Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pacifica died while driving

Sometimes I wonder why service advisors get paid for being so vague on the problem of the customer car. They just right up whatever the customer says. It would help if the advisor asks some questions regarding the car when it stopped running while driving. Note: If you tow in your car to the dealership please tell whatever happened in steps how the problem began with your car. This will help the auto tech get a faster diagnosis of the problem.

Well here is what happened to me. Got a '05 Chrysler Pacifica, V6 3.8L towed in with 53k miles. Got the work order printed on it DIED WHILE DRIVING. Yeah...And?? And that was it. I should have asked the advisor for more questions about the car. But I didn't cause he is a nut.

So I went to the car and the keys was still in it so I turned the key and it just fired right up! I was thinking already there is no problem with this car.

I pulled it on my bay and started the procedure I always take when diagnosing a car.

1st step: Check with to see if it has any TSB'S(Technical Service Bulletins) about that specific problem. Found out there was none.

2nd step: Used my scanner to see if there are any saved DTC'S(Diagnostic Trouble Codes). There was none.

3rd step: Tested the battery with the Vat 45. Tested OK.

4th step: Did an alternator test. Passed.

5th step: Checked if any fuses were blown. All were good.

6th step: Checked the gas gauge. It was reading half full. So it got plenty of fuel.

7th step: Checked in the engine bay for any loose, cut, disconnected or burnt wires. All looked good.

8th step. Looked at the fluids. The radiator reservoir was empty. So I filled it up with water. Note: If you are going to fill up the reservoir on the vehicle when the engine is hot you would have to put a rag on the cap and turn slowly or you will get burned. This reservoir holds pressure!!

I started the car and started to fill it with water and heard bubbling in the block. Then water started to splash out the reservoir like a volcano. Water went about 3 feet in the air.
The top radiator hose was hot so I knew the thermostat is working. Note: If the top radiator hose is cold on a motor that has been running for 10-15 minutes then most likely the thermostat is not working properly.

To my conclusion the customer drove the car without enough coolant or no coolant in the radiator. That is why the engine just shut off because it was too hot. And because of this the car
has either a blown head or head gasket. A major problem!! Well it wasn't my problem. The car was sent to Chrysler for futher diagnosis. I think the advisor said it has a warranty but not for sure.

Note: Always check your fluids under the hood at a minimum of 2-3 times a month.

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