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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving my wife's 2015 Citadel AWD V6 with 106k miles over the weekend and noticed the temp gauge moving quite a bit. It's normally rock solid halfway between the red 1/4 and white 1/2 hash marks. I saw it move up a bit to the halfway mark and stay there for a bit. Then, I heard the fan kick on and it slowly progressed up, stopping short of the first red mark. Temp promptly came down to normal and the fan shut off. This was in normal city, surface street driving. Weather was mid-50's. This is the first time I've see it act this way. Wife said hasn't seen it before. I looked for obvious leak sources and found none. There was some sludge on the air dam, probably left from thermostat replacement last spring. The radiator hoses were not wet, it did not appear as though they were leaking at the radiator or water pump connections. The reservoir bottle was a little low, still well above the fill line, so I topped it off to the full mark. No signs of leakage around the water pump. With everything clean, I went for a drive. I was able to get it to act up as first described. Temp went down to normal and stayed there so I went back home. I saw a single drop of coolant in the center of the air dam. No signs of leaks at the hose connections. So, I looked under the car. No puddles, but the crossmember under the diff was wet. This was Sunday evening. I have not had time to investigate further. I have not checked the oil for signs of head gasket leak yet, but will do so soon. Neither my wife nor I have noticed burning coolant smell inside or outside the car.

I looked around here and found a few threads about leaking coolant. The 3.6 doesn't seem to have the water pump issues the Hemi had, and I spot no obvious leak there. The water pump cannot be ruled out entirely, though. I will investigate further but am narrowing it down to:
  • transmission heater tube from this thread, but I haven't heard any steam or seen coolant on firewall
  • Cracked oil filter housing. I need to look under the engine cover. I had an oil change at a quick lube place last week (crunched for time!), strong possibility they overtightened the filter.
  • Heater core lines.

If you have any additional suggestions on how to identify coolant leaks, please let me know! I'll investigate further and follow up.

Thank you!
 

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2017 AWD durango GT 3.6
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Wonder if your oil filter assembly is leaking on the coolant side? One way to check is to look at the valley between the heads for signs of coolant. Dorman makes an all aluminum version that apparently prevents oil/coolant leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wonder if your oil filter assembly is leaking on the coolant side? One way to check is to look at the valley between the heads for signs of coolant. Dorman makes an all aluminum version that apparently prevents oil/coolant leaks.
Yeah, this is what I meant with bullet point 2. Just a bit of oil in the valley from what I could see. It did not look or feel fresh. I cleaned it up as best I could and will check it again after my next drive. I suppose it could be leaking and not visible, will have to pull the plenum off to confirm.

No driving yesterday. I checked it this morning and found a bit of leakage on the air dam. It looks like coolant is dripping directly on two (HVAC?) hoses at the top rear of the air dam. Some is running down the large hose connecting radiator to water pump and dripping at the bend. I can't see if the leak is coming from the water pump itself or the hose. I have to take the air intake off, haven't had time to do that yet. Underneath, the back of the air dam is wet. My driveway is a big hill up, so makes sense if coolant was pooling in the air dam it would flow out on the way up.

Next step is to check for leaks while running when it gets up to temp. Hopefully it's just the hose. Not terrible if it's the water pump. I do not want to tackle the oil filter assembly job! It does not look like the radiator is the issue.

Air dam after sitting for 1 day:
Material property Gas Tints and shades Service Font



Back of air dam from underneath, spraying onto crossmember
Automotive tire Automotive design Bumper Motor vehicle Hood



Upwards shot of back of air dam from underneath
Wheel Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Tread



Thermostat area is dry
Automotive tire Tire Hood Tread Motor vehicle
 
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