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‘05 T&C 3.3: weird temp gauge pegging #2873864
01/13/21 03:42 PM
01/13/21 03:42 PM
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360view Offline OP
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360view  Offline OP
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The following has happened twice now:

2005 Chrysler Town & Country extended van 3.3L with 103,000 miles started from dead cold after about 4 days sitting, then driven gently.
Engine started on first try and acts normally for about 5 miles during which coolant temperature gauge needle seems slow to climb to halfway mark, but gets there resting in its normal spot one needle width below halfway mark on gauge.

Gauge stays steady at halfway mark for about 5 minutes.
Then needle of gauge climbs very rapidly all the way to top red section and Over-temperature dinger comes on.
Needle stays at maximum high mark for 2-3 minutes,
then rapidly falls in seconds to halfway mark on gauge again.

Van then driven for 30 minutes to an hour without this happening again.

Coolant levels normal. Level in overflow tank halfway between Cold and Hot marks.
Radiator new about one year ago.
Battery new about 6 months ago.

After only a few months of use back in year 2005
factory dash gauges all went dead
and entire dash replaced under warranty.

Any ideas about what may be causing the coolant temperature gauge to do this?

Broken wire in lead to temperature sensor?
Bad electrical ground somewhere?
Sticking thermostat?

Re: ‘05 T&C 3.3: weird temp gauge pegging [Re: 360view] #2873869
01/13/21 03:53 PM
01/13/21 03:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,725
UPPER MICHIGAN, MARQUETTE COUN...
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NITROUSN Offline
I Live Here
NITROUSN  Offline
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Posts: 16,725
UPPER MICHIGAN, MARQUETTE COUN...
Start with a quality thermostat and make sure all the air is out.

Re: ‘05 T&C 3.3: weird temp gauge pegging [Re: NITROUSN] #2873874
01/13/21 04:05 PM
01/13/21 04:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,219
It's a dry heat
gtx6970 Offline
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gtx6970  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,219
It's a dry heat
I had one do very similar action several years ago.
Put a Mopar brand thermostat in it , make sure to bleed the air out of it .

Never a problem again and I still daily drive the van to this day

Re: ‘05 T&C 3.3: weird temp gauge pegging [Re: gtx6970] #2873930
01/13/21 06:22 PM
01/13/21 06:22 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 5,887
Downtown Roebuck Ont
Twostick Offline
Still wishing...
Twostick  Offline
Still wishing...

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 5,887
Downtown Roebuck Ont
Use an infrared thermometer to see if in fact the engine is really that hot when the gauge is pegged. If it is in the 200F +/- range (assuming like most new stuff, that is normal operating temp), you have some electrical gremlin causing your gauge glitch.

Kevin

Re: ‘05 T&C 3.3: weird temp gauge pegging [Re: 360view] #2874265
01/14/21 12:42 PM
01/14/21 12:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,301
USA
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360view Offline OP
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USA
Well, like Murphy’s Law predicts,
I did a special test drive today to try to make the problem re-appear and it would not.

When the dash coolant gauge needle is on the halfway mark an IR Gun reads 209 F on the thermostat flange and Type K thermocouple probe reads 203 F at same spot on that flange.

Before I put the van back in the garage I parked nose up on a steep incline with the engine running for ten minutes to allow air to migrate to the top of the radiator.

I am thinking that on my next test run I should hook up multimeter leads to the wires of the coolant temperature sensor.







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