I have a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo w/ 4WD and 4.0L with 95,000 miles. I bought it about 2 weeks ago. The other day I noticed it was starting to overheat as I was pulling in my driveway. I turned it off and let it cool down. Then I started it up, and as soon as it got war the temp climbed to 240 or 250. I topped off the coolant, and drove it down to a shop to get it looked at. They told me it was probably the fan and fan relay and 425 to replace. I decided I could do that myself. I took off the headlight and found that someone had already changed the fan relay,and after inspecting the fan found that it may have been replaced too. Also the fan would kick on whenever it got around 200 degrees. I figured that meant the fan and relay were fine. I also noticed that when it got hot it bubbled back into the reservoir. I decided to change the thermostat, flush the radiator and change the radiator cap. Also checked the engine, oil looks normal and fine, no water under oil cap, exhaust is normal and no smoke or sweet smelling exhaust. It is running normal, not rough, no misses and sounds good. After I changed the thermostat, the temp didnt rise while idling and seemed ok. I decided to take it for a quick spin around the neighborhood, and after a couple minutes the temp started to soar to 245. When it hit about 250, I heard a pop and steam shot out of the hood and water and antifreeze all over the grill and underside of the hood. I was pulling into my driveway when this happened, so shut it off immediately. After the pop, the temp dropped to 210 right away. I let it cool down and checked the engine oil, oil cap and underneath the engine and it was all normal, no antifreeze smell inside the care or out the tailpipe and no white smoke. I opened up the radiator and noticed I couldnt see the fluid. I started adding water and noticed it was taking a lot, but the reservoir was still full. Also the water pump isnt leaking and sounds fine. After 3/4 gallon of water had been added I then heard what sounded like a faucet was on. I could see antifreeze and water running out of the bottom for about 5 seconds. I added more water and it happened again.
So this means a hole in the radiator somewhere right?
And the pop and steam came when the radiator blew a hole in it right?
I plan on replacing the radiator right away. My question is was the radiator bad the whole time, or did something else cause the overheating and pop the radiator?
Also any recommendations on a radiator? Are Napa radiators ok? Heard good things about radiatorbarn too, should I go with them?
Thanks for the help.