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Old 02-19-2014, 10:59 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I wonder why a tank of a reasonably new vehicle would be brittle enough to crack of its own accord.
It happened in my Cougar! The engine ran for another 100,000 miles. It doesn't have to be brittle: A slight weakness in the plastic; an overtightened nut when it was being bolted in; any little thing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #30
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The thing missing from this conversation is that, for any vehicle but especially for a tow vehicle of any kind, the cooling system should be pressure tested regularly as part of preventative maintenance.

The 300 has a pressurized plastic cooling tank, not a "recovery tank." Any cracking or leaking will cause problems under load. There is no way to identify these problems in advance without testing for them.

Better shops will a pressure test at every oil change without being asked. Or you can buy a tester for $70 and the adapter that the 300 needs for $30 from any of a number of sources on line and do it yourself. It only takes a few minutes to test the cap and then pressurize the system, then you can go do something else for a while and come back and check the gauge.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:22 AM   #31
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You guys may be overlooking one scenario. There could be a combustion pressure leak into the cooling jacket through a head gasket or cracked head/block. This can cause an over pressurization of the system and crack an overflow tank. In theory, the cap should prevent this, but it does happen. I wonder why a tank of a reasonably new vehicle would be brittle enough to crack of its own accord. Also, though I am not too familiar with Chrysler products, many of the newer systems' overflow (or reservoir more accurately) are under cooling system pressure and not at atmospheric pressure. These are the ones which would be susceptible to combustion pressures.
Possible.
If it were mine ( but then I am pedantic ! ) I would do a compression check and a leak-down test, if for no other reason than to have some baseline numbers.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:25 AM   #32
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Mstephens,

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I think both gmw photos and dznf0g have offered some real good tips.

I'd like to add one more that gets you DATA about you engines health.

Engine oil analysis.

A sample is taken an a lab gives you a report for wear metals and contaminates in the sample.

Independent and defined. It actually does not cost very much either. I get one for my Cummins every so often.

Good luck.

Gary
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:13 PM   #33
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Mstephens,

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I think both gmw photos and dznf0g have offered some real good tips.

I'd like to add one more that gets you DATA about you engines health.

Engine oil analysis.

A sample is taken an a lab gives you a report for wear metals and contaminates in the sample.

Independent and defined. It actually does not cost very much either. I get one for my Cummins every so often.

Good luck.

Gary
Good point. I use blackstone labs. Go to their website and request a sample container, they will mail it to you.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:55 PM   #34
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Don't make too much of this. It's not a failed experiment, it's a part that was already broken screwing up your test of an already proven concept.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:10 PM   #35
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fwiw, I had a Ford Taurus that suffered the same cracked-tank issue. (and it was the "pressurized" type, too). The car wasn't as "new" as your 300, but it wasn't terribly old, either. (don't remember exactly). My mechanic told me that it was an extremely common problem with this vehicle.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:41 PM   #36
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There's so much plastic under the hood, that I suppose I wasn't terribly surprised to hear "cracked tank." It doesn't look robust. Also, the way things are jammed in a modern car, there's a LOT of heat under the hood. You know?

I am trying not to panic. I think this was a fault that existed when I bought the car and not related to my conversion to a TV. It just happened to blow when I was road testing the tow up the first grade. Although it looks related, it probably isn't. The tank is a two piece molded affair which means it is glued together.

Apparently it IS under pressure because they installed a new pressure cap. I liked the idea of making marks on the tank for cold, hot, and so on, to track the level. I will do that beginning today.

Can anyone say why they run cars at 205F as normal? I would have thought 150 or so would be normal.

BTW, I have a regular ODBII instrument. I'll connect it and see what gauges it will display. I really haet fumbling with arrow keys to select one instrument at a time. It's the feature I hate the most about the car. The little screen on dash would be able to display at least 10 lines of info if the programmers had used common sense. Instead, they wasted their tiem programming silly graphics on the screen instead of important information. Absurd.

Thanks for all the idea and info!
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:48 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by mstephens View Post

Can anyone say why they run cars at 205F as normal? I would have thought 150 or so would be normal.
Emissions control. They get a more complete fuel burn at higher temps., and better fuel economy, up to that point. As you already know, the problem is it's right close to the "too hot" point, and if you loose pressure on the system, it will boil over any time it's under load.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:56 PM   #38
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There's so much plastic under the hood, that I suppose I wasn't terribly surprised to hear "cracked tank." It doesn't look robust. Also, the way things are jammed in a modern car, there's a LOT of heat under the hood. You know?

I am trying not to panic. I think this was a fault that existed when I bought the car and not related to my conversion to a TV. It just happened to blow when I was road testing the tow up the first grade. Although it looks related, it probably isn't. The tank is a two piece molded affair which means it is glued together.

Apparently it IS under pressure because they installed a new pressure cap. I liked the idea of making marks on the tank for cold, hot, and so on, to track the level. I will do that beginning today.

Can anyone say why they run cars at 205F as normal? I would have thought 150 or so would be normal.

BTW, I have a regular ODBII instrument. I'll connect it and see what gauges it will display. I really haet fumbling with arrow keys to select one instrument at a time. It's the feature I hate the most about the car. The little screen on dash would be able to display at least 10 lines of info if the programmers had used common sense. Instead, they wasted their tiem programming silly graphics on the screen instead of important information. Absurd.

Thanks for all the idea and info!
150 degrees F would be considered too cool. For many years, 180 had been considered normal. Once we moved into the modern emissions era, somewhat higher temps were found to help in getting engines to burn more cleanly, and likely in a more fuel efficient manner.
Example, my Nissan specs the thermostat to "begin opening" at approx 174 and be "fully open" at 204. My scangauge shows normal op temp to be between 193 and around 202, virtually all the time. No matter whether empty or towing, cold day or hot day, sea level or in the mountains of Colorado. So apparently Nissan has figured this is the "correct" range.
I have seen it hit close to 220 a few times on a long hard pull though.

One problem with running an engine too cool is the oil also ends up running cool, and never gets hot enough to boil off any water that has condensed in the crankcase, which can lead to corrosion.

EDIT: Steve typed faster than me....and as usual, said what we needed with fewer words !

EDIT_2: An example of an exception to these operating temps would be a methanol powered engine. Back in my days of getting to do grunt/simple work on a sprint car team, I remember those engines typically ran at 160 degrees or a little less
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:23 PM   #39
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My F150 normally runs at 195F with an older-tech engine. Newer direct-injection engines can run higher temps and manage detonation with precise control, and the higher temps help them with efficiency and emissions.

One of the reasons that overheating/boil-overs is more rare than it used to be is the higher-pressure cooling systems, tolerating much higher temps and pressures before it becomes a problem than older vehicles could.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:03 PM   #40
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Hi, most modern engines, including Chrysler products, will shut down the engine before any damage is done to it. I've been a mechanic most of my life and never smelled a dog who smelled like coolant; Bad yes, but not like coolant. Some newer cars don't actually have a radiator cap; [on the radiator] They use the cap on the recovery tank for filling and holding pressure. You shouldn't have to check every/any/thing on a new car. A cracked coolant recovery tank is more than likely a factory defect, not something that you did. Also your recovery tank should already have cold and hot level marks on it. [mine does]
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:32 PM   #41
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I've been a mechanic most of my life and never smelled a dog who smelled like coolant; Bad yes, but not like coolant.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:36 PM   #42
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OK, sounds like the 205F is sort of normal for modern cars. I think I understand. So, the key is pressure. I have a guy who services all our cars and I will have him do regular pressure checks. He'll put that in his computer and they'll do it whenever I am there for oil, or other service.

You guys really know yer stuff. I appreciate the concern and comments and help. I just had to run some errands in the car and WOW I sure like it. So, I am hoping the worst is past!
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