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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2006 Dodge Charger RT Daytona
In the new cold weather my charger has decided to have a new problem. When idling for some reason I loose heat and my engine temp starts to rise very quickly. In early December it almost went into the red but after replacing the thermostat twice and the water pump, highest I’ve seen it is 226, nothing super serious but still above spec. Recently when I’ve gotten out of the car I can faintly smell coolant but I can’t tell if that’s just old stuff I’ve spilt or an actual leak. No symptoms of a head gasket failure so I’m just really confused here, any help would be appreciated.
 

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Is the coolant level staying at the Full mark (hot & cold) or is it low? Purge the air from the cooling system (may need to perform this procedure more than once to get all the air purged from the system). Replace the pressure cap on the coolant tank. You can also have the coolant system pressure tested to see if it's holding pressure.
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X2 on what djalbin said. Also, are you replacing the t-stat with a stock 203, or a 180? I have had multiple, repeated failures of the 180s on mine, due to poor quality control. Finally settled on a good 190. When you replace the t-stats, are you installing them with the vent hole in the 12 o'clock position?

I was most successful with purging air by unthreading the 1/4" plug on t-stat housing and replacing it with a 1/4" hose barb adapter and a piece of 6' hose. I'd keep the hose pinched off until warmed up, then with funnel in coolant reservoir, I'd release pliers on the hose while continuing to fill coolant housing until I saw no air bubbles in the drain bucket the hose was in.

Most definitely, a pressure check can confirm whether you may have other issues.
 

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Are your fan(s) coming on high? If you have dual fans flash light them to see. They should be on high well before 225.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, thanks for all the help guys. I believe I have identified a radiator leak. I know it’s a weird question, but I believe it’s near the petcock, the cars been sitting for about a week and the reservoir has drained considerably and the area near the petcock is wet. I assume that there is a leak somewhere in the passenger side of the rad. I did install a 180 to start but I had the same quality issues and just replaced it with the stock 203, and I can confirm the fans come on high I think that’s the only thing right now keeping it from going into the red. Thanks for all the help again, I plan on replacing the radiator soon, anyone recommend any good brands?
 

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I run a Spectra Premium, made in Canada. I got it on Rock Auto and just checked for you but do not see the brand anymore.
A thing to keep in mind is your radiator thickness. There are plastic flap type seals on the top and bottom that clip onto the rad to make sure air is pulled through the radiator properly LINK.
There are rubber strips on the sides that will transfer onto any size, don't toss em.

The top and bottom seals are not one size fits all, get a rad that's not the same size and you need new seals. I discovered this on the fly when upgrading from the single fan standard cooling rad to dual fans and severe duty II rad thickness. Killed another $100.00.

Mopar rads will cost you $200.00-ish.
 
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So, the big question is how long do you plan on keeping the car, and how much $$ do you want to spend? If it were me, I think I would spend the $200+ and go with an OE Mopar radiator. You got 16 years out of the original. A much better choice would be like an all-aluminum, high quality Mishimoto, but like $650 - $700ish. If this were a highly modded car making a lot of heat, I would spend the big $$, but in your case, I'd stick with OE.
 
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