OT - Van Diagostic Time. Again! Overheated

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The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:37am PT
For finding good mechanics, yelp has worked for me.

It's no guarantee, but ASE certification is something to look for.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:43am PT
Juan pretty much covered it, I would add that you might want to have your radiator back flushed. sometimes when people do not run anti-freeze rust forms and can create a sediment which can collect in the radiator where the water flows into the tiny cooling orifices, eventually causing blockage and overheating. You can flush it with a water hose if the crud has not solidified, otherwise a chemical flush will be required.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:26am PT
I have read this whole amazing thread, and I am of the opinion that any rational person reading it would conclude that you should start walking for transportation!

Jeez.

This is a simple situation.

The story:

You found the van overheating. When you checked the radiator, you found it ONE GALLON down. You saw no leaks, but fluid in the outflow tube.

1. You have a leak. It is not normal to be a gallon down.
It explains the overheating.

2. the leak has not been fixed. You correctly added fluid, and it now does not overheat.

3. Normal position for the temp guage on most cars is in the middle. If that is where it is, it is normal.

4. You have eliminated that the primary problems were thermostat, water pump, head gasket. Only the last will cause loss of fluid, and generally there will be other obvious issues.

5. You have a leak. It is not fixed.

6. start with easy. Replace the radiator cap. less than 10 bucks.

6a. Drive 20 miles. Open hood with engine on, look for steam. If none, close hood.

7. Drive 100 miles. check radiator level cold. If it is essentially full, you have fixed the problem. double check by driving 200 miles, then rechecking.

8. I agree with replacing the thermostat, which can be damaged by overheating. BUT THAT WAS NOT THE PROBLEM. You can have the thermostat replaced at your convenience.

9. Thermostat is easy to replace. Two bolts, plus replacement of gasket (comes with it), and application of sealant. Easy.....if you are comfortable with such things. NOT...if you are not. I would suggest someone who is, or a professional, as you state your own comfort level.

10. Don't worry about carrying antifreeze for low radiator. In those settings, water is fine. Carry water....also can be used as emergency dog/human rehydration system.

11. Get lugnuts that fit. They are cheap.

Good luck!

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:32am PT
You have a leak.
No. The overheating could have been caused by something other than low coolant, and the gallon was lost in the boilover.

You can have the thermostat replaced at your convenience.
No. It was damaged and needs replacing. It is likely to completely fail in the near future.

Don't worry about carrying antifreeze for low radiator.
No. The van is already running hot per the guage, possibly over the boiling point of water.

And more...

Your advice is horrible.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:43am PT
Only put straight water in a radiator when anti-freeze is not available, excessive dilution of the anti-freeze will eventually cause corrosion and clogging of the cooling system. You have to maintain the 50-50 ration over the long term
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:53am PT
Ken.. Terri is a NYC girl. Hasn't owned a vehicle before. She is learning. It can be overwhelming. She is living life a little too close to the edge financially for my taste, but that is her choice. She is trying to make a life where she can live on the road and still pay her bills. She is getting there, but is still a little short on funds and basic auto knowledge.

Personally I wished she would find a shade tree mechanic who could teach her how to change the thermostat. I believe this would give her more confidence. The problem is that she is on the road and finding someone you can trust is a bit hard. It sounds to me like she tried to do this, but this mechanic she was sent to gave her the lazy mans advice. I have nursed autos across the country on road trips myself on the "just keep it going for now" attitude, so I sort of understand. But these were autos I was willing to basically abandon. Autos where a full tuneup would be worth more then the vehicle. This is now Terris home for half the year, so she needs to learn more. I had forgotten that in an overheating, the thermostat can be damaged and only work part way. Its been that long since I had a thermostat go bad.

The thing with vans is that you often have to remove a lot of things to get to anything. This is one thing Terri hasn't learned enough about yet. How to remove various parts and put them back properly. A thermostat is easy to change, if you know how to remove and put back all the parts that could be in the way on a van.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 09:57am PT
I am at Silver Moon,
https://plus.google.com/114407796310903811948/about
(can't make it link - no idea why)

This is who the librarian recommended. Her brother is also a mechanic, but he is very small biz and backed way up, so this was her next suggestion. They are doing the pressure check on system and CO2 check.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:59am PT
9. Thermostat is easy to replace. Two bolts, plus replacement of gasket (comes with it), and application of sealant. Easy.....if you are comfortable with such things. NOT...if you are not. I would suggest someone who is, or a professional, as you state your own comfort level.

Replacing the themostat in a Ford 250 van is NOT easy. The book says it takes a qualified mechanic over an hour to do it because of where its buried in the van engine. It's not much less time to replace the whole radiator

and even then, I took mine in and they were unable to replace my thermostat in a RADIATOR SHOP! because the bolts were so corroded.

Not all themostat replacements are created equal

peace

karl
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:04am PT
Hey

LOL ... I looked at the place on Google street view and the Garage had "BOZOS GARRAGE" signboard on top of the garage with the garage word misspelled as "GARRAGE".

LOL ......
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:16am PT
LOL.. Sure Werner.

But can you see the top of Happi's van? It says.

Eat sh#t Werner

haha..
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:21am PT
GARRAGE
Okay - I looked. It says "GARAGE", but the last A does look like an R.

I didn't see any red flags. Hope it works out.

C02 test - good call - I hope they don't find any.

How is the DOG?
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:22am PT
Huh? I thought it was just funny ....

Credit: WBraun

You're right the last A does look like a R
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 10:23am PT
Actually the librarian also suggested Bozo's, but I didn't see the listing, and this one did have several recommendations.

We are in a small Texas town, and the population is largely a native one. I won't hold it against an entrepreneur who had business sense but not good spelling.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:23am PT
LOL ... I looked at the place on Google street view and the Garage had "BOZOS GARRAGE" signboard on top of the garage with the garage word misspelled as "GARRAGE".

So I looked to see what kind of idiot would misspell GARAGE on a shop sign. But I don't know, because it's not misspelled. No LOL here (unless you think BOZOS is good for a few laughs).

Edit--I guess I'm not the only one with a strange interest in the BOZOS sign!
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:28am PT
Hey Werner.. I thought you were just pulling Terri's leg. So I was just trying to mess with you back. Thats all. Didn't mean anything by it except trying to make a joke.

I forgeo about street view, and was thinking you had access to some satellite.. haha.. I know less about computers then Terri does about autos.
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:31am PT
Its Texas. you will run into some strange senses of humor. But you will also find a lot of good people. they may not know sh#t..like me. But they are often willing to help.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 10:36am PT
Teddy: I can't recall where I left off, so wil just copy what I wrote to someone this morning.


He made his first poop last night - what a mess, and I have never been so happy to see it, clean up after it in my life.

He has been eating, though I can only give him small amounts at a time.

...after I picked him up yetserday I was going to have the van looked at and got lost, so stopped to ask directions. When I went back to the van, I opened the side door to check Teddy. and he was at the door, laying down with his front legs folded and looking so damned cute. I didn't know if he had to go out, but yesp, he did. He started limping over to pee spots, and found a good one and peed like a beer drinker. Back to the van, he stuck his noe in his bowl and loooked at me like "And you didn't think ahead to have my food ready?" He gobbled up the small bits and would have taken more but I didn't want to ive too much after his stomach had been empty so long.

He ate small amounts more throughout the day, and today I will start to increase the amounts just a little, but try to feed more frequently as well.

**

This morning he stayed in bed and I didn't press, but finally I got out the dog food and that got him to raise up. He was happy to eat, and did with enthusiasm. I made sure his medicine was in the first mouthful just in case he lost interest. But when he ate that all in one bite he looked at me like "I need more than THAT!"

I gave him about double the amounts he got in a feeding yesterday, but it is still less that a full feeding (he normally gets fed 2 x a day).

Then he got his walk, and he is limping from where the IV was, which seems odd and I hope goes away soon. He gets tired fast and has to stop and wait. I think he may be pretty sore too.

he made a second poop this morning. Better consistency than last night, but I will want to get some cooked rice to add to his meal for the next feedings.

He's sitting by me here now, and has put his head up to look around a couple times. Slow but steady, it seems he is coming up.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 11:07am PT
Okay -

Radiator Cap.

I know - I KNOW!


They ran coolant system pressure check - ok
Head Gasket check - okay
CO2 - okay

Radiator cap - no pressure.

New cap installed at probably twice what it would have cost had I done it in the beginning. Like so many told me to.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Dec 7, 2012 - 11:28am PT
Terrie, glad to hear Teddy is doing better. Hopefully, the van is good to go.
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 11:35am PT
Live and learn Terri, we have all been there. Are you still going to have the thermostat changed?
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