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truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is?


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mikefallon55
New User

Dec 31, 2015, 1:24 PM

Post #1 of 9 (844 views)
truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

I was driving my 1996 Ram today when I noticed the temp gauge moving between 210 and 245. I didn't know if it was right because of how fast it would go back down or up. I popped the hood and saw that the antifreeze was really low (only about half and inch visible in the reservoir, I had forgot to check it, and its had a really slow leak for the better part of 15 years). I went to the auto parts store, bought antifreeze, and was heading home so i could let it cool then add it. only 2 miles from home the needle stayed close to 250 (red mark is 260), and it started steaming. I immediately went to the shoulder, shut off the engine, and it steamed for about 15 secs then stopped. After calling AAA and letting it cool i popped the hood and looked and saw water/antifreeze soaked all over the driver's side of the radiator, the opening to fill it is on the passenger side. I didnt smell anything burnt, so I think i was able to shut it off before it overheated to the point of damaging the engine, but i want to know before i call a mechanic how bad the damage could be. Does it only need a refill of antifreeze, or does a hose or the radiator need to be replaced? I know theres so way to tell for sure but in your experience, how bad do you think the damage could be?, since I shut it off as soon as the steam started coming out. The engine starts and runs fine. (had to run it for 30 secs to park it when the tow truck got me home). Thank you.


kev2
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Dec 31, 2015, 2:48 PM

Post #2 of 9 (824 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

knowing which engine might help. BUT the same path of repair, you could check the engine oil if its NOT milky coffee color that's good, easiest route - fill radiator with water pressure test find the leak or leaks, repair the leak. .pressure test again. then new coolant and operate. I am a optimist and those older cast iron engines were a lot more forgiving...


PS: why did you not repair the leak- 15 years!


mikefallon55
New User

Dec 31, 2015, 3:01 PM

Post #3 of 9 (818 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

Well the truck was my dad's, when he passed away last year he left it to me. And as far as the oil, it had been milky like for about 2 years. Never had much money to actually get it looked at. What might that mean in relation to the issue that i had today?


kev2
Veteran
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Dec 31, 2015, 3:53 PM

Post #4 of 9 (802 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

the milky oil suggests coolant has gotten into the oil, often seen with more serious issues- head gaskets, cracked heads/blocks, depending on engine intake manifolds.
Oil contaminated with coolant drastically reduces its lubrication ability, A 20yr old truck.... I would diagnose then evaluate the costs, Maybe diagnose the leak, check for reason coolant in entering oil, let us know and we can advise. But DIAGNOSE do not guess.


mikefallon55
New User

Dec 31, 2015, 4:13 PM

Post #5 of 9 (794 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

My dad did say that it has a slightly cracked block. I know why the engine overheated though- the lack of coolant. I don't have the money for a major engine repair, it wouldn't be worth it on that truck even if I did. Hopefully all I'll need done is a new hose and to keep the coolant topped off, because like I said, I forgot and there was basically none, I was on the way home from buying some. Didn't quite make it. The gague really messed with me, because of how it would move from 210, to 240, and back to 210 about 3 times a minute. On the way home it made it to 250 and never went down, that's when it started spraying steam.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 31, 2015, 4:19 PM

Post #6 of 9 (789 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

If you have coolant getting into the oil then it's only a matter of a short time before the engine is toast. That will destroy the bearings in a heartbeat.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



kev2
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Jan 1, 2016, 9:25 AM

Post #7 of 9 (759 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

now I got it- You should do nothing- everything will be fine, just add more coolant, keep it full! Nothing to worry about- it only leaks a little, and there is always something in the oil pan.
Happy new year.


mikefallon55
New User

Jan 1, 2016, 10:30 AM

Post #8 of 9 (744 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In

haha LOLZ!!!!!! What a real knee slapper there!

I was just asking how bad the damage could possibly be from this incident. Thanks for the sarcasm.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 1, 2016, 10:30 AM

Post #9 of 9 (744 views)
Re: truck overheated, how bad do you think the damage is? Sign In





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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