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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
Michele1221
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Am I being ripped off??? Overheating

Hi everyone! I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler and she has always been good to me - until I moved to Texas and started taking her to this one mechanic.

A little background - before moving from NJ to TX, I had my Jeep inspected and checked out completely in preparation for the long drive. I drove from NJ to TX and didn't have one problem - she got me here just fine.

A month in - she was hesitating a bit when I would start her up and when she was idle. (Yes, my Jeep is female . I took her to this mechanic nearby and they said the sensor was broken - for $180 they replaced the sensor and cleaned the throttle body.

Now, about 1 month ago. My Jeep starts overheating ONLY when I'm idle or in traffic. Just yesterday, I started her up, no problems, drove her around for a few miles, turned her off to go into the store - when I came back and started her up, she immediately overheated, check gauges light went on - I quickly threw her into drive and started moving and temp went back to normal and idiot light turned off.

I took her to the mechanic this morning. He's telling me its the thermostat AND either the radiator and/or the water pump. Its not one or the other - its both OR all three - to replace the thermostat $150, water pump $300, radiator $400 - he's "120%" (that's what he said) sure that its not just the thermostat and that its not anything else - so I'm definitely spending $150 and then potentially another $300 or $400??!!! Does this sound right to anyone?? I don't know if this guy is jerking me around here or what?!!

I had no overheating issues when I drove her from NJ to TX less than 3 months ago. When I ask him how he knows its not a bad radiator cap, or just need a coolant flush, or just a new thermostat, he just talks and talks and gives me a lot of non-answers. I'm just not sure what to do at this point. I told him to go ahead and change the thermostat and replace the coolant but to not touch anything else until talking to me again with his final diagnosis (he said 1% chance final diagnosis will be both water pump and radiator!)

What do you all think?? Here I go in thinking its something not too major since she only overheated when idle and now I'm looking at a possible $500 bill!! Appreciate any feedback - and soooo sorry for the long post - I'm just fuming and right now!!

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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
ntkarter4x
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Sounds like the fan clutch...does the radiator fan ever come on? I had the exact same problem and that is all it was. 45 bucks for the fan clutch and 20 minutes later it was fixed.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
Michele1221
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He said it wasn't the fan because he let the Jeep run for 15-20 mins with AC on blast and it didn't overheat. It wasn't until he drove the Jeep around and parked it again that she overheated.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
ntkarter4x
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Were you there when he ran it that long with the ac on?
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
Michele1221
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No, I wasn't
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
Delta9
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Wondering if there is an air bubble in the coolant system? Had a problem with my GMC, where it would be fine sometimes and overheat other times. Did a radiator flush, where you hook a water hose into the system and all was fixed.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
ntkarter4x
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Start it and watch to see it the radiator fan kicks on when it gets to standard operating temp. Start there because that would be the easiest fix
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
JWebber
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Go find another mechanic! it could be Fan clutch, fluid level, clogged Radiator core.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
trickydick
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It also sounds like a bad fan clutch to me. Wow his prices are silly, 150 for a thermostat is outrageous but 400 for a radiator is reasonable, 300 for a waterpump isn't bad. Water pumps have a weep hole in them that usually starts to leak when they go bad or the bearing will get noisy. Radiators don't just go bad they might get a hole from something in the road or semi clogged from that stop leak stuff in the parts stores, or they might start to leak from end caps or corrosion. All these things being bad at once isn't possible, he probably doesn't know what's wrong and just wants to throw allot of parts at it on your dime.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 03:01 PM   #10
flying_bosun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta9 View Post
Wondering if there is an air bubble in the coolant system? Had a problem with my GMC, where it would be fine sometimes and overheat other times. Did a radiator flush, where you hook a water hose into the system and all was fixed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntkarter4x View Post
Start it and watch to see it the radiator fan kicks on when it gets to standard operating temp. Start there because that would be the easiest fix
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWebber View Post
Go find another mechanic! it could be Fan clutch, fluid level, clogged Radiator core.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trickydick View Post
It also sounds like a bad fan clutch to me. Wow his prices are silly, 150 for a thermostat is outrageous but 400 for a radiator is reasonable, 300 for a waterpump isn't bad. Water pumps have a weep hole in them that usually starts to leak when they go bad or the bearing will get noisy. Radiators don't just go bad they might get a hole from something in the road or semi clogged from that stop leak stuff in the parts stores, or they might start to leak from end caps or corrosion. All these things being bad at once isn't possible, he probably doesn't know what's wrong and just wants to throw allot of parts at it on your dime.

2x all of the above. Plus, be certain that if/when your cooling system is opened up, it's re-filled with HOAT either dealer supplied Mopar coolant or Zerex G-05.

Here's a great informative link for our cooling systems. It's a bit of a read, but if you take the time, it could same you plenty of time and money. Cooling System Knowledge; Coolant-antifreeze-overheating-thermostat-troubleshooting
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Unread 06-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
threeb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying_bosun

2x all of the above. Plus, be certain that if/when your cooling system is opened up, it's re-filled with HOAT either dealer supplied Mopar coolant or Zerex G-05.

Here's a great informative link for our cooling systems. It's a bit of a read, but if you take the time, it could same you plenty of time and money. Cooling System Knowledge; Coolant-antifreeze-overheating-thermostat-troubleshooting
May I ask why so specific On the coolant?
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Unread 06-26-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
Michele1221
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Just heard back from mechanic - tells me that as it turns out it is the radiator, its clogged and he has to replace the radiator - $400 (plus the $150 for the thermostat). Not sure if I should just pull my jeep out of there and get a second opinion or what?!
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Unread 06-26-2012, 03:28 PM   #13
ntkarter4x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele1221 View Post
Just heard back from mechanic - tells me that as it turns out it is the radiator, its clogged and he has to replace the radiator - $400 (plus the $150 for the thermostat). Not sure if I should just pull my jeep out of there and get a second opinion or what?!
Go get you a second opinion for sure
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Unread 06-26-2012, 04:12 PM   #14
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele1221 View Post
Just heard back from mechanic - tells me that as it turns out it is the radiator, its clogged and he has to replace the radiator - $400 (plus the $150 for the thermostat). Not sure if I should just pull my jeep out of there and get a second opinion or what?!
Not too bad of a price to replace the radiator. But no way would it cost $150 to replace the thermostat. I guess I'd replace the radiator and that's all. Unless the thermostat is sticking shut, that won't cause the engine to run hot. And if the thermostat is sticking shut then replacing the radiator won't fix the problem. My guess to all of this is the radiator or fan clutch is the problem. Who is doing the work? Please don't tell me Firestone.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 04:24 PM   #15
trickydick
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I tried to +1 get a second opinion post but I guess it didn't take, but yeah get a second opinion.
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