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Automotive Column 35 Engine Overheats

Automotive Column 35 Engine Overheats

Syndicated Newspaper Column

It's very important to be aware of your cars gauges. If an engine overheats it can mean expensive repairs. If you notice above normal temps get it checked.



Daily Car Repair and Advice Tips Question 35 Overheating Caravan

Dear Motor Medics,
I have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan and the air conditioning has failed. The vehicle also runs hotter than before. It seems like the fans come on when the gauge reaches almost into the red where before it only reached half way. Both of these conditions occurred at the same time. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

Mike in Sandusky Ohio

Dear Mike,
Overheating issues with a Grand Caravan can be caused by multiple issues. You’re supplying us with some details helps narrow down the cause. I can tell you that if the engine is running hotter than normal the computer can shut down the A/C to protect it. The A/C system needs to run at the proper temperature or the compressor will be damaged and that is why this happens. This vehicle has a common issue with the fan relay which is a solid state unit. When the unit fails you can lose both fans or just the low speed fan which I think may be the case in your situation. With this fan not running the A/C will overheat and be shut down and the high speed fan will only run when the temp gets to the higher range needed to activate it. That is why the gauge would read higher than normal. Have a shop check the fans and the fan control circuit and repair necessary problems in the circuit; after that they can properly check the A/C.

Take care, the Motor Medics

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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.

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