Dodge Durango Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All -- new here, so let me know if this is the wrong place/format, etc.
My heat stopped working when I was taking my kid to school. When I started it up later that day, the check engine light came on. I headed to get the code read and it said cooling system. Decided step 1 would be a flush and go from there. Drained the system, put the flush in, added water, ran it - it was getting late at this point so I let it cool overnight. Went out to drain it this morning, and the water is seeping out of the side of the radiator (and down onto the ground). Drained it, dried it all up, added more water to see where it is coming from. Confirmed it is seeping out of pretty much the whole right side (if standing in front of the vehicle). It stopped dripping. I started it to see if that would cause more to come out, it did. In total - out of the gallon I put in, a little less than a quarter leaked back out. I opened up the valve and finished draining it. I am not really sure where to go from here.

Has anyone else had this happen and could you advise me on the next steps? I really would like to fix this on my own, if at all possible. My husband is trying to convince me it is time to sell, but I really do not want to ever sell her.

Another question - what is the function of the reservoir? I did add water into that as well. It was bubbling and went down a bit, but other than that - it still looks like the same clean water I put in there initially. I am assuming that is to dump in if it gets low, but really not sure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
2011C:
Welcome to DDN. It sounds like you might be in the market for a new radiator. How many miles on your Durango?
The low heat issue was likely due to lack of coolant. Be careful leaving plain water in there if it drops below freezing in your locale. Here in SW Ohio, this would not be the time of year to be without a proper 50/50 mix of water/AF.

Don
 

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2011C:
Welcome to DDN. It sounds like you might be in the market for a new radiator. How many miles on your Durango?
The low heat issue was likely due to lack of coolant. Be careful leaving plain water in there if it drops below freezing in your locale. Here in SW Ohio, this would not be the time of year to be without a proper 50/50 mix of water/AF.

Don
Hi, Thanks for your response. That was my thought too - new radiator. I was crossing my fingers that wasn't the case.
I am in central AL - so we are still in the 50's and 60's here. : ) Great tip, though. Something I hadn't even considered.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
You'll want to get this done asap, so you don't risk engine damage. What's the matter with your hubby lol? Is he a car guy? The DIY on the radiator can be done, but it's not a 10 or 15 minute exercise. Plenty of folks here have done it. If you have it done, plan on spending $800-$1200 for that repair.

Your spark plugs have a 30K replacement interval. You con run 'em 50k, but I would not exceed that. Since your coolant has mostly leaked out, time for a fresh fill. Make sure you go back in (or whomever does the radiator) with the proper coolant.

Don
 
  • Like
Reactions: Betty White

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You'll want to get this done asap, so you don't risk engine damage. What's the matter with your hubby lol? Is he a car guy? The DIY on the radiator can be done, but it's not a 10 or 15 minute exercise. Plenty of folks here have done it. If you have it done, plan on spending $800-$1200 for that repair.

Your spark plugs have a 30K replacement interval. You con run 'em 50k, but I would not exceed that. Since your coolant has mostly leaked out, time for a fresh fill. Make sure you go back in (or whomever does the radiator) with the proper coolant.

Don
🤣He doesn't love cars in the same way I do. My dad used to flip cars when I was a kid - so fixing them is definitely more of my thing than his. I would rather fix it myself than throw money at someone else to do it.

I also have a wrangler, thankfully. I'm driving that until I get the durango back on the road. She's been parked since this happened. Oh, and she has 115k. I think I forgot to answer than before. Spark plugs are on the list as well. I have a list of things I am going to get up to date before I start daily driving her again.

Radiator is completely empty, and shopping for a new radiator. My Christmas wish is a hefty gift card to rock auto, I guess. I just hope nothing else crops with the cooling system after I put the new radiator in.
Thanks, again, for confirming that is what I would need to do next. I was hoping there was a simpler answer, but I feel more confident that I'm not overlooking something simple now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
One thing to be careful of, is to be sure you order the correct part from RA. They have decent pricing, and usually good service, but if you order the wrong part, sometimes they are fussy about getting that part returned, and a refund if needed.

Re the reservoir, it functions as an overflow, and if the level in the engine should drop, coolant from the overflow is pulled into the engine when it cools down. If your T stat is oem, swap it out while you are in there. At 115K, you should be on your 3rd or 4th set of plugs. Don't forget the trans, front/rear differentials, and the transfer case if you have AWD. The PCV valve is a 100k item also. It's right on top of the intake.

Don
 
  • Like
Reactions: Betty White

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing to be careful of, is to be sure you order the correct part from RA. They have decent pricing, and usually good service, but if you order the wrong part, sometimes they are fussy about getting that part returned, and a refund if needed.

Re the reservoir, it functions as an overflow, and if the level in the engine should drop, coolant from the overflow is pulled into the engine when it cools down. If your T stat is oem, swap it out while you are in there. At 115K, you should be on your 3rd or 4th set of plugs. Don't forget the trans, front/rear differentials, and the transfer case if you have AWD. The PCV valve is a 100k item also. It's right on top of the intake.

Don
Oh, good to know! I will be careful with RA.
re: reservoir: that's what I thought.
I did get a new thermostat from Auto Zone when I went to grab flush and coolant. I figured may as well since I am tinkering around in the coolant system anyway. So, that is already in there.
My list:
Flush Coolant (now new radiator - will prob change hoses and cap while I'm at it)
Spark Plugs
Oil Change/Filter
Blow out air filters (K&N lifetime ones)
Trans fluid/filter
Diffs
Check brakes/rotors
Not AWD, so no xfer case. After all that, she should be ready to get back on the road. 🤞

Not gonna lie, I don't know what the PCV valve is. I'll add it tot the list and make sure I get that done too. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don Fox

·
Registered
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V6
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
PCV=Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Here's the Removal/Installation for the 5.7L:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
A great coolant to go back in with is the gold colored G-05 coolant. I have used that in several vehicles through the years. Take the time to get all of the air out of the system and you will be along with your 5.7 will be a happy camper.

Don
 
  • Like
Reactions: GTSDart340

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A great coolant to go back in with is the gold colored G-05 coolant. I have used that in several vehicles through the years. Take the time to get all of the air out of the system and you will be along with your 5.7 will be a happy camper.

Don
I bought the auto zone brand 50/50 universal. Is there a large drop in quality in the store brand vs a better-known brand?
Obvs, have not put it in yet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
What color is it? You will want to be sure it is the type of coolant that is compatible with the cooling system parts/pieces. I believe your D came with HOAT style coolant when it was built.


Don
 

·
Registered
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V6
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
Zerex G05 FTW! Ford also makes a compatible "Gold" coolant that I've purchased before. Motorcraft Premium Gold which is made by Zerex and is the same as G05.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I replaced my radiator (leaking from the exact same spot yours was, its a known defect that many many Durango owners have been on the bad end of) myself and I'm not that savvy. Considering you are draining all of the fluids and the age of the vehicle it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace your water pump while you are in there. I did mine, found a part online for 69 bucks:


I replaced the radiator with a heavy duty version that I got somewhere (either Amazon or Ebay) for 120 bucks but you can get the standard for 60-80. The dealer will try to charge you 1k + for that repair but there is a way to do it by just disassembling the cross member at the front of the engine. There are a few videos on YouTube to lead you through each repair, check out "Motor City Mechanic", he's amazing. Beginning to end its about 4 hours if you do both radiator + water pump and you'll need a helper to get the new radiator seated properly.

They should issue a recall or refund all the people who have had to deal with this, the leak is always right where the plastic connects to the radiator.
 

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wanted to take a moment and thank y'all for your help here. I finally got a new radiator in about a month ago and she is running great. The radiator was a complete pain the the ass to get out and in. The AC line was all up in the way. Got it though. I don't get a whole lot of time to spend in the driveway, but moving on to the other 100k check-up items.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don Fox

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,882 Posts
BW:
Thanks for coming back around to fill us in on your progress! It sounds like you have done well.

Don
 

·
Registered
'11 Dodge Durango Citadel, '11 Dodge Charger R/T, '16 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultd.
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I replaced my radiator (leaking from the exact same spot yours was, its a known defect that many many Durango owners have been on the bad end of) myself and I'm not that savvy. Considering you are draining all of the fluids and the age of the vehicle it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace your water pump while you are in there. I did mine, found a part online for 69 bucks:


I replaced the radiator with a heavy duty version that I got somewhere (either Amazon or Ebay) for 120 bucks but you can get the standard for 60-80. The dealer will try to charge you 1k + for that repair but there is a way to do it by just disassembling the cross member at the front of the engine. There are a few videos on YouTube to lead you through each repair, check out "Motor City Mechanic", he's amazing. Beginning to end its about 4 hours if you do both radiator + water pump and you'll need a helper to get the new radiator seated properly.

They should issue a recall or refund all the people who have had to deal with this, the leak is always right where the plastic connects to the radiator.
Thanks! The water pump in mine went out about two years ago - so I think (hope) I am good for awhile on it. MCM does have some really good videos. My biggest issue was just getting the radiator out and in with the AC hose there. It was ridiculously difficult. So glad it's done.
A great coolant to go back in with is the gold colored G-05 coolant. I have used that in several vehicles through the years. Take the time to get all of the air out of the system and you will be along with your 5.7 will be a happy camper.

Don
This mental image will make you laugh -- I got one of the burp and fill "no spill" funnels. It got really hot all of a sudden and the tube that holds the funnel on got bendy. I had to let go to run around to shut the durango off. Coolant went absolutely everywhere. I just sat on the ground and thought about what a fitting end to this journey that was.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Don Fox
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top