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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chrysler Coolant Leak - 3.2L and 3.5L Engines






Here’s another installment of automotive inside baseball. Two vehicles, one a 2001 Dodge Intrepid with a 3.2L and the other a 2003 Chrysler Concorde with a 3.5L engine, stopped in for repairs at the end of September with coolant leaks. Both customers had noticed a drop in coolant level without a substantial puddle underneath their cars. The 3.2L and 3.5L Mitsubishi engines are basically the same. When they noticed slight drops of coolant showing up at the front and back of the engine, the customers brought them in.


It turned out to be the metal heater tube running from front to back on the engine underneath the lower intake manifold. The engine heat hardens and warps the o-ring sealing the heater tube at the front of the engine. The coolant then leaks into the engine well underneath the lower intake manifold, filling it up with coolant. Only then do the droplets begin to spill out at the front and rear. The upper intake, fuel injection rails, and lower intake manifold have to be removed to get at this goofy metal tube o-ring along with all the assorted parts like vacuum hoses, egr tubes, braces, etc.
The point of my blog on this is if you own a 2000’s Chrysler product with 3.2L or 3.5L engine and notice significant coolant loss without big puddles of coolant underneath, this infamous heater tube may be the cause. This repair is not one for the backyard. The pictures above show first the assembled engine top, second the upper manifold removed with fuel injection rails still in place, third the lower intake manifold removed showing the engine well that fills with coolant, and fourth the lower intake upside down with heater tube removed and suspect o-ring bulged out of its mounting on the right side of the picture.
As an added note, nearly everything on these engines is hard to get at. They are very expensive to repair and actual engine replacement astronomical.
That’s all for this update, but if you’re appreciative of the information, here is a link to my new novel COLD BLOODED for Nook and Kindle. If you’re kind enough to read it and like it, please review it on the site you purchase it from. Thank You! Every little bit helps my writing gig. :)

228 comments:

1 – 200 of 228   Newer›   Newest»
Charles Gramlich said...

So the Chryslers have Mitsubishi engines? I did not know that.

BernardL said...

No, not all of them, Charles. The 2.7L, 3.2L, and 3.5L are all based on a Mitsubishi engine design... a bad one. Chrysler already had a great V6 engine with the 3.3L but discontinued it in their passenger cars of the late 90's and early 2000's in favor of the smaller crappy Mits. design which have timing belts. Now, Chrysler is putting 3.8L engines in most of their passenger cars which is an offshoot of the good 3.3L. The Mits. design is Dual Overhead Cams and the 3.3L and 3.8L engines are pushrod type.

Middle Ditch said...

I know absolutely nothing about engines having no car and never had one. I use the leg wagon and buses. Still, an interesting read.

BernardL said...

Thanks, MD. I get a thousand hits a month from the search engines with people checking my help posts with pictures. A lot of the e-mails I get are from people with similar problems on their vehicles, so if I run across a pattern failure like this o-ring I post it. It must be nice for you not to worry about these four wheeled beasts. :)

Anonymous said...

I have just paid over $1200.00 in the last two weeks to have the coolant system repaired (4 times -- same shop) and they did not find the problem. Today after reading your Blog I took everything apart and the O-ring was the cause of the leak. Have a coolant system pressure check on the car right now and it has not dropped one pound.
Thanks a bunch,

BernardL said...

I'm glad it worked out for you, Anon. Thanks for letting me know.

SM said...

U have someone wanting to trade me a 98 Concorde with a 3.2 for my 98 Dodge Dakota with the V6 Magnum.....I have been reading some scary blogs now....should I say no thanks

BernardL said...

I would say no thanks, SM.

Matthew Nowlin said...

Bernard,
The 3.2L and 3.5L engines are very difficult to source used now. This is not only due to the problems with these engines, but the fact that many folks convert their 2.7L to a 3.2 or a 3.5L in the 1998-2002 year range. Of all three engines, we see far more problems with the 2.7L engine.

Chrysler used garbage engines like that for far too long, and reaped what they sowed.

BernardL said...

I agree, Matthew. When a customer insisted I change the 3.2 engine shoehorned into his 2000 Dodge Intrepid it took me two weeks to find a decent core because his was destroyed, and apparently many others across the country.

Chris W said...

Thanks so much for the pictures - my 3.5 had this same problem and it took me longer to get the o-ring than the actual replacement of it! My local dealer would not look at the "manifold" section for the part - he insisted it was part of the cooling system, where the exploded parts view on his PC was not showing an o-ring. I printed the picture and showed it to him - finally got the o-ring.
Anyway thanks for blogging this and posting the pictures!

BernardL said...

You're welcome, Chris. I'm glad you were able to get it finally. I think Chrysler sells the o-ring with the heater tube too.

Anonymous said...

my local dealer is useless... unless I provide a part number, does anybody know the part number for the o-ring/tube?
Thanks

BernardL said...

Anon, you could try what Chris did and take the pictures with you to the dealer. The o-ring comes with the heater tube mounted to the underside of the intake manifold the o-ring seals. It's not a bad idea to change it too. It's also possible to get the o-ring in the intake manifold gasket set.

Jim said...

Thanks for the post.
I did this repair in a day.
I upgraded to a silicone o-ring
instead of rubber, should last idefinately now

BernardL said...

Thanks for the update, Jim.

Jim said...

FYI
The o-ring part # is...
06505692AA

BernardL said...

I appreciate you posting the part number, Jim.

Classicgem said...

Bernard,
Your blog is so helpful. I have a 2001 Chrysler Concorde with a 3.2 engine. I have been having trouble with the oil light coming on and there was oil in the car. Then last week the light came on and when I checked it the dip stick came back clean (3x’s). I put 2 qts of oil in it and now it has TOO MUCH oil. I take it to the dealer and I need the engine replaced and it would cost me $2800. I only owe about $2300 on the car. I kept up with oil changes and tune-ups regularly. The transmission has not been flushed since I’ve had it which is approximately 5 years.

I spoke with a few mechanics for their opinions. One told me that unless it is really a sweet piece with around $60,000 and some other great amenities that I should just walk away from it. He said when he calls the junkyards for that type of engine they laugh at him because they know it is a piece of garbage (he used another word ;)

Another mechanic said since I haven’t had the transmission looked at since I owned it that it will probably go soon too, but he could fix the engine for $2100 with a 7 month warranty and it should last me a few years.

I am so confused. I’ve heard and read some really bad things about this engine, but I’m not sure if I should repair it or pay off the car loan and get myself a new one. I fear that if I repair it that something else will gone wrong and I’m out of more money.

Is this worth repairing or should I cut my losses? Your advice is deeply appreciated.

BernardL said...

Classicgem, your mechanic is right. When the 3.2 or 3.5 engine fails, it's nearly impossible to find a rebuildable core. They are notorious for lower block failure due to oil passage problems and poor engineering. I don't believe you can get the engine replaced or repaired for $2800 or $2100 if the lower block is blown. The labor on those is astronomical by itself. I know because I've done them.

My rule of thumb is if a car is not worth more than the repair cost a day after it's fixed then I advise against fixing it. You're in a tough spot because you still owe $2300 on it and your friend is right about the transmission very possibly going out shortly after you have the engine repaired.

Classicgem said...

Bernard,
Thanks for the advice. I have made a list of pros and cons for fixing this car and you have helped me with my final decision...WALK AWAY AND CUT MY LOSSES!!!! Thanks a bunch. You have been a great help.

BernardL said...

I hope you can find an affordable replacement car in good shape, Classicgem. Good luck.

Jim said...

What exactly goes wrong with these engines? You mention oil passage problems, are they plugging up and ruining bearings?

BernardL said...

Jim,

1. The 3.2L, and 3.5L all have timing belts. The 1998 & Up engines are an interference fit, meaning they will take the engine out if the timing belt breaks on the road. The water pump is driven by the timing belt which means if the water pump leaks or seizes, it will take out the timing belt.

2. They are extremely labor intensive and expensive to repair.

3. They take no abuse. Anything like over revving due to trans problems or abuse will throw a rod and destroy the engine.

4. They sludge up easily due to high heat and undersized oil passages. Never go past 4 months or 3,000 miles between engine oil and filter changes on these. Because they develop oil leaks from a multitude of places check oil level religiously.

5. The proof of their fallibility is in Matthew’s post above. It is nearly impossible to find a re-buildable core from a wrecking yard for these or a used engine. The last one I had for an engine rebuild was a 2001 Intrepid the customer had a destroyed lower block in. It was as if it had exploded. It took me nearly a month to find a re-buildable core.

Matthew Nowlin said...

There is a joke about Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep 2.7L, 3.7L, 4.7L, 5.2L and 5.9L (gas) all of which have horrible sludge problems (Thank God for the 5.7L "Hemi" which has been decent):

"You know what Dodge means? To avoid."

The only way I would take a vehicle that was from Chrsyler is if someone gave it to me. I'm not a big GM fan unless you're talking trucks, and the same for Ford... but I see no possible redemption for Chrysler. They've just sold too much and hurt too many people.

All the dealers know about these sludge problems, and they'll talk about them off the record - but the company has denied warranty claim after warranty claim after warranty claim.

I feel horrible when I get a call from a single mother with an '04 Intrepid 2.7L like I do ten times a day. Normally, they've just bought the vehicle and it goes boom. I talked to a guy south of Kansas City who bought an '06 Chrysler vehicle with a 2.7L engine. At 17K, after dealer oil changes every 3k, it blew up on the interstate. He parketed it under a sign in a farmer's field and rented a billboard by it proclaiming the great way Chrysler treated him (they denied his warranty claim)!

Yeah, I'm done with them.

BernardL said...

It's a shame, Matthew. I own a 1994 Intrepid with nearly 200,000 miles on it. The 3.3L they had in them was the best since the slant 6 if you took care of it. The Hemi is holding up so far.

Chrysler wanted to shoehorn an engine into a smaller area so they threw away common sense and logic to install those V6 hand grenades. As you say, they've ruined the good will they built up with the 1990's 3.3L.

Anonymous said...

Interesting "find". My Mopar dealer said that the reason my coolant was leaking from the intake manifold area was due to a bad gasket. So they "fixed" that $450 later and still coolant is diappearing. Not out the tailpipe and not into the oil. Now Mr Dealer says "must be a warped manifold. Huh? How can that happen without a severe overheat situation? Maybe your answer is more likely. I plan on sharing your picture with Mr Mopar on Monday morning. Thanks for the help.

BernardL said...

I hope it's just the o-ring on the heater tube, Anon. I have had no warped manifolds on those vehicles in my shop so I'm skeptical about the dealer's claim. On the other hand I've had quite a few leaking heater tube o-rings.

Anonymous said...

Was the upper intake manifold hard to remove

BernardL said...

'Was the upper intake manifold hard to remove'

Yes, Anon, it is very difficult. I don't recommend a novice take this job on. If you do decide to do it, get the OEM shop manual and follow it one step at a time. Make sure you have all the necessary tools before attempting it. My advice for anyone doing this job DIY in the backyard - take digital pictures every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Doug and I want to thank you for posting pictures of this problem. I'm pretty sure that my wife's car has the same problem. Its spraying anti-freeze out under the lower intake manifold right near the front. The only thing I wonder about is how the heater tube is attached to the lower intake manifold? Would you happen to have a picture of the tube? I really don't like Chrysler's, but this one was given to us by her sister, so the price was right. I have been dreading doing this job, but I'm about the only one that I trust to do it here. Luckily my friend is a pretty good mechanic, and I have lots of experience with older Chevys and Volvos, so we should be able to get it done. I'm in the middle of nowhere Nebraska, we don't even have a Chrysler dealer anymore. Once again thanks and keep up the good work! Doug

BernardL said...

Doug, I don't have a picture of just the tube. The heater tube bracket is bolted onto the Intake near the center of the manifold. If you can find a dealer that will ship to you I would get both the heater tube and the o-ring. In the comments, Jim gave out a part number for the silicone o-ring: 06505692AA. 04792185AC is the heater tube number for most but you'll need to give the dealer a V.I.N. number to be sure. The reason I recommend you replace the tube is because they can rot in your neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

Well, where should I start...

The Chrysler 3.5 started off life in the LH cars of 1993-1997. The 3.5 is basically a bored out 3.3 with the addition of single overhead cams, not dual overhead cams.

The 3.2 and 3.5 are 100% and have absolutely no relation to any Mitsubishi engine whatsoever. The 2.7, is loosely based off of the 3.5, but with the addition of a timing chain vs. a belt and of course dual overhead cams.

Look it up if you don't believe me...

The 3.5/3.2 are the exact same engines and are offshoots of the Chrysler 3.3.

Your ignorance on these excellent Chrysler engines is shameful and speaks volumes on your mechanical ability and knowledge (or lack thereof).

BernardL said...

You shouldn't have started anywhere, Anon. Your statement the 3.2 & 3.5 are offshoots of the 3.3 reveals your ignorance. The 3.3 is a beautiful engine without a timing belt or any of the inherent design flaws in the 2.7, 3.2, or 3.5 (all of Mitsubishi design. The 3.3 is a push-rod driven engine. If you had ever worked on any of these engines you would never have been dopey enough to come here and post. Anything else from you, Dopey, will be deleted. Say hello to Sneezy and Doc for me.

Travis said...

Ok here's another chrysler 3.5 question..I have already changed the water pump and timing belt. Because the water pump was leaking and then it was leak free for A day. Then it started to leak out of the manifold gasket and i got that changed. And A day later it's leaking from the from Front and back of the engine somewhere.(I did have a professional change the manifold gasket.) It is so hard to see where it's coming from since they have the engine packed in there. So what do you think it is?

BernardL said...

I believe either the heater tube or the heater tube o-ring seal is leaking on yours, Travis. Yes, it's very difficult to see. The lower intake manifold has to be turned over and you will see the tube bolted on and sealed into the o-ring as in my bottom picture in the post. Replace both the tube and the o-ring. It's too bad the mechanic who did the manifold gaskets didn't replace the tube and o-ring when he had the manifold off.

Travis said...

Well Bernard you were right about the O-ring. And I fixed it myself and thanks for the help.

BernardL said...

I'm sorry they didn't get it right for you the first time, Travis. Thanks for the update.

Tim said...

Bernard,
I wish that I had found your comments earlier about the 3.2L. I just spent the day replacing the upper and lower intake manifold gaskets because of a coolant leak only to get it back together and still have the leak. I would have never suspected the O-ring. Thanks for the information.

The gasket kit is not expensive but
can I reuse the new gaskets or would you suggest replacing them again?

BernardL said...

Sorry you have to do the job twice, Tim, but please don't reuse the gaskets.

Anonymous said...

I have a 95 Chrysler LHS. Blew up one motor b.c of what i thought was a water pump issue. I have replaced the 3.5 with quite an expensive rebuild and seem to have the same problem. Seems fine until the engine heats up then all coolant is pushed out the overfill! I spent hours bleeding the system with no luch. I get a steady stream of coolant out the bleeder then tighten it down. still boiling out the overfill. WHAT TO DO? is this an issue with air in the cooling system? I've checked all components including fan, thermostat, no plug in the radiator. I'm lost.

BernardL said...

Anon, if you had the engine done by someone, take it back to them. If you did it yourself, there's just not much I can do for you on the Internet. When you state you have steam coming out of the vent it seems you have combustion gas bleeding into the cooling system which would mean the engine is faulty. They do sell kits at the parts stores to detect exhaust gas in the coolant if you don't have access to a four gas analyzer. I'm sorry, but there aren't any easy answers. I would suggest taking it to a shop for diagnosis. If you'd asked me before the engine replacement I would have told you to scrap it. The 2.7L 3.2L, and 3.5L engines are like time bombs.

Anonymous said...

concerning the "o" ring and heater tube part numbers, I've entered them in to the mopar online parts web sites and I keep getting a "no parts found". is there some special way of obtaining the parts?...ray....rmackner@hotmail.com

BernardL said...

You may have to go to a Chrysler dealer, Ray. That's where I get them and the numbers listed are the most up to date I have. You may have to take pictures with you.

Anonymous said...

Have an 03 with the 3.5l what would cause coolant getting in the oil? Is it worth the price to fix?

BernardL said...

Usually overheating which causes head gasket failure, anon. If you have been driving any time with the coolant circulating in the engine block you may get the head gaskets replaced only to have lower end failure later - especially if you're up at the 100,000 mile marker or beyond. It's going to be a couple thousand dollar gamble.

I'm biased as a mechanic against these 2.7L, 3.2L, and 3.5L engine hand grenades so any advice I give is tilted against major repairs. Depending on what the tech finds after tearing down the top end, you may rapidly approach the $3,000 fix price tag with belts, hoses, water pump, timing belt, head testing and repair with valve grind - and possibly a new radiator if it's the original. If one or both of the heads are cracked or the block is cracked the price goes up. I wish I had better news for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honesty. He told me today they was coolant in the upper intake passages and in the valves so I say its shot.

productionby1000 said...

I am having the same prob lets see if this is it. Wish me luck. This is the dumbest setup. It cost me 239.00 to get fix, stupid.

BernardL said...

If you were able to get it fixed for $239, Production, that is a good price. It's not a simple job. I would agree it is a stupid design though.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me where the crankshaft position sensor is located on a 2003 300M 3.5L vehicle? I'm wanting to perform a DIY replacement of the CKP. Is this a difficult or fairly simple task to complete? Any idea on how long it should take to accomplish? Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Patrick

BernardL said...

I don't advise a novice work on these vehicles. If you're going to do it anyway, Patrick, buy a Chrysler shop manual or repair CD for it before doing any work. Here's the directions though.

Crankshaft Position Sensor is located on top of passenger’s side of transaxle, just above differential housing. The bottom of the sensor sits above the drive plate. Disconnect CKP sensor harness connector. Remove sensor mounting bolt and CKP sensor.

Install sensor and push sensor down until contact is made with transmission case. While holding the sensor in this position, install and tighten the retaining bolt.

Anonymous said...

Install of CKP sensor went very well. Had to remove air filter assembly to gain access to the CKP. Check engine light was no longer lit upon the starting up of vehicle. Car ran nicley. Appears to be fine now. I saw this posing online and wanted to know if you are familiar with it.

"MOST TIME WHEN CHANGING ENGINE OR REPLACING CRANKSHAFT SENSOR. THE CRANKSHAFT SENSOR VARIATION LEARNING PROCEDURE SHOULD BE PERFORMED.THE DEALERSHIP HAS TO DO THIS PROCEDURE.IF NOT THE CAR WILL KEEP TURNING OFF."

Do I need to have this done?

Thanks,
Patrick

BernardL said...

Not unless you have a problem, Patrick. Sorry about not having remove air cleaner assembly in directions but it's pretty obvious. I'm glad it worked out for you.

todd wieland said...

hi bernard--
I have a 1994 eagle vision tsi 3.5 v6 and 42le in my vw vanagon. I hope it isnt the pos engine you are discussing here. your discussion is about 1998 + right? they say this early 3.5 shared the same relative block and lower end with the 3.3 and 3.8.
[img]http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/775774.jpg[/img]
I hope my engine is all right. she ran well before I reinstalled it and resealed the gaskets.[ everything except the shaft seals and heads. broke 2 bolts off on the intake, next to the compromised coolant passage seals. all corrected now. thanks--todd in carlsbad, ca.

BernardL said...

Yes, the 3.5L in 1993 spawned the 2.7L, 3.2L, and 3.5L engine hand grenades that came after. I didn't see a question in there other than if your engine in the Eagle is related.

Anonymous said...

I just got ripped off from Everdrive(an online parts store). I purchased a rebuilt 3.5L H.O. Eng; for my wifes 2002 Chrysler LXI($2500); which we still owed on. The motor was a P.o.S. it was missing the fuel injectors, had a cracked intake manifold, and looked downright suspicious. My mechanic would not guarantee, the integrity of the internal stated he stated; it looked like it was just spray painted and shipped. BTW this was the second motor they shipped me; the company has since gone under. Rendering my 3 year warranty knull, and void. As stated above, I too am having the coolant leak scenario; showed my mechanic your blog. Hopefully the information will be helpful to him. Wish me luck!
Mike~

BernardL said...

That's a nightmare, Mike. I hope it's an actual rebuilt engine rather than just spray painted. I think you're going to need more than luck.

Anonymous said...

Bernard,
I have a 3.2 2000 model in my Intrepid. It started to use too much oil, burning it, not leaking. I did a leakdown test and it showed leakage in the 60% range mostly from the crankcase. Tore the engine down, cylinders look good but ring end gap on new rings was .023 max according to Chitons' is .014. I was going to have it bored but I can't find oversized pistons and rings. Can the 3.2 be bored to 3.5? Can the 3.5 piston be used in the bored 3.2?

BernardL said...

Here's the bore x stroke specs, anon.

3.2L Engine - 3.66 x 3.19 (92 x 81mm)

3/5L Engine - 3.78 x 3.19 (96 x 81mm)

Your guess as to whether it's a good idea is as good as mine. It might be a good idea to consult with an engine rebuilder around you. I'm sure it's been done. I don't have experience with ever doing it to know whether it will be a success.

Anonymous said...

Bernard,

First, thank you for helping people diagnose and fix their coolant leaks in these 3.x liter engines.

Second, I am part of an online group of LH(platform the 3.x engines are on) enthusiasts. I must say that you paint a bleaker picture of these engines than what I see on my forum. I guess that is to be expected since people don't usually bring their good running cars to mechanics.

My 2004 3.5L is at 135k miles now and seems to be doing fine. I wouldn't call it a hand grenade

Regards, Scott

BernardL said...

That's good news for you, Scott. My advice for your vehicle would be always change the oil and filter every 3,000 mi. or 4 months, if you haven't done so already have the timing belt and water pump changed along with flushing the coolant. At the same time, have the intake taken off and the heater tube o-ring and tube replaced. Good maintenance will help keep your 3.5L from becoming a hand grenade. Good luck.

Sean said...

Hi,
1999 Intrepid 3.2. Car runs great. Shifts great. So I'd like to keep it, but leaking oil. I've checked the filter, filter adapter, pressure sensor, all lines, oil cooler and the oil pan bolts. It leaks while sitting (and I assume while driving) from the rear of the motor. Could it be the rear main? Any knowledge you have about these cars doing that or not would be helpful.

BernardL said...

Sean, you can pick up a leak kit at a local auto parts store with a UV light. When it leaks you will be able to trace the path with a UV light that comes with the kit. I can't think of any minor problems stemming from an oil leak at the back of the motor other than a cracked head or blown head gasket. You didn't mention whether you made sure the PCV system was working and sealed properly or whether you checked the valve cover gaskets carefully.

Billy Edwards said...

What causes oil in the antifreeze in a 05 chrysler 300 3.5. Flush it, new bottle, bypassed oil cooler etc.

BernardL said...

A blown head gasket is the most common culprit, Billy. It is also possible for a lower intake manifold to have an internal leak. If you've had any overheating problems you can bet it's head gasket problems or a more serious head or block crack.

Sharita said...

my car is running hot when i frive in like 10 minutes and last time it was my cooling fans but this time i dont know and my coolant is running out as soon as i turn off my car i dont know what it is please help me. and i have a 3.2 engine

BernardL said...

Sharita, you have to realize I can't solve overheating problems on the internet. I have pictures on this post that have to do with a leak having to do with a 3.2L engine, but you still need to take it in to a professional for diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

A leaking freeze plug on my '97 Concorde's 3.5L engine is being replaced. Yes, I hate the huge labor cost for this. Question: Should all freeze plugs be replaced at the same time? I sure don't want to go through this again.

BernardL said...

That is a very unusual problem for that engine, Anon. The heater tube I posted about here will seem like a coolant leak at the back of the engine between the block and transmission sometimes. I'm not buying the freeze plug leaking unless you've allowed the cooling system to become a rusting, rotting mess. If that is the case then you will assuredly have more such problems.

Anonymous said...

Question. Can I pull a 10 ft trailer with my 2001 interpid. Also someone told me to get a engine cooler on it too. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

BernardL said...

Anon, absolutely not! Dealers claim their assorted brand new mini-vans, and mini-trucks can pull trailers too. They can... until the engine or transaxle blows. I've given this advice to many customers about towing - if you want to tow something bigger than a bike trailer, you need a full sized truck, 3/4 ton and up, with engine and transmission cooler towing package. I would not even tow a bike trailer with your 2001 Intrepid.

Anonymous said...

my dad is working on my car, he changed the lower hose, and goose neck that hooks to the block on the radiator.the goose neck has a theramastat in it, and a additional tube that came off of the gooose neck and went to a short rubber conncection by the oil filter, that ran horizontal, behind the starter, up to the left hand side of a 3.2 engine. the metal tube split. one hose goes to the heater core, one hose goes to the coolent resavoir. he noticed this metal tube was leaking coolent after he installed the lower hose goose neck assembly to the engine block. so he bought a new part the part number is 4767150AC 11j TUBE-HEAT. he has the old one out, but to get it out he said he had to break the tube in half and wiggle it out, he did not remove the starter. all he removed was the coolent lines from the heater core the resevoir and the tube and the rubber connection that goes to the lower goose neck.he wants to know how to re instal the heater return tube, and what additional parts he has to remove to wiggle it back in there. can you please help us out!?

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, Anon, but your Dad got into something I can't help with over the Internet. My advice is to have it towed to a professional, show him exactly what was done, and get the job done without further damage. There is no move this or that and wiggle the part in. You have to remove everything in the way of a clean install. If your Dad insists on doing it, tell him to get a shop manual and a digital camera for picture illustrations at each step. To replace the heater supply tube running under the manifold both upper and lower intake manifolds have to be removed.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. i have been trying to figure aout this antifreeze leak for a while now. im taking to a mechanic to get an estimate to have it fixed...

BernardL said...

I hope it works out for you, Anon.

Anonymous said...

I have the same coolant leak-how long (in km) can I go before the grenade blows up? Will the leak stop? can I just keep refilling coolant?

BernardL said...

Not unless you want a very expensive engine repair, Anon. Park it until you can fix get it fixed.

Eddie J. said...

Hi Bernard,

I am getting ready to tear in to my 99 concorde lxi 3.2 to repair this issue and am wondering what else you would recomend fixing if the top end of the moter is already opened up? I also notice that once in a while the car acts like it is starving for fuel then snaps out of it... injectors?

Eddie J. said...

Hi Again,

By the way, my concorde gets castrol high mileage every 3k miles, has 197k on the clock and to my knowlege has never had the timing belt or water pump changed. Should i do that too while I have the heart opened up?

BernardL said...

Eddie, just change anything such as vacuum hoses, etc. that look worn or hard to the touch. I'd change the heater tube and o-ring together. With nearly 200,000 miles you could have anything in the fuel system causing the problem: fuel pump, filter, injectors, or a bad tank of gas. Fuel Pump pressure listing is 49 lbs and injector resistance is around 12 ohms.

Yes, you should do the water pump and timing belt using OEM parts. You're way over due and if the belt goes so does the engine. If you're unfamiliar with either job make sure you have a detailed manual and take digital pictures throughout to facilitate reassembly. Doing this job or the manifold without an OEM manual or Mitchell or Alldata equivalent is gambling with disaster.

Eddie J. said...

Since I am not much in the mood for gambling beings I commute an hour 1 way to work 5-6 days a week. I have enlisted the help of a red neck farmer and a lube and tire tech to assist this computer tech with the job. Mind you, we are armed with a Chilton, almost any tool you could imagine and the world wide web to guide our way. I will send an update once the surgery is complete.

Anonymous said...

how does the tube come out of the lower intake

BernardL said...

Anon, double click on the third picture. It plainly shows the bolt hole for the heater tube bracket fastener and the o-ringed hole where the tube goes into the manifold. If you're asking that question, I don't think you should be doing the job. If you've already bent the bracket or tube trying to get it out, make sure when it does come out that you replace it. I replace the tube and o-ring no matter what anyway.

Donnman said...

What a great blog...unfortunately I didnt find it until AFTER we bought our son a 1998 Concorde with the 2.7 V6. Our problem is coolent leaks, they are everywhere on this lemon. We are looking at a metal tube that runs from the thermostat housing up to the top of the motor. It then spouts of with connections to the reservoir and the heater hose.

This pipe is metal and is about 3 1/2 feet with bends. Not sure what part it is? Would it be the same part you talk so much about in this blog, the heater tube?

We have no heat in the vehicle now which is why we started taking a closer look. This is when we discovered the coolant leaks.

BernardL said...

Donnman, first step is to check oil for any coolant contamination and take off oil cap to check underside of cap for any coffee color residue and moisture. If any of that is present the engine is toast. They are not worth fixing, especially on a 1998. If you don’t have any sign whatsoever of coolant in the oil then have the cooling system pressure checked for outside leaks. The water pump is internal on the 2.7L and run by the timing chain. It is common for it to leak out of each bleed hole in the block that keeps the water pump seal from pouring coolant into the oil. On a 1998 it wouldn’t even be cost effective to replace the pump because your mechanic will find cracked timing chain guides and a host of other complications which will amount to bills in excess of the car’s worth during the job. If the heater was the first thing on your car to stop working my guess is it already has head problems or an internal crack in the engine, very common on those. If the problem turns out to be anything other than a slight hose leak, dump the car. That’s my advice anyway. I’m sorry, but the 2.7L, 3.2L, and 3.5L are mechanical hand grenades with the pin pulled awaiting detonation.

John P said...

What a PITA!
Thanks for posting this article, My 150K, 99 ES 3.2L was ready to go to the boneyard this moring because I couldn't figure out this leak.
All that work for an o-ring that I didn't even know existed. Thought for sure it was a freeze plug between the motor and trans.
So after getting to it and a trip for intake gaskets, reassembling everything, an injector stared leaking fuel. Back to the parts store for o-rings there. Got that done just to have the little EGR round gaskets in the upper intake start to leak now.
Car idles at 3,000 rpm till I put my fingers around the connections back there and slow down so air.
Rubber seals are split and the parts store doesn't have them for sale. 10 hours and counting...
If everything went well you could do this in about 7-8 hours.
Going to rain here again tommorrow so I guess I'll take it apart again to get these installed (If I find them at the dealer)
Thanks again, Thought for sure this car was done for.
Jp

BernardL said...

I hope it works out for you, John.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard!
I'm Bill, and I have become puzzled with the loss of coolant and the leakage running down the front and rear of the motor. I'm glad I got in here and researched a little, I believe your blog matches my '99 Intrepid's symptoms.
I got he car several years ago on a trade, replaced the timing belt, tensioner and water pump, and just recently had the transmission rebuilt and put new rubber all around. It's a 3.2, and has over 200,000 miles on it now. I'm on the right path to repair it now, but if I knew what a truly POS this power plant was, I'd have sold it when i got it. Thanks for the great blog!

BernardL said...

Thanks for the input, Bill. It seems the heater tube o-ring is what's causing your leakage. Keep that oil changed religiously. The oil passages on those are under sized and sludge up.

James said...

Bernard,
While I’m looking for a used car, I came across a good deal on 2000 Christler LHS. I took a test drive and I felt everything is good except that there is oil leak, like your image shows. I’m not sure how serious it is, but do you think it’s worth buying and repairing with O-ring? Or is it a regular expensive process of replacing the O-ring every other month?

BernardL said...

James, I would never buy any Chrysler vehicle with the 2.7L, 3.2L, or 3.5L engine... ever. I can tell from the designs on most of the new cars my list of vehicles to avoid is going to expand exponentially.

James said...

Bernard,
I will go with your advice. Thank you very much for your quick response. I should also say that this is a great blog.

Todd.turner3 said...

Bernard
I have a 3.2 that is leaking oil in the water and water into the oil the engine does not smoke and runs very smooth what could be the problem

BernardL said...

Thanks, James.

Todd, if it's engine oil you're seeing mixed then it's one of the following: cracked block, blown head gaskets, or cracked head. Also, leaking lower intake manifold gaskets can allow mixing but on the 3.2 it's usually not the intake. It doesn't really matter how smoothly it runs if you have coolant and engine oil mixing. The contamination destroys the engine. If you have both an engine oil and trans cooler built into the radiator, an internal leak in the radiator between coolant and oil will mix the two, but it's the less likely cause. You need to get it checked out at a shop immediately. If it's anything serious like the first items I mentioned, it may be cost prohibitive to repair.

Anonymous said...

Bernard, I have a 2001 Chrysler Concorde with the 3.2l while driving today my car started bucking so I pulled over got out and heard a knock coming from the motor all I can say is it will crank and run with no problem besides the buck and knock and the knock does not get louder as the RPMs go up can this be that my timing belt has jumped? Oil level was at fill mark.Prior to this the only other problem I noticed was a belt or pulley low squealing sound that also did not get louder as RPMs went up

BernardL said...

Anon, yes, it could mean the water pump is going out which is driven by the timing belt. The bearing may have caused the squeal too. Another bad thing about the 3.2 and 3.5 is they have undersized oil passages. If you've been missing oil change intervals your engine may have sludged up to the point where the oil passages are restricted, causing lower end engine knock. You'll have to get it in right away to have it checked. If it turns out to be the lower end engine knock, it's toast. Sorry, but the Concorde with a bad engine is scrap unless you want to put far more money into it than the car is worth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response!!!!!

zoharcave@gmail.com said...

A 1999 CHRYSLER CONCORDE LXI 3.2
WE JUST PULLED LOWER INTAKE MANIFOLD OFF OF THIS CAR. WE CAN SEE THAT THE COOLANT PASSAGES ARE MACHINED IN THE HEADS BOTH FRONT AND REAR.
HOWEVER THE COOLANT PASSAGES ARE NOT MACHINED INTO THE REAR OF INTAKE MANIFOLD.
WE CAN TELL THAT SOMEONE REPLACED THE AIR PLENUM (UPPER INTAKE MANIFOLD) WITH JUNKYARD PARTS.
DO YOU THINK THAT THEY REPLACED THE ORIGINAL INTAKE MANIFOLD WITH THE WRONG INTAKE MANIFOLD? PERHAPS THE ONE FOR THE 3.5?
DO YOU HAVE A PICTURE OF THE CORRECT 3.2 INTAKE MANIFOLD THAT CLEARLY SHOWS THE REAR COOLANT PASSAGES?

THANK-YOU,
DARBY

BernardL said...

I don't have anything clearer than the ones I posted here on the blog, Darby. You may have to go in to a dealer parts department and ask to see their schematics. They many times have exploded views that might help. A wrecking yard will have a master catalogue for intakes that will tell them what years and engine parts are interchangeable. Their interchange catalogue is very comprehensive. You should be able to find out quickly whether the intakes can be swapped between the 3.2 and 3.5 and what years.

Doug said...

Hello Bernard,

Wow, sure glad you are maintaing this Blog! Maybe you should set up something so people can donate. No doudt there's been a lot of folks helped by your generosity. I have a question about the 3.5, 1999 to be exact, it's in a Prowler. I am thinking about puchasing one as I just absolutely love the styling but you have got me a little concerned. The car only has 18k mi. If you had one this new what steps would you recommend to maintain it? Would you steer away?

BernardL said...

Thanks Doug. Personally I would never buy any Chrysler vehicle with the 2.7, 3.2, or 3.5. I understand your liking the design. If you get it, change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles or 4 months religiously. I would use only full synthetic or synthetic blend Motorcraft or Mobile 1 oil 5w-30. I would flush the cooling system every two years, using Prestone long life coolant. I would change the transmission oil and filter every 15,000 miles using Valvoline full synthetic ATF+4. Save up for the over a thousand dollar bill you will incur at 60,000 miles for the timing belt, water pump job. And watch for any sign of leakage.

Doug said...

HI Bernard,

I was wondering about using synthetics, seems like it would help a lot with the sludge. I do wonder about using it in this engine with low miles. Seems like I saw somewhere that using synthetic on an engine with low miles can inhibit ring sealing. Is that not true? What is the minimum amount of miles you must have on the car before you can start using synthetic on this engine?

BernardL said...

Doug, major brand synthetics like Mobile 1 and Motorcraft can be used in anything at the proper viscosity. I've had the opportunity to replace valve cover gaskets and intake manifolds on customers' cars and trucks I've been servicing with Motorcraft synthetic blend oil and they are spotless inside. Even though most techs would say every 3,000 mi is overkill on the changes, because of the 3.2L oil passage problem I would never let it go beyond that.

BernardL said...

ATTENTION! For those of you who have suggested I add a donation gizmo to my blog so I may get some recompense for my efforts, I have an alternative since I hate the word donation. Here’s a link for my new novel COLD BLOODED’s pre-order page. It comes out November 22ond, but you can get a look at it there and pre-order it. If you like action/adventure fiction, take a walk on the wild side with COLD BLOODED. That way my publisher finds happiness and you can say thank you while getting something in return. :)

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BernardL said...

COLD BLOODED on Kindle

BernardL said...

My novel Cold Blooded is now on Nook too.

COLD BLOODED on Nook

Don Cahala said...

Wow, I'm in the middle of rebuilding a 1999 300M I picked up for an absolute steal (scrap price)- a steal that is, until I opened up the engine. Bent rod, run out of oil, 2 bad cams,one bad piston, overheated and a warped head, (thus a bent rod, so a new piston assy too )and so on. But the tolerances were pretty good and I opted to rebuild with standard sizes (120,000 miles) I can attest to the sluding. I took out one rear inboard head bolt, and it was as if it were soaked with permatex!
Last night I got it all buttoned up and started it, and it sounds wonderful... until the oil ran into the water, and the water ran into the oil! Turns out: a very BAD RADIATOR since the oil cooler runs through the right side tank. So tomorrow, (it's Thanksgiving, thank God) I will flush out the oil passages with fresh oil and Rislone, and flush the cooling system with Cascade (or TSP equivalent) and start over with a new radiator. If this wasn't for my wife, who likes the looks of the 300M, I'd be sending it to Miller Compressing. Wish I'da read about this thoroughly before I committed, but I'm told it's a nice ride and certainly better than a 600 a month payment for a new car. Thank goodness daddy didn't raise no pencil pusher, and that his son was smart enough to join the West Allis Auto Club!!(Wisconsin) BTW- I am a QA Analyst by day, and a motor head by night, but I don't wear the cape anymore because it gets all greasy after climbing under these monsters. Total cost: About or under $1600.00 because I have The Cylinder Head Shop (Milwaukee. wi) to help out.

BernardL said...

It seems like you found out what killed the engine, Don. I hope it all goes smoothly from here on.

Don Cahala said...

'Ya know, I wondered what that little square shouldered O ring was in my rebuild gaskets... I think I'll spin off the intake bolts and have at it (and new intake gaskets too. Yes, I will keep ya' posted.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Don Cahala said...

Man, when it rains, it pours.
I took the recommendation of buying the High Mileage oil from the local parts store for my 1996 Sebring convert. Only problem is, as of tonight (still working on the 3.5) The '96 Sebring started (180K)Knocking- I think at a wrist pin. I added about a pint of Justice Brothers and it seemed to quiet it down. I was running a synthetic blend for over 140K. and now just switched (duh) Is this coincidence, or does the High Mileage Oil wash everything out, (or just crappy oil)and thus the wrist pin knock? Can I save it for a while by going with, say a 10-40 Castrol blend like I used to use? I need another month out of her before I start another project!!- and I have to finish this '99 I mentioned earlier so my wife can justify all my hard work and time spent away from home!!! HA! A 50-50 motor honey app will not do with these Wisconsin winters.

BernardL said...

Don, the 1996 Sebring came with two engines, the durable Chrysler 2.4L and the not so durable Mitsubishi 2.5L V6. In Wisconsin through those winters, using a 10w-40 if you have the 2.5L may have just been a slow engine killer. 5w-30 is the oil recommended for both engines. Starting it in subzero whether for two thirds of the year with the thicker 10w instead of 5w may have eroded the bearings. Whatever you come up with to add that helps probably won't hurt it now. I suspect more damage than a wrist pin, but the temporary quieting of the engine is a little strange.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard- I'm very glad I stumbled on your blog! We had a 2001 Intrepid with the faulty 2.7 sitting in our driveway for over a year due to engine failure. We just had a 3.5 HO engine put in it from a 2002 Concorde Limited (approx 120k). The car runs fine, but I have noticed that it has started to leak oil on the front of the engine on the passenger side. It's dripping off the frame near the radiator. I also noticed that the oil dipstick is not the correct one (it's a Ford dipstick). Would having the wrong dipstick cause anytype of oil leaking? If not, any thoughts on oil leaking in this part of the engine? Thanks! Cliff

BernardL said...

Cliff, my guess is it's one of the oil cooler lines or fittings. Your best bet is to install dye in the oil and use an ultraviolet light from the kit to find the leak, or take it into a shop that has the light and dye. It's the only way to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Success- okay I checked the oil cooling line fittings by drying them off and started the car. There is a leak coming from one of the oil cooling lines where the rubber hose meets the metal line (next to one of the fan blades). The oil is dripping on to the fan which is spreading it throughout the front of the engine compartment. I will take it in and have them replace or repair the fittings/hoses. Thanks for your help Bernard. Cliff

BernardL said...

Cliff, thanks for posting the update.

Anonymous said...

I recently had my water pump in my 04 300M replaced along with all of my belts at a pretty hefty cost of $700. The mechanic I took it too filled it with orange dex cool which to my knowledge isnt compatible with the HOAT formula typically used. Is it ok to run that type of coolant in this vehicle? Secondly, 6 weeks after the repairs I noticed a small leak coming from the front of the car. This was about an hour and a half ago, I moved the car and see no signs of leaking. A couple days ago i did top the coolant off because it was slightly low. Could it have been too full? Thank you, -Cale

BernardL said...

Cale, $700 is very reasonable. I don't use Dex Cool even in GM vehicles. I use only Prestone Extended Life All Color Coolant for everything. I don't know why your mechanic used it and I'm sure it's not recommended by Chrysler. As to your leak, you'll have to have it pressure tested to find it or dye added so it can be seen by ultra violet light. It could be the Heater Tube O-Ring as in my Blog Post here but you need to confirm it.

Anonymous said...

Could the heater tube o-ring cause significant enough coolant loss to lose all of the cars coolant? When I originally had the problem a month and a half ago I noticed a small leak continued to drive it and later that evening I lost all of my coolant. The mechanic replaced the water pump, and lo and behold I'm losing coolant from what would appear to be the same spot (I can see from underneath the car where it is dripping from) I chose not to drive it this time after noticing the leak and it has continued leaking but I have not lost all my coolant yet. But there is quite a bit on the pavement. A good 1.5 to 2 foot diameter spot. -Cale

BernardL said...

Cale, yes over a period of time without checking your fluid levels, it could all go. It would be a slow but steady leak. There's no use dwelling on that now, and guessing won't do you any good. You need to do what I advised in the last comment.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am, believe me. I took the car back to the mechanic immediately which was friday and can not get it in until monday. So hopefully everything goes well. How much does the heater tube o ring job typically cost? I appreciate the help. - Cale

BernardL said...

Probably in the two to three hundred dollar range... IF... that's where it's leaking at, Cale.

Roger said...

Hi Benard,
I have a 2000 300m with the 3.5 engine and it just developed a significant coolant leak that appears to leak out of the tranny-engine interface when the front end is on ramps. I cannot find any leak around hoses as they are all dry. It is definitely not the water pump. Could this be the infamous heater supply line o-ring? The vehicle has about 150K miles on it and has been an excellent vehicle with oil consumption less than 1 qt. per 5000 miles (it has lived its entire life on Amsoil.)

BernardL said...

Roger, yes it could very well be the heater tube and o-ring. If when it is pressure tested all other visible hose and seal connections are eliminated, and it is streaming from the area you indicated, the heater tube or o-ring is probably the culprit.

Anonymous said...

While driving my 300M a 3.5L, and very suddenly temp gauge went high, pulled over to check and the engine was very hot. I brought it to my local dealer, and they replaced the water pump, timing belt, radiator, radiator cap, temp sensor and thermostat. All of these parts were replaced several times with the new Mopar parts, and my car is still over heating. They even performed a cylinder leak down test, twice and the test didn't show any signs of head gaskets being bad. The car doesn't lose any coolant. The upper hose gets very hot and the fans turn on when they're suppose to, but for some reason the lower hose stays cold. They cleaned all the coolant passages by flushing the system with a cleaner. But if we remove the thermostat, the car doesn't overheat, and you can feel both hoses getting hot and you can feel the circulation going well. At this point they don't have any ideas as to what might be causing this problem. I already paid them over $1000, and it's still a mystery! Any help from an expert like you would be very appreciated!!! Thanks in advance.

BernardL said...

Anon, if they've replaced everything in the cooling system and it's still overheating except when they take out the thermostat, I can only come up with a couple of things. They're putting the thermo in backwards or they've missed something with the heads or head gaskets. Since it's the dealer and they obviously would know which way the thermo goes in, I'm thinking when your 300 overheated it damaged either a head or a head gasket. Checking for combustion gas in the coolant should be the next step, and they can do it with a kit like this: http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/head_gasket_or_combustion_leak_test.htm

A cylinder leak down test is not for detecting head problems. It would be scary if the dealer working on your car doesn't know about combustion leak testing kits.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for the head gaskets to be bad, even though the combustion leak tester doesn't show any sign of it being bad? The blue color stays the same no matter how many times you pump air into it from the overflow tank, with the engine cold or warm. It just seems like there is no coolant circulation, when the thermostat is installed on the car. It's like it doesn't want to open when it reaches the engines operating temperature. And the thermostat was installed properly with the spring side towards the engine block. I know for a fact that there is no air in the system, because we bleed the system according to the specs. Even the overflow tank doesn't have any bubbles or coolant rises higher than the max mark, when the engine is hot. It's a mystery for me, because this is the only car that I have right now, and it's not fixed. Thanks again for helping me out!

BernardL said...

I just mentioned the combustion leak kit last night and you've already bought a kit and tested it, Anon?

Scrape away any remaining gasket residue with a flat-head screwdriver. Place the new gasket over the mounting area, followed by the new thermostat. Ensure the thermostat is installed spring-down, with the bleed hole at the 12 o'clock position.

Did you get the bleed hole at the 12 o'clock position as these instructions say, because I'm getting the distinct feeling no dealer has touched your 300. If you had a dealer replace the thermo, w.pump (which also requires a timing belt), and radiator, the bill would have been a lot more than $1,000. If all of those things have indeed been replaced, and the cooling fans work, and you have actually used a leak detector kit for combustion gas, there's not much more I can tell you. I guess careful driving with the thermo out might allow the problem to pop up, but that would be your decision.

Anonymous said...

I live in a very small city, where I have access to everything, just like in a big city, except much quicker! I was able to get my hands on a combustion leak tester very quickly.

The thermostat was actually installed correctly at my local Chrysler dealership by a master tech. I was right there in the building when they were working on my car. The reason why the dealer only charged me a total of $1000, is because I had known the service adviser for years, and he always gives me promotional discounts. Otherwise my bill would have been much over $1000. I guess it's good to have very close friends! Years ago, this Chrysler adviser and I worked else where together.

I know it's actually hard for you to believe me, when I said that pretty much everything was changed already, and it's still overheating with the thermostat. I can even provide you with this dealer's phone number, because I truly know that they were working on it, and have absolutely no idea about this issue. So I thought you might have a much better idea, how these Mopar engines operate. So you still think that it might be a head gasket, even though no coolant is lost? Thanks again!

BernardL said...

Like I've already stated, Anon, if you've replaced everything and it's still overheating, something wrong with the heads or head gaskets is all I can come up with if everything was done right. Leaving the thermo out might be your only alternative until the real cause worsens and becomes apparent. One dead giveaway for a head or gasket problem is the moment it happens the heater will stop working because the problem causes an air pocket blocking flow. The other notion I had was if the water pump they put on was defective and the impeller was either not bonded to the shaft or reversed from the factory ( both things I've seen more than once) but you already stated they replaced it multiple times, so I got nothin' more for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying to my messages! I was wondering how sure are you, that either the heads are going to be bad or the head gaskets when I go to pull them off? That's what I was hoping to be bad, because everything else was changed. But I just couldn't actually confirm that, because I never had this kind of a problem. It's kind of weird how this cooling system actually works, because bad heads and/or gaskets would cause a thermostat not to open up and stay open at the normal operating temperature. Thanks.

BernardL said...

Again Anon, there's no possible way I can know from here whether you should or can pull the heads or if that will fix your problem. You seem to be ignoring what I have been posting for advice so lets end this discussion. I hope you can find a solution for your problem. Good luck.

Dan said...

Bernard, I like the looks of the new style Chrysler 300. Are there any engines that are offered in the 300 worth having or just stay away? Thanks, Dan

BernardL said...

They are beautiful, Dan. The only engine offerings are the 3.6L Pentastar V6 or the 5.7L Hemi. The 5.7L is a solid V8 performer and very dependable, but the gas mileage is consistently less than 20mpg around town - usually closer to 16 on my customers' cars. The 3.6L incorporates a chain driven dual overhead cam design that no one knows the durability of. It gets better gas mileage is about all I can tell you. There are numerous YouTube videos on it if you want to take a look. Repair costs would be high, but I can't think of a V6 offered by anyone that is easy to work on. If you get one, take better care of it than they say you have to. In other words use the severe listing of service recommendations.

BernardL said...

To the unleashed amateur mechanic sock puppet army, I will delete any and all of your goofy hype about the 2.7L, 3.2L, 3.5L engine hand grenades. This post is for the myriad unfortunate owners of Chrysler products with the 3.2L and 3.5L that DO have trouble with the heater tube o-ring seal and the mysterious coolant leak it causes. You will still be able to e-mail me directly, but be funny when you write. If you only have anecdotal crapolla stories about how you have one of these and have never had a problem, your e-mail will have a shorter life span respectively than the 3.2L/3.5L engines. Remember sock puppets, be funny. :)

Anonymous said...

I have a 2004 with coolant leak just at the front. would this be coming from waterpump? Thanks Anthony

BernardL said...

Impossible to say, Anthony. The first step is to pressure test the system to find exactly where the leak is coming from. If it's a very hard to spot leak even when pressurized, then a dye can be added, and the trail will be visible under ultraviolet light. Usually having it pressure tested by a shop is all that's necessary to reveal where the leak is coming from.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I have a 2004 Pacifica FWD with a 3.5L with 193000 miles and a busted timing belt. I want to replace the engine and can find several lower mileage 3.5l from a 2005 and 2006, would you know if these will interchange?

BernardL said...

No, Anon, but the salvage yard you get it from will have an interchange. You will also need to have a shop that will install it.

Anonymous said...

Bernard, great blog. I picked up a 02 concord from an older lady for scrap price having 120k miles,( planed to fix it up for my daughter)it had bad bearings. When I got into it the crank was damaged to, I bought a crank, seals, and bearing kit for under 300 and spent the time puting it back together. Now it seems I have the same problem as one of the others on here had. The cooling system is full and bled out but only the top hose gets warm, heat works good, the temp guage only goes to 1/3 of the gauge after 20 minutes of running(heater temp set to high and blower off). the lower hose stays cool, the fans will turn on if I disconect the temp sensor, the top by the bleeder seems very hot. no leaks or bubbles. if the heat works is the water pump good, could the thermostat be stuck closed(never removed it), thank you for the blog

BernardL said...

Anon, the first step is to have the temp checked with a scanner to find out if your gauge and the actual engine temperature are close. If I understand your problem, everything is working okay, but you mistrust your gauge. The cooling fans will not go on if the temperature is actually only one third up on the gauge.

If it's losing coolant, then having it pressure checked and dye added would be the proper procedure. If it's blowing coolant out of the overflow, then you have serious problems with combustion gas leaking into the cooling system.

If you have an engine data check done with a scanner, and the temp gauge is right, and you're not losing coolant, and it's not overheating, then all you can do is pray something else in that engine hand grenade doesn't go off.

Anonymous said...

Bernard, thanks for the response I will check it out with a scanner. I will also take a look at your books. Mark from MN

TimL said...

Bernard,
Like your blog.
I just replaced the water pump and timing chain in my wife's 2002 Sebring 2.7L (117K). What a job. I notice now that the coolant reservoir has water only on one side. Is there a coolant passage that could have got stopped up in these reservoirs.

Tim

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Yeah, Tim, it's a hell of a job. If I understand you correctly, you're adding coolant into the reservoir and it keeps emptying? If that's the case, it's going somewhere, and that somewhere is usually the crankcase. I've had customers drive into my shop with their Chrysler 2.7L after they've overheated them, complaining they keep adding more and more coolant but it keeps disappearing. I pull the dipstick and the crankcase is full of coolant. If this is happening to you, junk it. The cost of replacing the engine will be far more than the car will ever be worth.

If I've misunderstood, you'll need to go into detail as to what's happening when you run the engine. Have you pulled the dipstick to check for it being overfull with coolant? Does the underside of the oil filler cap have a coffee color substance on it? Does it overheat? Does it boil over? Do you see coolant on the ground? Does the coolant disappear as fast as you add it? What was the original reason you changed the water pump?

tim said...

Thanks for reply Bernard,

I replaced the water pump because it was bad. Bearings were shot. I don't have water in oil. It appears the coolant reservoir is divided into two parts. The part with the cap has an overflow hose that goes into the bottom of the other part. That's what I was puzzled about, since that half of reservoir is empty. If I add enough coolant that it will overflow into the other half.

Since replacing the water pump and timing chain, car has a slight miss when idling. It runs really good, good acceleration. Since the car has original ignition coils I think I will replace them.

Tim

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

That's the part I'm misunderstanding I guess, Tim. You have a plastic expansion tank that should have lettering on the side for Min or Cool level. It should be filled to that level. If that level is staying steady, the radiator is full, the radiator hoses hot when fully warmed up, the heater blows hot air, and running it doesn't overheat the engine and blow coolant back into the expansion tank, then that would appear normal. If the level in the plastic expansion tank keeps going dry, then you have a problem.

If you had your Sebring torn down for a while the roughness could even be poor quality fuel. Before you start throwing parts at it, I'd run it down to an eighth of a tank and fill it with Chevron Supreme or Unocal Super along with a bottle of Chevron Fuel Injection Cleaner. If you had a random misfire, or even a specific cylinder misfire, it should be turning on the check engine light.

Tim said...

Bernard,

I found the miss. The engine light come on and I read code p0301, misfire on cylinder 1. I pulled out the spark plug and the gap was about .01, very small. I must have dropped the spark plug or something. So I gaped it to .05 and that fixed the roughness.
Engine codes can sure be helpful!
The water level is staying up, so I think it is okay for now.
I wonder what the lifetime of the ignition coils usually are? On my 1998 2.5L Contour the coil went out at about 120K.
Thanks for the help kind sir.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

That's good news, Tim. Yeah, the codes are helpful guides to a problem. I admit to changing out electronic parts capable of sticking me in the middle of nowhere as a maintenance option at a high mileage service. I do offer that option to customers with high mileage vehicles also. So do whatever you feel comfortable with, but it might be a good idea to run yours for a while until you see if everything is okay for now.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Lots of info. I have a 2000 chrysler 300m. I too am experiencing coolant leak between the block and tranny. I have removed the air cleaner box's and wiper cowls for a better look. I see no indication of a leak from under the intake manifold. The rear of the engine block is dry. It is a significant leak with engine running. I have removed the bottom plate to expose the flywheel for a better look. The leak appears to be coming down the drivers side from under the tranny bell housing. Core plug? Is it possible to drop the tranny without removing the exhaust system? Help.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, I still think you probably have a coolant leak from that heater tube mentioned in this post. It would require taking off the intake manifold and heater tube to see if the o-ring seal is bulged out like in the picture. You could also add florescent dye to the coolant. Automotive specialty stores sell the florescent dye and light kit, but other than that I have no other way to advise you on the Internet. If you're unconvinced it's the heater tube o-ring, please don't tear down anything further without a manual. If you plan to do the intake manifold/heater tube o-ring job yourself, you will still need a manual, preferably an OEM Chrysler manual.

beavwarius said...

I have a 99 chrysler concorde lxi with the 3.2l. have had good luck with it (150000)and am repairing the heads, on one bank I noticed some wear on one cam journal. have been unable to locate a good used one.Question,are the 3.5l heads interchangeable? many more of these running around.have noticed some oil varnish on the left bank and am wondering at the difficulty of "cleaning" passages.any experience with this? I am an ASE master tech,any imput would be appreciated.thanks.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Beavwarius, every wrecking yard has an interchange as to which parts are interchangeable. They would be my first option for information on your question. As to any perceivable problems that would crop up, it would depend on whether it had been overheated, or if there is any sign of coolant in the crankcase. If the customer has had poor oil and filter change habits, the oil passages are undersized and suspect in any sign of gumming up.

Anonymous said...

i have a 05 chysler 300. i just replace water pump and timing belt. and i still have a coolant leak. we check everywhere and can not find a leak. we check the oil,the tail pipe and on the ground. the coolant is going somewhere came u please help me.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, did you read this blog about the heater tube o-ring leaking under the manifold? Can you see where the coolant puddles up at? Have you tried a florescent dye in the coolant? Have you pressure tested the system? I'm mentioning these things because it's impossible for me to help you find a coolant leak over the internet. Either you need to do the checks yourself or pay someone to do them for you. There is no magical way to find a coolant leak. It has to be observed by pressure checking the cooling system or adding dye so an ultraviolet light can be used.

If you overheated the engine during the time it was leaking, you could have head problems. If you have the creamy coffee colored residue on the underside of the oil cap, you're in trouble. There are strips you can buy at your local auto parts store for testing if combustion gas is getting into the coolant.

Anonymous said...

HI,

FIRST OF ALL I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THE 3.3L V6. I'VE HAD A CHRYSLER INTREPID 1994 WITH THE 3.3L. UNFORTUNATELY THE TRANSMISSION BADLY FAILED BUT I REMEMBER THE SMOOTH RUNNING OF THE V6. ACTUALLY I HAVE A BUICK CENTURY 2000 V6 3.1L AND I'VE FOUND OUT THAT THE LOWER RACK AND PINION BEARING IS PROBABLY FAULTY. FROM YOUR OWN OPINION SHOULD I GET THE RACK AND PINION CHANGED OR BUY THE 2001 INTREPID 3.2L WITH 80000 MILES I SAW ON SALE? IS IT TOO RISKY? EVEN IF I WAS A CAR MECHANIC 17 YEARS AGO. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

ERIK FROM CANADA

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Erik, I would never buy a Chrysler product with the 2.8L, 3.2L, or 3.5L engine... ever.

Anonymous said...

I had a 95 Concorde with a 3.3L and loved it. Will the 3.3L transplant into the same car that had a 3.5L with ease? Like dropping the entire K member and all out?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I'm with you, Anon. The 3.3L is a great engine. I still have a 1994 Intrepid nearing 300,000 miles on it without any major engine repairs. Unfortunately, you can't drop it in place of the 3.5L.

Anonymous said...

I've 1988crysler LHS and leaking cooling betwing the engine and transmission, I took out baron plate out and cooling coming out betwing transmission what do you think it's ?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, you didn't give me engine size, but on a 1988 if the coolant is leaking out between the engine and transmission, and it's not coming from the intake manifold or heater hoses above, it may be a block freeze plug leaking, or a cracked block.

mjt11860 said...

hi. great info here. i want to use evans waterless coolant in a 99 lhs that i'm looking to buy. should i b set for life if i do use this & change the tube & o-ring u talk about that's prone to leaking? thanx for any info.

mjt11860 said...

hi. great info. would changing the tube & o-ring & switching to evans waterless coolant b a good thing on a 99 lhs that i'm looking to get? thanx for any info.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I don't use Evans Waterless Coolant, mjt, so I can't tell you one way or another about whether it works. As to buying the 99 LHS, this post and the comments I've made here make it clear I would never buy a Chrysler with either the 3.2L or 3.5L engines. If you are set on buying one, have it checked out thoroughly at a professional garage, and make sure the prior owner has all the prior maintenance invoices, especially when the last timing belt/water pump job was done.

Mike O' said...

Ok I bought wife a 2001 Intrepid . Had a 2.7 anchor I swapped out for a 1999 300M 3.5 HO. 3.5 has 48,000 miles on it and thing is silky smooth with a ton on power. That is until the TCM died 1000 miles after swap. While it was in limp mode my wife commuted to work daily but kept RPMs under 2500 (25-30) Mphs for about 6 days the car Overheated. Replaced Thermostat and refilled plastic tank , bled it and still overheating. At this point no leaks but still overheating. ( note : very little or no fluid whatsoever was seen when we did this) . I had it towed again to my garage put it up on jack stands and noticed dripping of radiator fluid coming from the back of motor /trans area . Even up on stands I can't see up high enough to find the source of leak. I've read this blog completely btw and Im shocked at all these issues stemming from one goofy heater line and O ring . My question as dumb as it can be is - Do you think I have the same Heater Hose ORing problem as the others above? And is $300.00 a high price to get fixed?

Mike O' said...

Also could it be just a leak from heater core line back there?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Mike, you have to take this one step at a time. First off, forget the leak for a moment. If you have everything filled and bled out, can you warm up the car and get it hot without it overheating? My guess is it will overheat even if you keep it filled, because you ran it overheating for 6 days. Those engines take zero abuse. When you take the oil filler cap off and look at the underside, is there any creamy substance or beads of moisture? If so, forget the heater tube you have a lot more serious problems - problems that are cost prohibitive to fix.

If it absolutely does not overheat when you keep it filled then you have a couple of choices. Clean off the engine, and put in dye that can be seen with an ultraviolet light (they sell the kits at any parts store) or pressure test the system to confirm where the leak is. The place you described could certainly be from the heater tube, but it also could be you've cracked a head or the block from overheating it for 6 days. If it's the heater tube o-ring, $300 is a bargain. After reading what you described, I think you may indeed have a heater tube o-ring problem, but I also think you may have already done serious damage to the engine. When you stated you changed the thermo, filled it, and bled it, and it still overheated, that's trouble. That would eliminate the leak as a cause for the overheating.

Mike O' said...

I apologize for not being more specific I'm on an iPhone . Ok my wife drove vehicle for 6 days after Trans control module went out. The 6th day it overheated and wife immediately pulled over and turned it off called me and it was towed to trans shop. TCM was replaced I drove it a few blocks watching the temp gauge and sure enough it started bobbing up to the H . I didn't let it I pulled over and my personal mechanic pulled it to his shop. At this point no leaks at all. We changed thermostat and fluid (which had none or little ) giving that we put a full gallon of green and 1 1/2 gallons denatured water in it . Bled it until a solid stream came out . ( put a hose on bleeder an fed it into another container). Started it up and let it idle . Temp didn't go above half mark on gauge . I put it in drive and waited , sure enough gauge started to slowly rise. I turned it off and here I sit . I looked under it and no drips so far then I put jackstands under it and drops of green dripping down from back (not front) coming from behind the motor somewhere above the starter solenoid and tranny . It's dripping but not bad and maybe only when leaning back on the stands ? So a mechanic I called knew exactly what the heater line and O Ring is and had done this before but has yet to look at it . He wants 3-400$ cash to do job IF and that's a big IF that is the problem. I'm in charge of assessing whether it is or not . Dye and blacklight? Compression check?
Oh and trans fluid I'd fine / Oil is fine no milky substance!
Thanks again
Mike

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

That's not the problem, Mike. If it overheats even when full of coolant and water, you have something else causing the overheat other than the leak. Many times when the TCM went out on those the engine would rev to the danger zone because the car would drop down into first and stay there. You might want to ask your wife if that happened. It may have caused something in the lower end to have reduced tolerances. The oil passages are undersized in those suckers. In any case, you'll have to work on the assumption it is not a leak causing the overheat problem. There's no use pitching parts and leak repairs at it if it overheats even when it's full of coolant. I'll ask this once more. Have you taken off the oil filler cap and checked the underside of it for a milky substance or moisture droplets? I'm not asking if you pulled the dipstick and looked at the oil. I'm asking if you took the oil CAP off and looked at the underside of it.

Mike said...

Yes I checked under cap the oil is golden and looks good . No evidence of moisture or contaminates . When TCM went out the car automatically goes to "Limp mode" basically 2nd gear to avoid catastrophic failures. Also the car during this never went above 2500rpms (25-30mph) . Car never overheated until the day it was going to be serviced ironically. I pulled over and had it towed to trans shop. so now I've eliminated the thermostat , clogged hoses , Water pump, radiator . Only evidence besides gauge saying overheating is the leaking radiator fluid coming down the back of motor tranny area. Whatcha think?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

The same thing I've written already, Mike. If the car overheats when full of coolant, and you have circulation, and the cooling fans work, then you have an engine problem. A coolant leak only causes an overheating problem when the system gets low on coolant. There are kits sold for detecting combustion leakage into coolant if you've decided not to let a professional garage find out what's wrong. Here's one kit sold on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-75500-Combustion-Leak-Detector/dp/B0007ZDRUI/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1345643078&sr=1-1&keywords=lisle+75500+combustion+leak+detector

Mike O' said...

Well that's not good news . I'm going to put it in the shop and five them everything I have on this blog to make sure they don't do anything unnecessary . Thanks for your prompt reply and I appreciate it . Take care Bernard.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Good luck, Mike. I hope they find an intermittent problem with your cooling fans or something, but in my experience, those never seem to have easy fixes for the cooling system. You must emphasize to the shop you would like to find out if you have head or block problems causing the overheating. The leak is secondary. Spending four or five hundred on a leak fix that doesn't have anything to do with the overheating would certainly be a waste of money. It may be good to keep in mind what the value of the vehicle is. Bail on it and put the money toward another vehicle if it looks like big repairs.

mjt11860 said...

hi. can the undersized oil passages that u talk about b bored out for better flow & about how much should i expect to pay for that if it's possible? also i noticed on a few of these cars that i checked, the big pulley in the middle has a slight wobble. could it b just a warped pulley or something worse. the engine runs really smooth. thanx for all the info u post on here.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

MJT, it's cost prohibitive to do what you're asking. My advice is if you see one of these cars you really like with one of these engine hand grenades in it, offer a few hundred dollars for it if it's running perfectly. Then, if they take the offer, keep the oil and filter changed religiously, and all fluid levels up. Then, if something happens like weird noises, coolant out the tailpipe, or leaks on the ground - dump it. Don't put another dollar into it. I'm not sure which big pulley you're talking about, but if it's the crank pulley, center bottom, that's wobbling, walk away.

mjt11860 said...

hi. at around the beginning of your website u mention the metal heater tube & o-ring that usually break down & leak antifreeze in 2000s cars w/3.2 & 3.5 engines. would the 99 lhs have the same problem & should i have the tube & o-ring replaced? thanx.

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law has a 2006 town and country with a 3.8. It appears that oil is leaking from the top outside corner of the head gasket.The oil is dark regular looking oil (not milky). Is this possible to have an external oil leak from the head gasket without any compromise to the coolant? Thanks

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, your question on the 2006 T&C with 3.8L did not make it past the junk filters. Here's my answer on the oil leak:

It's more likely coming from the valve cover or intake manifold, Anon. If you want to find out for sure, clean off the wet oil with a fast drying brake clean spray. Buy an ultraviolet leak check kit and put ultraviolet dye in the oil according to the directions. Run it for a week and you should be able to easily pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from with the ultraviolet light that comes with the kit. If you don't want to do it, have a shop do it. Guessing at it is not a good idea.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

MJT, I would change both the seal and the heater tube if it was my car. I hope you've looked into when the timing belt & water pump job was done, because if you need that maintenance, that is a very expensive job.

Unknown said...

I currently own a 1999 300m with 266,642 miles on it. Recently it started to overheat, Looking into the issue i noticed the coolant bottle getting overheated first which is leadign me to think its a head/gasket issue. As i only paid 1k for the car i will be using it as a trade in at a dealer when they do anopther push tow or drag it in special. The only reaason i am posting ths is the 3.2 and 3.5 engines are decent engines. Yes they have their issues (timing belts) but what cars dont if you look into it. Yes the 2.7 was a huge mistake but its not the same engine as the 3.2 or 3.5. I used to work for a chrysler dealer and the 3.2 and 3.5 we saw would consistantly get over 150k easy 2.7 not so much those would fal at 40 if not baby'd.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I'm happy for you, Unknown. That has not been my experience.

Anonymous said...

Hi all- I finished the Chrysler 300M rebuild, after a short break in, sent my wife to Nashville for a week. She came back to Wisconsin- flawless. Now we came back from a trip to South Dakota. Also flawless. 25.5MPG on the highway and not a drop of oil. Although she does not care for the larger car (had a Saturn), she does enjoy the appointments. One thing tho' the fan assy stopped working a short time ago and it blew the main fuse- and lost all the antifreeze. 180 later it has a new assy from Advance and Dorman, and is running lke a champ. Don in Wisconsin

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I hope you get a couple hundred thousand trouble free miles out of it, Don. Good luck.

Duh said...

I have a 1999 concorde 3.2. I just had the timing belt assembly and water pump replaced I have 3 questions (1) what type of oil and grade is best,the car has 80,000 miles.(2)How do you bleed this engine,running or not,bleeder valve on front of the motor(once the motor got warmer than normal i could hear a hiss from the valve area). So I replaced the valve.(3)As mentioned after all this I lose a small amount of coolant but never let temp go past the 4th out of 10 notches.Only 1 time it got to 9 on temp guage then shut down. I see no leaks but smell coolant at rear of car as walk bye.Could this be the heater o rings fumes.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Never use anything thicker than the recommended 5w-30 in that engine, Duh. Yes, the fumes and the leak could be coming from the heater tube o-ring. Have you checked the underside of the oil cap for any indication of coffee colored goop? If there's any indication of moisture or cream on the underside of that cap as has been mentioned in so many of the comments here, no amount of bleeding will help. If you do just have a leak, you need to have it pressure tested or add dye to find out where it's coming from. Any indication the coolant is seeping from under the manifold will probably be coming from the heater tube o-ring.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog! I just recently purchased a 1997 Chrysler LHS for pretty cheap. It has about 107,000 on it. I have it in the shop right now having the lower intake gasket replaced because of a leak. When I bought it I did not get any service records with it. It seems to run really good, but my question to you is: What kind of maintenance should I do and keep doing to make sure that this thing continues to run good?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, call that shop doing your intake repair and make sure they're servicing the heater tube and o-ring. Half the complaints on here are of repair shops doing the intake gaskets without servicing the heater tube and ending up still having a leak.

As to maintenance, if it has not already been done, you need to get the timing belt/water pump job done. Make sure they use only an OEM belt and pump.

Secondly, if it were mine, I would change the oil and filter with full synthetic 5w-30 Mobile 1 or Motorcraft oil every 3,000 miles religiously. I would also check fluid levels constantly.

Since you are the new owner, I'd also have the transmission flushed and full synthetic ATF+4 transmission fluid added. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the advice. I called the shop and the front desk person told me that the heater tube and o-ring were part of the kit. I insisted he go talk to the mechanic working on my car and make sure.
The engine itself feels like it runs hot, but does not indicate that on the gauge. Would this indicate that the water pump should be changed? How would I know if the water pump/timing belt has ever been done in this car?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

The maintenance records are the only sure way to know, Anon. Without those, it's not possible without taking off the timing cover. My guess is the people who owned it before probably decided to dump it before they had to have them done. The job can run over a thousand dollars easily.

When you mention it feels like it's running hot, I'm not sure what you mean. If the gauge is reading normally, and you still suspect it is running hot, you can have a shop double check the temp reading on a scanner.

dblsecretprob said...

Bernard, enjoy your blog. I have a 2000 Chrysler Sebring 2.5L JXI convert which is the Wifes car. It is only driven in the warm temperatures about 6 mos. of the year here in MI. Recently, it developed a drip from the upper trans oil cooler line at the radiator, exact location unknown. I removed the hose, looked around, could find no obvious reason for a leak, coated around the fitting with RTV, shoved the hose back on while the RTV was still wet, let cure then checked it for 2 days after, leak there solved, BUT, on the 3rd day noticed it now dripping a small amount from the bottom fitting from what I can see. I will probably repeat the same procedure for the bottom hose. To my knowledge, the trans is not overfilled either. Have you ever seen this from a 2.5 or any Chrysler product from this vintage?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Yes, dblsecretprob. I've changed many transmission cooler lines on those. The dealer has them in stock almost always. If the radiator itself doesn't have a problem near the fittings, and you find no problem with bad or weak engine and trans mounts allowing excessive movement, then replacing the lines should cure the leakage.

dblsecretprob said...

Thanks Bernard, the problem was definitely with the fitting or with the hose at the fitting because the RTV fixed it on the topside, I just can't see where though, I'll give it the same treatment at the bottom, but there was no obvious defect with the hose. One thing I did for chuckles was rotate the hose clamp when I reintalled it. I could not really see any problem with the lines themselves though.

Fisheracin said...

I HAVE A 3.2L 98CHRYSLER CONCORDE. OVER 200,000MI! WE REGULARY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THIS CAR! EVERY OTHER MONTH IS A NEW DISCOVERY. I HAVE HAD COOLANT LEAKING FOR 2YEARS! NO MECHANIC CAN "SEE" THE LEAK. WE HAVE SEEN BOTH, DROP IN LEVELS WITH NO PUDDLES AND OTHER TIMES WITH PUDDLES. I WOULD NEVER BUY ANOTHER CHRYSLER EVER! YES, VERY DIFFICULT TO WORK ON!I LOVE MOPARS AND THE WAY THE CAR LOOKS, BUT THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN A MONEY SUCKER!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

It may well be you have a leaking heater tube o-ring just as in the post, Fish. In any case, I hope you're able to find the leak.

Frustrated female said...

I have a 2002 Chrysler Concorde. Not sure of the engine. Have a coolant leak. Pretty bad I beleive, since I see small puddles on the ground. Took to dealer they are saying $1966 to fix. Mostly labor. Does that sound right? Is it worth fixing. Car has just abt 98000 miles.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

It could be, FF, if the water pump is what they've found is leaking. If it's the water pump, they will have to take off everything in the front of the engine to change the water pump and also the timing belt. You have a right to ask them what they found. As to worth, I'm afraid I can't answer that one for you. A major factor would be how well you've taken care of the maintenance up to this time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard, I found your post regarding the leaking heater tube and gasket to be very helpful. I have a 2002 Dodge Intrepid with a 3.5L engine and I noticed there is coolant on top of the intake manifold. I'm in the process of replacing the intake manifold gasket and I came across your article and now I'm going to also replace the heater tube gasket, maybe the heater tube as well since I'll have access to it. Again, thanks for blog because I would have overlooked it or not even thought of looking at the heater tube gasket and you may have saved me from doing the job twice. I've also copied a PDF link showing a diagram of the parts of the intake manifold, gasket and heater tube/gasket for other bloggers to see the location of the heater tube with part numbers. Keep up the good work and I'll let you know what I find out when I start the work this weekend.

Carlos.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link that I mentioned above.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=06505692AA&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.300cforums.com%2Fforums%2Fattachments%2Fproblems-dealer-service%2F33373d1246226978-cracked-intake-manifold-pages-2006_lx_parts.pdf&ei=I92dUJzYDMuwqQHahIHQCg&usg=AFQjCNG8ZL7B5xYPlzSbtVvg0g4PCrf69Q

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I hope the job works out well for you, Carlos. Thanks for posting the diagram.

TimL said...

Hi again Bernard,

I posted back in May of this year when I replaced the water pump and timing belt in 2.7L 2002 Sebring. Car ran fine until couple weeks ago, when it got a rod knock and air bubbling out of overflow. I just replaced the rod bearings and when I started it up yesterday it sounded bad. Forgot to mention I tested the oil pressure before doing rod bearings and was low, 3 lbs at idle. Then just shut it off.
After starting yesterday and just idling, the pressure kept dropping from 40 lbs to 2. I'm thinking the oil pump is bad.
What do you think?
Regret the day I bought this car.
Will any other size engine that is better fit this car?

Thanks,
TimL in virginia

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

The 3.2 engine hand grenade will go in there, Tim, but are you sure you don't want to just cut your losses and forget about that car? Your experience is becoming a living nightmare for you. Sometimes, you just have to let one like that go.

TimL said...

Bernard,

I think I may have to cut my losses. It is a shame, because it was running so good. I used 5W30 synthetic, no oil or water usage, and then BANG, this happened out of the blue. I have no explanation. At 134K the rest of the car is in great shape, nice interior and shifting. A shame to have a resource like this go. I have a 1998 Ford Contour daily driver with 2.5L V6 with 230K and never any problems like this. I just spotted the exact same Contour with 42K on it for sale on craigslist. Hope I can get it!!

Thanks, and will keep you posted.

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