No heat and now engine overheat - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-12-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy No heat and now engine overheat

Hi everyone. I have a 2013 GC Limited, V6. First owner. No major problems to date. 82K miles.


Last week I drove from Virginia to western NY. When I arrived up here, noticed the heat wasn't working that well. No other problems and have been driving around with it for a week or so. Eventually the car got warm enough inside after driving and it hasn't been uncomfortably cold. A few days ago were the first much colder days and no heat at all was coming from any of the vents.


Unfortunately we got the first major snow of the season last night and temps in the low 20s. (Before I got the jeep to a dealer). This morning I used the remote engine turn on, then went out and let the engine idle for maybe 30-40 minutes, to generate some heat to begin melting the snow. The defrost was blowing only cold air and progress was barely discernible. I turned off the car and rescheduled my morning appointment for this afternoon to let nature take it's course with warmer temperatures.



Fast forward to this afternoon, about 3 hours later. I used the remote engine turn on again for 15 minutes, still no heat, but much easier to clean the car off 3 hours later as the sun was up. A few minutes later, drove through an ATM, then to the hardware store for snow brushes, and then to my appointment. Less than a mile total of driving distance, maybe 5 minutes total driving time, only because of the ATM drive-through. No issues other than the heat. I didn't notice any malfunctions or warning lights at that time (and I think I would have, but it's possible I didn't). Stopped car, engine off for about 45 minutes, during my appointment.


Started car coming out of appointment and noticed the malfunction light came on immediately. Crap, but I still wasn't overly concerned, as I thought it was just finally registering the problem with the heater. Drove the two blocks home and by the time I got there the engine temp light was on also. Backed the jeep into the driveway, turned it off. Waited a few minutes, turned back on, brought up the engine temp display, and watched it skyrocket to 240. Turned off and there it sits.


I'm now worried I had a much more serious problem than I realized until today and have been driving around with it exasperating the real problem. Probably the cart before the horse, in terms of awful possibilities, but I'm seeing bad visions of a head gasket or worse. It's probably not just a thermostat or blend doors issue as I was stupidly thinking.


Thoughts? Only other thing I can think to mention symptom wise, is an odd water sloshing sound behind the dash. Not all the time. Just something I noticed 2-3 times since the heat problem. Seems like I have noticed it intermittently when turning car off.


I'd planned to take the jeep to the dealership here, (17 miles - closest one), that I've used before, but that was before the overheat. There is a Ford dealership about 1.5 miles from here, same parent franchise as the jeep dealership. I'm comfortable tomorrow getting the jeep that far. But would prefer to take it to the actual jeep dealer I've used before. Would you have it taken to dealer at this juncture or just start with the nearest shop in case it is something relatively simple? It's a one horse town.



Sorry for my first post being so long. Thanks in advance for any insights & advice.

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post #2 of 18 Old 11-12-2019, 06:07 PM
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Sounds like low coolant level. What does the level look like in the overflow tank. When cold, remove radiator cap, coolant should be at the top. If low, add coolant:

MOPAR Antifreeze/Coolant 10 Year/150,000 Mile Formula OAT (Organic Additive Technology) or equivalent meeting the requirements of Chrysler Material Standard MS-12106.

Then check for leaks, or have your dealer check.
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-12-2019, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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The coolant level did cross my mind, but I had discounted it as likely, because just a few days before driving up from Virginia had the oil changed. They would have checked all the fluid levels and topped off where needed. Theoretically anyway. It was Jiffy Lube.



Will check the levels, and anything obvious under the hood, first light tomorrow.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-12-2019, 10:01 PM
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Could be a bad or blocked heater core.

The core itself is not very expensive, however itís a labour intensive job so somewhat costly at a shop.

Hopefully itís a reasonable repair.

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post #5 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 09:20 AM
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Sure hope it's just low coolant level.

The expansion tank should be empty and probably 3/4 of a full radiator to get no heat. Damaging to the water pump seal also.

I wouldn't trust Jiffy Lube to do anything right, let alone check the coolant levels.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the overflow tank is empty. Well, there appears to be a tiny bit at the bottom through the side, below the add line however. Put a piece of plastic tub down in to collect some fluid from bottom. It is pinkish. After some doing got the radiator cap off; it was on tight. No fluid visible but can't see down into the hose more than an inch or so to gauge anything else. Gunky material around the inside of the cap. Sludge-like/slimy composition, light to medium brown color.

There are spots of fluid at the bottom of the pan. Very slight pink/clear color. Seems similar to but not identical to the liquid in the bottom of the overflow tank. I can't tell any obvious problems with hoses. There does seem to be liquid residue in places but honestly not enough experienced to know if it's just six years of normal car gunk or a telltale symptom of a problem. I didn't turn the jeep on based on overheating yesterday.

So my options (or any others folks would advise):

(1) I can drive the car 0.25 - 1 miles, to one of two different places (a local mechanic Auto Garage or a Ford Dealership/Service place), at min have the MIL codes read from yesterday (assume they will be able to do this), and get coolant in the system ASAP. Then run the car and see what happens. My gut feel is the coolant addition won't magically fix everything and at min the system probably needs to be flushed. But maybe the coolant will be good enough to get the jeep the 17 miles to the Jeep dealership I've used before under its own steam. (?)

or (2) Call the Jeep dealership and have them come pick it up on a Flatbed. (?)


Thanks for any thoughts.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 12:54 PM
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I'd go with (2). But that's just me. I hate adding insult to injury.

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post #8 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 01:00 PM
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A lot of these have gunk around the radiator cap, seems normal.

You need to get some coolant in there before driving, at least to fill the radiator. You already have a MIL probably due to the coolant being nearly drained and overheating.

Then get it to a radiator shop or a shop you can trust. If its not gushing fluid it should be good to drive 20 miles or so, but take some spare coolant along. The safest is to have it flatbed to a shop/dealer.

Its common for the radiator or water pump to have a slow leak, or the water pump may be drawing air into the cooling system and blowing out water. Much less common is a head gasket failure or head crack where combustion gasses are pushed into coolant passages and coolant is forced out.

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post #9 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 01:19 PM
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Fill it up with water to get it to the shop. Just don’t forget to replace it with coolant so it doesn’t freeze in the winter.

Probably just losing coolant through a leak, if there’s no leaks it could be losing it through a bad headgasket. Check the oil for being milky if it’s milky looking than it’s pribably head gasket.

If you overheated it really bad it could have blown the headgasket as well.


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post #10 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I called all three of the auto garages/shops within the couple mile radius I could reasonably get someone to drive me to. One is actually an auto supply store. None of them carry MOPAR. Two of them wouldn't confirm whether anything else they carried in stock met the spec. One of those actually said "it doesn't matter. we have Universal and you can use anything." The 3rd place, the actual auto supply shop, said Dexacool would work, but then made me nervous by making the statement "we sell it for diesels". (Obviously, I had said "nada" about diesel. Ugh.)

Gosh Darn stupid half horse town. Of course this couldn't have happened before I left Virginia with taxis, ubers, and hundreds of auto shops & service dealerships in a 5 mile radius. This sucks because it never occurred to I wouldn't be able to at least get more coolant/antifreeze in today.

Does anyone know what else meets the spec? And if that might cause even additional problems? Ironically the nearest place carrying MOPAR appears to be the Jeep dealership 17 miles away. or the Walmart next door to the Jeep dealership. Maybe that it is a sign the Flatbed is the way to go. :-(
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 02:39 PM
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Theres no point in risk blowing a engine to saves couple bucks. Look at your insurance policy for roadside assistance. Some will tow you for free to the dealer if its broke down. Or if you have an extend warranty most cover towing fees.

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post #12 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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yeah... i'm on hold with the dealership now. Have towing on my insurance so just need to get it over there. Issue is going to be a loaner vehicle. There's no where to rent cars around here. My fear is they will jack the repair costs up if I have a loaner. But not much choice at this point. I'm pleading with them on the phone right now just to get a loaner. Otherwise I'll probably have it towed 40-50 miles someplace in Buffalo.
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 02:57 PM
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Enterprise delivers car. Just a heads up. You will have to drive the employee back but they do bring them to you

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 03:38 PM
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Never use Dexacool in anything.

Its best to use MOPAR, many stores cary it, otherwise look for Prestoneģ Cor-Guard™ Antifreeze/Coolant AF2000/AF2100 I think. You should use a OAT type (not HOAT), but in an emergency do what you gotta do, and flush it out after. Use plan water if you must, just watch out for freezing.

Jeep changed from HOAT to OAT in 2013. You don't want to put HOAT antifreeze in a 2013+ unless is an emergency.
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-13-2019, 07:25 PM
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Water man just fill it up and drive to the dealer. Keep a few spare jugs of water Incase it loses a lot on the way. They will probably have to drain and refill while they fix it anyways.


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