reached max and coolant was leaking from the coolant reservoir tank.

At first I thought it was an electronics problem due to how quickly the temp gauge would change from high temp to normal temp but now seeing coolant leak from the reservoir, I believe it is something mechanical.

I was hoping if anyone can help me identify as to what may be the problem. I've never had this issue before. I appreciate any input. Thanks.

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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:49 PM   #2
dave564
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How long has it been since you changed the thermostat? Coolant? Is the radiator fins plugged with debris? If the A/C is blowing warm when this happens, plugged fins in either the radiator or A/C condenser will cause that. If you have been running through grass fields, or have been playing in the mud that would be my first guess.

Also is the electric fan coming on with the A/C compressor? If not, you have GOT to fix that first!!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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Overheating is seldom just one part causing the problem. You need to inspect and service your entire cooling system. You need to fix this immediately, repeated overheating can crack the cylinder head leading to large repair bills or total engine failure.


Overheating can be caused by anything that decreases the cooling system’s ability to absorb, transport, and dissipate heat, such as a low coolant level, loss of coolant (through internal or external leaks), poor heat conductivity inside the engine because of accumulated mineral deposits in the water jackets or radiator, a defective thermostat that doesn’t open, poor airflow through the radiator, a slipping fan clutch, an inoperative electric cooling fan, a collapsed lower radiator hose, an eroded or loose water pump impeller or even a defective radiator cap.

The cooling system is a group of related parts that depend on proper function from each of its component parts to keep the engine cool. Service the cooling system and replace any under-performing or suspected weak parts. Any component part of the cooling system that is not fully doing its job will stress the others and your cooling system will overheat. Temperature creep on the 4x4 trails, at idle, or in stop-n-go traffic points to a weak or failing mechanical fan clutch or worn water pump fins.

The most important maintenance item is to flush and refill the coolant periodically. Coolant should be replaced every 36,000 miles, or every two to three years. Anti-freeze has a number of additives that are designed to prevent corrosion in the cooling system, but they have a limited life span. The corrosion causes scale that eventually builds up and begins to clog the thin flat tubes in the radiator and heater core, causing the engine to eventually overheat.

-Use a flushing/cleaning solution to remover mineral buildup or rust, and then drain and fill the radiator with a fresh 50/50 coolant and water mix. With a neglected cooling system you may have to flush several times.
-Inspect the radiator for mud/bugs/grass clogging the outside and mineral deposits clogging the inside. Clean or replace as needed.
-Replace the thermostat with a STANT or Robertshaw 195* thermostat. Cheap thermostats are cheap for a reason.
-Replace the radiator cap if your Jeep has one. An old worn out, or defective radiator cap will cause boil overs and/or allow the coolant flash over into to steam. You will see the coolant temps suddenly jump from 210* to the Red Zone and back to 210* if your radiator cap is weak.
-Inspect/test or replace the mechanical fan clutch. A worn fan clutch will allow temperature creep at stoplights, in heavy traffic, and on the 4x4 trails.A fan clutch that “looks” OK is not the same as working OK.
-Inspect the electric cooling fan and the fan relay. Apply 12 volts and make sure the fan runs. Exchange the cooling fan relay with one of the others similar relays. Confirm that the e-fan starts when engine temps reach 215-218*. Repair or replace the fan or relay as needed.
-Inspect/tester replace the coolant temperature sensor that activates the e-fan.
-Replace the water pump. The pumping fins can deteriorate over time and the pump will not flow enough coolant to keep the temps under control.
-Inspect/replace the radiator hoses. Make sure the coiled wire is installed in the lower hose.

If you have covered all the points listed above and still have overheating issues,inspect and test the head for cracks and head gasket for leaks. Exhaust gasses entering the coolant can raise the temperature of the coolant or cause steam pockets in the coolant that will temporarily block the flow of coolant

Read more about cooling systems here –

www.offroaders.com/tech/engine-overheating.htm

www.carparts.com/classroom/coolingsystem.htm

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Unread 07-10-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
1CleanTJ
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if its only happening with the a/c on, sounds like your electric fan is no longer working.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
MxM
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Mine did the same thing I replaced thermostat and thermostat housing gasket (it was leaking). Fixed my problem. Though I also second electric fan.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #6
fitzp20102
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Precocial,

I have the VERY exact issue. I'm a 1998 Cherokee 4.0L with AW4. I've flushed the system, replaced radiator cap, mechanical fan clutch, electric fan (mine was bad and locked up anyway) and thermostat.

Everything starts and runs fine. Jeeps comes up to operating temp in about 5 minutes or so and continues to run fine. After driving for about 10 or so minutes, ALL OF A SUDDEN the gauge spikes up to 250 and the "Check Gauges" light comes on. I pullover and stop, open the hood and the electric fan is running like it should, I'm not overheating, but probably close.

Sound familiar? I hope to test and see if it only happens with the A/C on. I think it might be a bad A/C compressor or clutch, that is loading the system more than it should?

Anyone have any thoughts?
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Unread 08-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
CJ7-Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
An old worn out, or defective radiator cap will cause boil overs and/or allow the coolant flash over into to steam. You will see the coolant temps suddenly jump from 210* to the Red Zone and back to 210* if your radiator cap is weak.
Make sure you have a good quality 16lbs radiator cap. Some parts stores incorrectly list a 13lbs cap for the Cherokee.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
fitzp20102
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Thanks. Cap says 16lbs. Tested cap. Tester shows good.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
bobthecatkiller
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Did you check the lower hose? Without a spring it can collapse.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
playbass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzp20102 View Post
Precocial,

I have the VERY exact issue. I'm a 1998 Cherokee 4.0L with AW4. I've flushed the system, replaced radiator cap, mechanical fan clutch, electric fan (mine was bad and locked up anyway) and thermostat.

Everything starts and runs fine. Jeeps comes up to operating temp in about 5 minutes or so and continues to run fine. After driving for about 10 or so minutes, ALL OF A SUDDEN the gauge spikes up to 250 and the "Check Gauges" light comes on. I pullover and stop, open the hood and the electric fan is running like it should, I'm not overheating, but probably close.

Sound familiar? I hope to test and see if it only happens with the A/C on. I think it might be a bad A/C compressor or clutch, that is loading the system more than it should?

Anyone have any thoughts?
The a/c hypothesis is possible, but to do it in 10 minutes is a bit quick. If the outside temp is 100+ and I have the a/c on in stop and go traffic, I have to be mindful of the temp as it will climb to 230+. Turning off the a/c stops the temp creep though and it eventually goes back down.

Does your XJ overheat when the a/c isn't on?
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Unread 08-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
4kidsxj
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lower radiator hose w/ or w/o spring?? Havent seen that...?
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