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Old 02-23-2014, 07:26 PM   #113
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Be careful how much info you give to your dealer about you towing so much weight with this car. Most dealers will do ANYTHING to void your warranty; if you DO in fact have a head gasket leak or a warped head they can easily try to state it was because you tried to tow something that the car was not designed for (even though it has NOTHING to do with what's wrong); I would be very weary of letting them know you overheated the car pulling a large trailer up a climb. I wouldn't offer that information...even though the car overheats on its own. Don't give them any info they can hang you with. I hope they don't notice the extensive hitch work and air shocks...hopefully they are clueless about those too...I would hate for them to try to pawn whatever is wrong with the car on you. Be careful how much info you give them about your trailer...don't lie, but don't offer the fact that you were towing something greater than the owner's manual states you can.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:29 PM   #114
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What goat said. Leave it out of the conversation. Do you have a big honkin' receiver out back? Or one that would be within the rating of the car?

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:35 PM   #115
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Trade it in on a real tow vehicle. It sounds like you are whipping a dead horse. Get out of it and get out of it fast. Best case is the overheating has accelerated the wear on a brand new vehicle. Worst case is you got a lemon and it will never be right. It sounds like you are asking too much of vehicle that may have deficits on a good day. Sorry for my lack of tact but I have had a glass or two. I think that you are going to have problems pulling a trailer with a vehicle that has trouble pulling itself. It you lived in FL where there are no hills to speak of you might be ok but in CA where there are real mountains I think you are asking too much. Dodge is not known for over engineering their vehicles. The reliability ratings back me up.

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:38 PM   #116
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Remember, this car was in their shop last Monday when they replaced the coolant reservoir. That work was done under warranty. I have made no mention about towing anything, and I won't because the car overheats on it's own with no trailer. I have proven that to myself twice already. Yes, there is a 2" receiver mounted with the welded strut going up to the front x-member.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:44 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Trade it in on a real tow vehicle. It sounds like you are whipping a dead horse. Get out of it and get out of it fast. Best case is the overheating has accelerated the wear on a brand new vehicle. Worst case is you got a lemon and it will never be right. It sounds like you are asking too much of vehicle that may have deficits on a good day. Sorry for my lack of tact but I have had a glass or two. I think that you are going to have problems pulling a trailer with a vehicle that has trouble pulling itself. It you lived in FL where there are no hills to speak of you might be ok but in CA where there are real mountains I think you are asking too much. Dodge is not known for over engineering their vehicles. The reliability ratings back me up.

Perry
Hey, I know that when one gambles and it doesn't work out, the only thing for lunch is crow. I don't mind any of the comments, I don't take it personal. I am trying to remain logical. If something definitive could be found, and it tests out OK, I might be able to continue with it. If not, out it goes and I'll be looking for a GMC Sierra with my crow. Life has risks. Win some lose some.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:46 PM   #118
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This story reminds me of a Chevrolet diesel truck in the eighties that my father had. It ate head gaskets regularly and the way we diagnosed it the first time was via the coolant gurgling. It would get worse when you warmed it up.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #119
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I am not trying to be rude or disrespectful, but I am speaking from experience...even though I towed a 13ft Scamp with my Caravan, after the 2nd or 3rd rebuild by Cottman (truly incompetent) they started making overtones that I was "towing waaaay too much with that van." Yes, the Caravan struggled with my 13ft Scamp...2nd gear foot-to-the-floor 40mph was the norm up a hill against a strong headwind. But, that was because of a lack of power...nothing to do with the transmission, which BTW was the sturdy 3spd mechanical non-overdrive old-school cargo van unit, not the fancy trouble-prone electronically-controlled 4spd that many Caravans were junked because of. But, when they kept rebuilding the tranny wrong, they started to look for excuses...the trailer was one of them.

I also tow with what people say you "shouldn't" tow with...a 2006 Chevrolet SSR 6spd manual LS2. I have modified it slightly for towing (4.56 rear end gears with aluminum finned differential cooler, Corvette LS7 clutch, custom air shocks, Class III custom hitch, PCM tuned for maximum torque, different tire ratios with stiffer sidewalls, K&N, etc). Most extensively, I have upgraded the factory cooling system (ironically) as it is the weak link in the SSR's towing capability (custom Ron Davis racing radiator, dual Spal hi-velocity fans and an auxillary pusher fan for a total of 3 fans with manual override control, got rid of the Dex-Clog and went with old fashioned Prestone). However, even though I have had NO problems (the best tow vehicle I have EVER had), when I have had to bring it to the dealer for anything I NEVER let them think I tow anything more than my little Scamp. It is still under extended warranty...and I don't want to give them ANY ammunition should I have any sort of failure with the vehicle. They WOULD use it against me.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:03 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
Hey, I know that when one gambles and it doesn't work out, the only thing for lunch is crow. I don't mind any of the comments, I don't take it personal. I am trying to remain logical. If something definitive could be found, and it tests out OK, I might be able to continue with it. If not, out it goes and I'll be looking for a GMC Sierra with my crow. Life has risks. Win some lose some.
Can't find the photo of my 2012 Silvarado on the rollback with the AS on the flat bed hitch. Came from the factory with a kink in the transmission cooling line. Asked for a new transmission and was told that the new policy from GM was rebuilds only. Took a beating on that truck as it had less than 2000 miles on it when I traded it in on the 2013 Grand Cherokee. For the record, the GC has more HP and torque than the chevy with the 6.0 gas engine. And it's a lot nicer as a daily driver than a crew cab!
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:05 PM   #121
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Just my opinion here, but I think you have had a series of events that have led you to where you are now. First, you had a bad coolant reservoir and a bad cap. Those led to the first overheating "event", which probably did some damage to the engine. Then you took it to the dealer for repair, and they only fixed what was staring them in the face not checking for further damage to the engine such as possible leaking head gaskets or warped heads.

I would wait until the dealer goes thru it, and see how it works. Usually, the second time they get a vehicle in for the same problem they will really go thru it, because they know if they get it back the third time, the state Lemon Laws will be applicable, at least around here.

If it still overheats, and even if after the warranty runs out, the history is there that they didn't fix it right. I'd keep after them until it's right. Then start your towing tests all over again. Again, just my opinion.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:45 PM   #122
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Thanks Steve. Yeah, it's been a nervous weekend waiting to get it to the shop, jumping to one conclusion after another, and just being generally mad about the whole thing. Too much time to think about it. So, I am going to give the dealer a chance to sort it out, and remain calm until he does.

FWIW, in defense of the 300, it has gobs of power and tows very smooth. It is not anywhere near "gutless." It stormed up the big grade at 55 MPH and I could easily have done 65. The transmission is smooth, swift, and sure and it is a pleasure to operate with the paddle shifters in manual mode. This overheating is an "overlay" of a car specific problem that didn't have anything to do with towing. Unfortunate coincidence. I guess I'll see what happens in the next day or two.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #123
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Sounds like the Chrysler 300 should be a good TV for you if you can get the overheating problem sorted out. The fact that it has paddle shifters should help downshifting when towing. My Tundra 6 speed tranny does not have paddle shifters but it has a floor mounted shift that that really makes it easy to downshift. I use it all the time when slowing down both towing and non towing.

Just a thought. Does the dealer have another 300 that you could test drive so you could measure the temperatures with your tester to see what "normal" temperature readings are for a given situation.

Dan
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:55 AM   #124
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Sounds like jumping to conclusions if the response to a vehicle overheating while not towing is to trade it in. Give them a chance to fix it. Make sure that the work order documents the complaint, so that you have that on file before the warranty runs out. Let them fix it, even if it takes additional visits. This isn't rocket science.

When you get it fixed, use it without the trailer until you get your confidence back. If you want to trade it then, fine. The most logical thing to do would be to get another 300 that you could use your current receiver on, since you say you like the vehicle and that model has a history of successful towing.

If it couldn't pull the hills, or you didn't have sufficient payload for what you want to bring along, that is a good reason for a larger vehicle. A larger truck may be the right thing for you, but that shouldn't be concluded based on a rad cap and expansion tank.
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:12 AM   #125
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Sounds like jumping to conclusions if the response to a vehicle overheating while not towing is to trade it in. Give them a chance to fix it. Make sure that the work order documents the complaint, so that you have that on file before the warranty runs out. Let them fix it, even if it takes additional visits. This isn't rocket science.

When you get it fixed, use it without the trailer until you get your confidence back. If you want to trade it then, fine. The most logical thing to do would be to get another 300 that you could use your current receiver on, since you say you like the vehicle and that model has a history of successful towing.

If it couldn't pull the hills, or you didn't have sufficient payload for what you want to bring along, that is a good reason for a larger vehicle. A larger truck may be the right thing for you, but that shouldn't be concluded based on a rad cap and expansion tank.
The simple fact of the matter is that while the original problem may have very well been a faulty cap and/or cracked expansion tank, once the car hit 260 while towing a load up a long climb it was very likely that further damage occurred to a head and/or head gasket...not to mention the life-shortening effects that such engine-overheating imparts on the transmission by way of superheating the fluid and the coupling effects of it being bolted to a smoldering hot engine block. And, this being a Pentastar 3.6L, they are known for needing head replacements on the left side due to faulty exhaust valve seating that is aggravated by excessive heat...just read the Jeep Wrangler forums (where these engines run MUCH hotter than in a 300) and read the literally thousands of posts regarding the Pentastar head failures.

Heat + Pentastar + history of overheating and need for head replacements caused by excessive heat + decreased transmission life caused by overheated engine = not a good trailer puller for the distant future.

Honestly, given the history of the Pentastar head failures (with no true fix yet from Chrysler) that are caused by excessive heat, I would stay away from ANY Pentastar-equipped Chrysler as a tow vehicle...and that includes nearly EVERY vehicle they make. Just check out this nearly 6000 (six thousand!) post 195 page (195!!!) thread about Pentastar head failures and Chrysler's attempt to disregard the tell-tale "ticking" sound that is the sign of impending doom:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/up...ad-137608.html

...and that includes the current Caravans and Town & Country vans.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:32 AM   #126
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Again I ask if you obtained all warranty work documentation for this vehicle before you bought it. This should be available from your dealer no matter where the work was done. This could give you an idea of why the car was traded in or at least what was done to it. Jim
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