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Old 09-24-2010, 07:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Overheat, then find out NO COOLANT...HELP!

Hey guys, any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated...

Driving to work today (05 300C 5.7L), as I was about to pull into the parking lot, my Hi temp warning came on, the temp guage on the dash was in the red. As I coasted in a parking spot, the needle dropped out of the red zone.

Popped the hood to check the coolant...I have one of those clear killerglass radiator hoses and I noticed right away that is was empty (it is usually full with fluid)... The coolant tank was empty also!?!?!

I haven't popped the hood since my last oil change (at the dealership, about 2 months ago), so didn't notice coolant levels, but assume that the dealership would have filled it if it was low.

Does coolant ever empty out completely like this? What should be my next steps? I was reading through the forums and read something about HOAT coolant, is this something I have buy specially from some place other than a gas station? Does the 300C take some sort of special coolant?

Not mechanically inclined, so if any checks/tests are suggested, please provide some detail.

Thanks!

***Hoping no serious damage was done to my big baby***
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Update:

Alright, checked under the car, there is a hole in the plastic pan underneath and it has leaked some pinkish fliud that I think is coolant. Also when you are looking down from under the hood, there is some liquid on the plastic housing by the fan, but the killerglass hose is not leaking...any ideas?
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's too much water lost. I'm thinking you got a big leak somewhere; either external or (say it ain't so) internal. Obviously refill that radiator, but check your oil dipstick to make certain the oil isn't frothy/foamy. That's bad news if it is; it means you have an internal leak, probably a blown head gasket, allowing your coolant to mix with the oil. Let's hope, if it is a leak, that it's external, such as a hose or even the radiator itself. These suggestions are old-school for older cars, so I imagine someone more familiar with the newer car tech could chime in and give more (accurate) info.

As for me and my '06 C3C, the dealer does all of my maintenance and the always check/top off my fluids. The last temperature problem I had was my A/C dying on me. Dealer thought it was the A/C motor, but it turned out one of the (plastic) fans cracked causing it to scrape against the shroud, making the car think it was the motor that was going bad. Amazingly, despite the cracked fan, the mechanic was surprised the car never overheated, the temp gage remaining at the slightly-below halfway mark. This makes me believe the 5.7 Hemis are very good at temperature management. The loss of water from your system indicates something is seriously amiss. Let's hope it's a simple, but external leak.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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first don't put any coolant in yet fill it with water turn the temp knobs to full heat and set the fan to low blow and check for leaks.also watch temp gauge and listen for the fans under the hood to come on. if you have stock t-stat and fan settings they should kick in just before the gauge hits the red mark. is there rust stains around the overflow tank? do you smell coolant when near the car? check the water pump for rust near the bearing weep hole just under the shaft.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by only1vip View Post
Update:

Alright, checked under the car, there is a hole in the plastic pan underneath and it has leaked some pinkish fliud that I think is coolant. Also when you are looking down from under the hood, there is some liquid on the plastic housing by the fan, but the killerglass hose is not leaking...any ideas?
I see your Update came in within minites of my replay. Glad it appears to be an external leak. "Pinkish fluid"? I'm still old-school, thinking coolant must be greenish. I'll let others chime in on that. Either way, gotta plug that hole.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply Dare!

Checked the oil...doesn't look frothy or foamy...looks pretty regular...Whew *wipes sweat from forehead*

I agree that it's probably a big leak somewhere...Should I be calling for a flatbed now? Or should I get coolant and drive it to a dealership? Is there a way to check (other than the temp guage) if I'm losing coolant too quickly and shouldn't risk driving?
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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iv had a similar coolant leak issue for months now cause i have not had time to figure out where the exact leak is coming from which means i have to add water to the coolant reservoir every few days to keep it from going under the min level.

i would first add coolant to the car since it seems it is completely dried out if the car was over heating and once you have added the coolant i would take off that bottom belly pan so that you can actually see where the leak is coming from and then go from there but i would keep an eye on the coolant level every day or so to make sure it is not losing coolant at a fast rate because my coolant leak is slow and nothing major but still something i should get taken care of especially since winter is almost here again.

as for issues with the over heating, if you stopped and turned the vehicle off right away you should be fine unless you continued to drive it while it was already at the top of the red part then you might have issues but if not then i wouldnt worry too much and as for types of coolant, i use regular orange coolant from walmart that you can add water to rather than the add coolant one only since i cant afford to be wasting bottles of coolant every week. i think it is called dex cool or something of that sort but it is the silver/greyish looking coolant bottle at walmart.

i would buy about 2-3 bottles to fill your car if it is completely empty...

hopefully someone else can chime in and add to that or correct me if i am wrong...
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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disregard my last post about adding coolant first since i see someone else posted right before i submitted my reply lol

i wouldnt drive it completely on water though....
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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pure water is just to check for leaks why wast the money. i let my cars run a day or two after this kind of work just to be sure no leaks
also check the T-stat and be sure it did not fail open. just one overheat can cause it to fail open.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks HYPNO!

I'm gonna give it a shot, but i fear that I have a BIG leak somewhere because that tank is EMPTY. The car was turned off probably 30 seconds after the light came on, so I hope I'm good.

Thank you too JoJo...How can I check if my T-Stat has failed open? DTC? If it has, do I need a new one?
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