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Old 07-26-2013, 11:17 AM
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2004 Jeep Liberty temp gauge reads hot, but motor is normal operating temperature

I have a 3.7 Liter, V6, 4 wheel-drive. We were out driving one day, and the warning beeps alarmed and the temperature gauge needle was in the hot range. We pulled over and popped the hood. The coolant level was normal, and there were no signs of the motor overheating...ie. No steam, smoke, or noises. Everything under the hood seemed to be normal. As soon as we got back in and checked the temp gauge, it read below normal. So, it had cooled that quick. There were never any check engine lights on the entire time. We drove about a 1/2 mile, and the warning alarm beeps came on again and the gauge was in the hot. We pulled over again, and nothing under the hood was wrong. We checked fuses and all else visible and everything under the hood seemed to be operating normally. We ended up getting towed home. I would like any opinions on where to start troubleshooting. Thanks ;0)
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:27 AM
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Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty temp gauge reads hot, but motor is normal operating temperature

Welcome to the garage.
When the temperature indicator showed hot, was the cooling fan running? Where you driving slowly, so that almost no cooling airflow went through the radiator?
It can be ofcourse something simple as the coolant temperature sensor, the cooling fan or thermostat, but could be the waterpump as well.
Did you try and start it up again after it had completely cooled down? Was the coolant level still ok?
To see if the thermostat opens and the waterpump work, you could take the radiator cap off with the engine cold and then let it run. You will have to take some coolant out, because it will expand when heated and overflow from the radiator fill neck. When the engine warms up, the thermostat should open at a certain point, you can feel that at the upper radiator hose, which will become warm. As soon as the thermostat opens, you should also be able to see some flow in the coolant in the radiator neck. Then you know that the waterpump is ok. If the temperature rises quickly and the upper hose doesn't become warm, the thermostat is stuck closed.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:48 AM
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Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty temp gauge reads hot, but motor is normal operating temperature

Thank you for your reply ;0) We have taken your advise about the thermostat. We started with draining and flushing the radiator. During that process, we replaced the thermostat. We ran the Jeep and everything seems normal, although, while draining the radiator, I took a test light and checked the fan plug. There is no power going to the power wires. I got a light on the ground wire to the plug, but no power to the other wires. The fan just seems to operate after the system is overheating. In your opinion, do you think I have another issue with the fan motor? Thanks for your help!!!

Diana
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty temp gauge reads hot, but motor is normal operating temperature

Hello Diana. I'm not familiar with the Liberty, but the cooling fan in general will only come on when the engine is becoming too hot and/ or when switching on the airconditioning.
During normal driving there is enough cooling airflow going through the radiator to keep the coolant at a reasonable temperature, but when standing still or driving slowly the cooling is not enough and the fan will be switched on to get airflow through the radiator. So when you where measuring the fan plug it was normal that there was no power on the power wires. Just switch the AC on and see if the fan kicks on.
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