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Discussion Starter #1
Took the PM in to my regular mechanic this morning to service (fluid and filter) the trans and rotate the tires (45,000 miles). While it was up on the lift, he discovered the source of the coolant leak that I have so far been entirely unable to locate. The giveaway turned out to be the fine layer of salt and brine that covers everything in Ohio, the coolant leaves a reddish pink stain on this white filth. I believe he was able to see it steaming as well.

The leak comes from passenger side of the radiator, where the plastic tank is joined to the aluminum (I assume it's aluminum) radiator core. As I understand it, this join is made with some kind of epoxy that bonds with both plastic and metal. From under the hood, you can peer directly down at the radiator edge and see a pinkish stain perhaps 2 inches long. One reason I wasn't able to find it more easily might have been the fan - if they are on you won't see it steaming, and if the surfaces are mostly clean you probably wouldn't notice it either. I suspect that without the layer of salt scum, any moisture would evaporate off of the hot radiator, making it further difficult to find.

Step Two: I went directly to the dealer, who had good and bad news. Because I'm past the bumper-to-bumper, and because a radiator isn't included in the 100k drivetrain warranty, he couldn't cover it. I told him that I wanted to start generating a paper trail, since the van is only 4 months old and this can only be a manufacturing defect - it's not like I can cause the radiator to leak in 4 months of normal use. He gave me the number, so I called Chrysler. They confirmed that they couldn't/wouldn't cover it immediately, but there might be a recall or TSB in the works that would cover it. They generated a case number, so at least I have something. The fellow on the phone was very helpful, and without saying it outright, he basically said that if I pester them enough they would probably cover it. It's scheduled for a trip to the dealer in 3 weeks to perform the TPMS recall, and more documentation would occur then.

Luckily...LUCKILY I keep records of everything regarding the truck. Every tank of gas, every observation or change, and every bit of service I perform. So I looked in my book and noticed that the first time I refilled the coolant was at 32k. This is just my handwritten record, but I have my receipt for the coolant with the date I bought it. That's probably enough documentation to tip the grey area in my favor.

So....inspect your radiators, and even if you have to pay, have someone top up your coolant and keep the receipt. Many of us on this board are still under warranty, so now is the time!

Per the dealer, if the coolant loss was severe, you can have a rad installed by any garage and fight with FCA later to reimburse you. It doesn't have to be done by a dealer, though customer service stressed that it's better if it is because they have an in place mechanism for flat-rating the dealer. Speaking of, my dealer couldn't come up with a part number for the rad, but he took a guess that it's a 1-2 hour job. I haven't bothered to see how/if the rad differs from the minivan unit, or if it crosses with any other OEM part number.

And that's the story so far.
 

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Well done on your detective work. I think you mentioned the issue before on this forum right? Can you document that to back up to a point in time when the warranty applied? By itself that would not sway the dealer or Dodge but credibility goes a long way when you are making noise. That might be something to stand on? Good luck and thanks for sharing the info. That will surely help someone else someday.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I suspect that at only 4 months old they would cover it without much arm twisting, but I can show the date I bought the coolant. If for some reason they don't believe that it had 32k when I added coolant, I can pull records from the Qualcom in the truck which will prove it, or records from the Rand McNally nav thingy I use.

If it was 4 years since new, they might argue, but 4 months is a no-brainer. I'd have a slam dunk Lemon Law claim just based on the age.

I suppose I could suggest something like "even if you aren't losing coolant, turkey baster some out and have the dealer re-add it if you are still under warranty". That wouldn't be very ethical, but it could cover your butt someday.
 

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I've been going to the dealer for the last 3 months smelling coolant and yesterday they finally found the leak! I was going to post it but you beat me to it. I was so excited that they finally found it but then the bad news. The product is on back order with no ETA. They told me they only ever see that when it's going to be recalled. I'm under warranty but hopefully ever one will get the part fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is your leak in the same spot as mine?

My dealer gave me the same shrug...."we don't have a delivery date for a radiator". I assumed he was just giving me the brush off.

Time will tell. I am just crazy happy that I found it, it's not catastrophic, and I can live with it even if I don't get it fixed. Although I will say that after a few days on the road I smell like pancakes and maple syrup.
 

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Sounds like it is in the same spot. The guy said the coolant was 1/2 inch low since the last time i was in which was 1 month ago. I've never seen enough to drop on the ground but i always smell it.
 

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I have the same smell and from the same location! My tank is also down a bit below the low mark. I'll be visiting the dealer the first of the week!
 

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Mine has 13000 miles is low and ready to be topped off too. Been smelling it since fall. Waiting to see if a Brake noise fix is coming. With all the recalls, misc. minor issues, brakes and this should keep a mechanic busy for the better part of a day. Thanks Kip!
 

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I am in the same boat. Bought a gallon of coolant from MOPAR and topped of the res. about a month ago. I only have 15K miles
 

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Are the coolant leaks experienced all with the gas engine?

Any with the diesel? Or does it have a different radiator?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are the coolant leaks experienced all with the gas engine?

Any with the diesel? Or does it have a different radiator?
That's a great question. I can only assume that the diesel has a bigger or different radiator. It certainly will make more heat, or has the potential to make more. So far as I know, all the leak complaints have been from gassers, if only because so few diesels have been sold. Time will tell.

What's weird and interesting about this issue is that it was/is so hard to find. Pressure testing the rad should have revealed it immediately, but it didn't. Dealers should have found it by dying the coolant at the first hint of complaint, but they didn't. Taking a guess, it seems like maybe half of us have this issue. I predict all of us will have it eventually. Seems like takes about 8k to show up, but by 20k we all have it.
 

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My guess on why the radiator leak is hard to find is..

Coefficient of thermal expansion differences between metal and plastic make leak appear only when operating at full temp. Not when at temps below that in garage.
 

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Wow...Had it idling in our shop for a while last week and then smelled coolant. Didn't see any traces on the ground so chalked it up to heating up hoses or something of the like...going to check this out ASAP.
 

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Guys I just bought my promaster Dec 2014. 300 miles I smelled antifreeze and took it back. They found small leak said the factor seal plastic to aluminum was faulty. Claimed they replaced it and so far seems to be fixed. Now today it rained and the water is pouring in from running lights that are poorly sealed on top...What a joke. No more Dodge for me.
 

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My radiator is being replaced along with power steering hoses. Had a check engine light that shows a misfire on number 5 cylinder. They said it needs plugs and if i do it now it'll be cheaper @ only $275.00 what bargain! Number 5 cyl misfire is the most common misfire on these motors and is always a valve problem. If I didnt agree to change the plugs and it threw the misfire again he said they would claim it's the plugs again. I'm really interested in the radiator call back. Going to call ram in the morning I have a case number on it. Two flywheels radiator power steering lines 2 spare tire stow aways and I see a new head or motor in near future. This thing is a piece of crap.
 
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