Another problem: Overheating - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Another problem: Overheating

We were going to a wrestling event tonight with my son and had to park in a public parking garage. The temp. gauge was normal until we turnrd into the garage and had to wait for cars. The temp. went almost to the red and the heat stopped working. It was only blowing cold air so I found a parking spot as fast as I could and shut the motor off. On the way home the temp. gauge had to get to the normal spot and stay there for 10 min. befoire hot air started coming from the vents. It returned to normal as soon as we started down the road. It has plenty of fluid in it but I think it could possibly be a weak thermostat. Can anyone help with this problem?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:13 PM
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Sounds for sure like your coolant wasn't circulating through the system. I think the thermostat should be checked to see if it is opening. If you find yourself in a pinch like that in the future, you can always remove your thermostat completely just to get you home without overheating your engine.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TR4Runner View Post
If you find yourself in a pinch like that in the future, you can always remove your thermostat completely just to get you home without overheating your engine.
Is it easy to do that?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolarBZ View Post
Is it easy to do that?
No, you have to drain the coolant system to do that, so its not a quick roadside fix.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PolarBZ View Post
Is it easy to do that?
And if your motor is hot I would recommend against trying to remove it due to the heat and presure buildup, you could seriously burn yourself.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 10:02 AM
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Does anyone know if the stock thermostat (52028898AE) is a "fail safe" type.

I had a probem with one of my Trackers this summer and the thermostat failed ... but it was the type that failed in the full open position, I assumed it was the stock thermostat at the time .. but now I'm thinking it was a replacement?

I know they are available for just about every car now ... but was curious if anyone knew if the Jeeps come STOCk with the fail safe model?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 11:27 AM
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No, you have to drain the coolant system to do that, so its not a quick roadside fix.

You don't really need to drain the cooling system to remove the thermostat. If the engine isn't already hot, you can just remove the upper radiator hose on the engine side. It shouldn't have much (if any) coolant in it when it is cold. Then you simply lift the thermostat out and reattach the hose.

Now if the engine is already hot and pressure has built up, then you have to be careful. You'd have to open the radiator petcock and drain maybe a quart of coolant to empty the radiator hose. Of course you could also crack open the radiator cap to relieve the pressure. You have to use some common sense there also to avoid getting sprayed with hot coolant if it is still under a lot of pressure and very hot.

But either way, it's not difficult to remove a thermostat on the road. You don't even need much in the way of tools...just a screwdriver (for the screw type radiator clamps) or a pliers (for the spring clamp type radiator clamps) to get you going again.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 11:32 AM
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And if your motor is hot I would recommend against trying to remove it due to the heat and presure buildup, you could seriously burn yourself.
That is true, but keep in mind that every radiator cap has a safety built into it to prevent that from happening. If you simply twist it counter clockwise to remove it, you'll see that it will only turn a little bit and then stop. This is a pressure-relieving position. To continue to take it off, you have to press down on it while turning, sort of like a safety cap on a prescription drug bottle.

The whole idea is to prevent people from getting burned by hot coolant. The best idea if you're really worried is to place a rag over the cap and open it to the pressure relief point. And also keep in mind that if the cap is hot to the touch, there is probably a significant amount of pressure in the system, so BE CAREFUL!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
Does anyone know if the stock thermostat (52028898AE) is a "fail safe" type.

I had a probem with one of my Trackers this summer and the thermostat failed ... but it was the type that failed in the full open position, I assumed it was the stock thermostat at the time .. but now I'm thinking it was a replacement?

I know they are available for just about every car now ... but was curious if anyone knew if the Jeeps come STOCk with the fail safe model?
Believe it or not, all thermostats are designed to fail open instead of closed. But the fact of the matter is that they can still fail in the closed position. So then they came up with thermostats that have a mechanism inside that is supposed to open them if the coolant on the engine side is at "overheating" temperature. These thermostats are marketed as "fail open" thermostats and they seem to work fairly well, but they have been known to fail closed too. I've seen it a few times in the last year or so...

In my opinion, the best bet is to just replace your thermostat as regular maintenance. But make sure to buy a quality thermostat and avoid the cheap ones. And if you can find one that is said to fail open, that's a plus too.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 12:01 PM
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unless you absolutely have to, let it cool a couple hours before starting on it. IF you managed to get the cap off while it was hot, the force of the gushing boiling water would seriously injure you....for life.

If it is running hot, the radiator has probably already boiler over at some point. probably would not need to dump fluid.

Replace it with a stock thermostat unless you live in an area where it needs to run hotter and top off the fuild.

On the other side, if you have not replaced you fluid for a while, now is a good time.

If the thing is still under warranty, dont bother. go to the dealer, go to lunch,come back, tada! it's fixed!! wish it was that easy....

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