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Old 02-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #57
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Looking forward to your next run Mark , I'm staying at SAMs family spa let me know if I can help
Cool! Thank you very much. Should be in a day or so.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:30 PM   #58
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PS. No one commented about the two Airstreamers that went flying by. I guess I can't blame them, but I felt a bit let down.
From what you said, it wasn't a very safe place to stop - you said that you were afraid to open your door for the cars whizzing by at 65 mph and the trailer was barely off the road.

It's tough. I'd certainly want to stop and help if I saw an Airstream broken down along the road (and in fact I did offer help to one that was obviously in distress in a parking lot once), but at the same time it's just not always going to be possible.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:38 PM   #59
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There were at least two alarms going off and two symbols lit on the dash. Now I know someone is thinking, "Jeez, wasn't he paying attention to things?" I WAS! I was glued to the trans temp. Who knew I shoulda been watching the coolant. It went sour so fast it was unbelievable. Kinda like a traffic light...green...yellow...red!


Under heavy load, the overheating following loss of sufficient coolant is extremely rapid, less than one minute advance warning from the gauges.

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PS. No one commented about the two Airstreamers that went flying by. I guess I can't blame them, but I felt a bit let down.
In the early days of automotive travel, there was a strong tradition of mutual aid. I've commented elsewhere on its sad decline, born of the presumption of 1) universal availability of cell phones, 2) widespread availability of free roadside assistance, and 3) the reliability of present-day cars being so much higher aside from cases of total neglect.

I still stop to help although on the whole I typically make the acquaintance of people with neither means nor decision-making ability when I do.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #60
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I think it probably is the cell phone that has changed the idea of stopping to help others. It's pretty fair to assume people can get help on their own. It's kind of an old fashioned thing to stop and offer assistance. Oddly, there was no cell service on that hill.

I don't want to say I was bitter or anything dramatic like that. We are adults and can take care of ourselves. It's was just a funny feeling to see not one but two 'streamers whiz by in the course of 15 minutes when normally we wouldn't see on on a whole trip. I am going to make a point myself to think more about stopping if I see others stuck. I have never come upon a 'streamer in trouble, but I think I will make a point of stopping if I do.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:49 AM   #61
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hey Mark,
I'm wondering too if the engine computer through any codes when it got hot ? Do you know if the mechanic had to clear any codes and if so, what they were ? I'm wondering if it went into a "fail-safe" mode which may have been why it would not let you re-start until it cooled ?

As for stopping to help stranded folks, I have, over the years either stopped when I could, or driven on by. For instance, if I have the horse trailer on and a truck full of teenage girls, I am not going to risk them by being parked at the side of the road. Different situations result in different responses. Different topic for another day I suppose.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #62
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:46 PM   #63
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hey Mark,
I'm wondering too if the engine computer through any codes when it got hot ? Do you know if the mechanic had to clear any codes and if so, what they were ? I'm wondering if it went into a "fail-safe" mode which may have been why it would not let you re-start until it cooled ?

As for stopping to help stranded folks, I have, over the years either stopped when I could, or driven on by. For instance, if I have the horse trailer on and a truck full of teenage girls, I am not going to risk them by being parked at the side of the road. Different situations result in different responses. Different topic for another day I suppose.
No codes. Just warning lights and buzzers. My manual is on disk (yuck) I'll dig it out and see if there is a fail safe mode. I can't say I will be happy if there is. I am not that trusting of small computer chips to make big decisions.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:21 AM   #64
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Tough call on the pulling over situation. As another has noted if the conditions were dangerous I'd also question pulling over to assist. We got multiple stories here in our area of folks who have stopped to help others only to be hit on the road shoulder by someone else not paying attention.

As a matter of fact I saw on the Interstate, a fellow pulling a pop up get killed by a guy who rear ended his pop up on a narrow Interstate shoulder as the pop up owner was changing a blown tire. Thankfully the guy who was killed had directed his wife and kids to get out of the car and stand in the center of the median so they were not hurt, but it obviously was a horrific situation. As he recognized the danger for his family, I'm surprised the danger he put himself into attempting the tire change. The guy who hit him had drifted over the white line of the shoulder marking.

What I do if I see situations like this is to place a call to 911 and report a stranded motorist in a dangerous situation. If cell service isn't available, I make the call as soon as I get a signal. At least I have the satisfaction that someone is on the way and that I don't put myself and my wife in a dangerous situation.

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Old 02-22-2014, 02:09 PM   #65
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Another Failed Road Test

We started out driving around town until the temp stabilized at 220F. Then we got on the freeway and went 5mi to our gas station. Shut it off, got gas, started back out. Within 1 mile on the freeway at 55MPH it shot up to 260F and red lights alarms. Pulled over. It just wouldn't cool. We tried first idling it, and after ten minutes was still 255F. We shut it off for 1/2 hour and got it to 240. We limped it home on the surface roads at 30MPH. It was swinging between 230F and 255F. We stopped twice. Oddly, on one stop it fell after 5 minutes to 214F. But then in one block was back to 250F. NO loss of coolant this time.

I am totally convinced the coolant is not circulating. Either the pump is not working, or the thermostat is sticking. A modern car should cool within minutes when you stop and idle it. Outside temp was 72F.

I will go back to the shop and try to insist they replace the thermostat or do deeper trouble shooting.

Fairly discouraged at this point. I suppose I will try once more at the shop, but then I will probably throw in the towel, eat crow, sell the car and move on. We now have 0% confidence in the rig. I'd rather be wrong and just move on than to constantly be in fear that the rig will strand us.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #66
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I think you need to get this fixed and get some miles on it (without towing anything) to decide if you can regain trust in this car. It's a shame to have this happen, but cars do have problems sometimes, and once they are fixed it should be good for many more miles. We had a cooling problem about five years ago with our van, which resulted in three incidents of being towed to the shop before it was all sorted out (new hoses, new radiator, replacement because the new radiator was bad). It shook my confidence in it for a while, but since then we have had no cooling issues. Once you sort this out, you might have many trouble free miles ahead of you, and if you buy another vehicle you will probably just have to start over and work out the bugs in that one! Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #67
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A quick search of the Internet provides this possible list of problems. See highlights, below:

* Thermostat -- Installed backwards or defective.

* Fan sensor defective -- Bad sensor delays radiator fan motor activation or does not turn on at all.

* Air in cooling system -- Radiator is lower than engine, so air accumulates in engine block and must be purged while engine is running. See link below for details; or buy special coolant system bleed kit, which is approximately $40 at parts stores.

* Blockage in air dam -- Prevents proper airflow to radiator.

* Clogged pipe between engine and thermostat -- Could be caused by previous cooling system repairs, which left debris in system that circulated and accumulated in pipe and/or thermostat.

* Blown head gasket or cracked block -- Check by doing a pressure test of cooling system to verify it holds pressure. One odd symptom is that coolant can appear to "boil out" even when engine is cold. Combustion chamber gases are pumped into cooling system at higher pressure than radiator cap, so it appears to be boiling over. Bad consequence is that pressurized coolant is pumped back into combustion chamber when engine is turned off. This contaminates engine oil with radiator fluid, which will ruin engine bearings, etc. Some symptoms will be white tailpipe smoke, disappearing coolant, and foamy engine oil with water droplets in it.

* Extremely low profile tires -- Increases engine RPM at cruising speeds and causes overheating.

* Vehicle overloaded.

Note: Link to Website with more details on the above items: Chrysler 300M Questions - 99 Chrysler 300m 3.5 engine started to overheat - CarGurus

Just curious... Since this car is probably still under warranty, is there a reason you aren't having dealer troubleshoot this problem?

Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #68
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Mark,
Do you have a scangauge you own or can borrow ? At those "temps", I would have guessed it would have puked some coolant. I am wondering if it was really that hot on today's drive. Like maybe a senser or the readout is incorrect.
You didn't say in the above post, but I am assuming this was towing ?

If the pump was not circulating, or if the t-stat was stuck, it would overheat even if not towing, I would think ?

EDIT: I suppose it is also possible that the radiator is clogged with left over casting debris ( sand ) when the engine block and heads were cast.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #69
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Perhaps I missed it, but were you towing in this instance? Very sorry to hear you haven't got a green light yet!

It does sound like something basic is still bad. Perhaps the fault wasn't a cracked overflow box, but rather the cracked box might have just been caused by the true fault.

Eagerly wanting for the next chapter! Hang in there man, you WILL get to the bottom of the problem.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #70
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Post number one.....took it to the dealer. Needs to go back and have a long road test done. Jim
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