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A few weeks ago, I parked our 08 T&C (3.8). As I walked to the house I heard a big splat. I saw a puddle under the front. I heard boiling and opened the hood. The coolant was boiling in the reservoir and boiled over the overflow. I turned the car back on and the temp gauge was dead center normal. I started it and let it idle. It stopped and hasn’t happened again that I know of. Any ideas?
 

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Somebody overfilled your reservoir. The coolant expanded from the heat of the engine at shut down (all of a sudden, no circulation of coolant but still lots of heat to dissipate). Some engines use to have their fan running for a few minutes after shutdown. A 2.6L Mitsubishi engine in a 1981 K-Car did that.
 

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Somebody overfilled your reservoir.
I don't believe it can be overfilled by much, can it?
I had topped off a few days before this happened. But only to the full line on the reservoir. Then we drove it on a 4 hour trip. If it was over filled, that should have came out during that trip. But we drove it a few days after. And why would it be boiling and not on the hot side of the gauge?
 

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Coronavirus maybe? :)

Keep an eye on the coolant level in the radiator and the reservoir. Stay 6' away. :)

Max. line with the engine cold maybe?. If so, that will do it. Should fill to the min. line with engine cold. Those lines can be hard to see.

A little different set of circumstances from one day to the next,

The gauge, well, not very accurate as to actual temperature. Notice how it stays more or less in one spot while the coolant temperature is actually going up and down several degrees. The coolant was expanding some on shutdown, not extremely hot when circulating.
 

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I always fill recovery bottle all the way until it starts pouring out, never, ever had a problem.

Has to be something else.

Keep an eye on the radiator fan, make sure it is working as it should.
 

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I’ve been watching for over heating, but it’s not. The radiator was replaced about 3 years ago and the fan works good. Idk.
 

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I had topped off a few days before this happened. But only to the full line on the reservoir. Then we drove it on a 4 hour trip. If it was over filled, that should have came out during that trip. But we drove it a few days after. And why would it be boiling and not on the hot side of the gauge?
If you are thinking that there's an internal engine problem, like exhaust gases getting into the coolant, then ask yourself "why hasn't that happened again?".

If you have severe overheating, the gauge will show it and eventually, if bad enough, lights will start flashing.

You aren't there so far, but keep monitoring coolant levels to see what might be happening
 

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Check the two plastic "Y"s in the rear heater hoses; one under the brake booster and the other just behind the intake manifold/coil pack. They will crack and leak slightly at first, and you may not notice it. If the system is hot and loses pressure, it will boil over easier. Had a '92 Chevy Corsica with a slightly leaking throttle body heater hose leaking that did this. Once the bad hose was found and replaced, no more problems.
 

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Good suggestion about the radiator cap. Lower pressure will lower the boiling point of water and therefore may not register on the gauge.
But keep an eye on it and always have at least a jug of water in the vehicle until you sort this out.
 

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I always fill recovery bottle all the way until it starts pouring out, never, ever had a problem.
??? Coolant expands a lot with temperature, hence the "Full Cold" and "Full Hot" lines. If you fill it right to the top, it has nowhere to expand and will overflow. There is also a risk the overflow tank will rupture from excess pressure.
 

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??? Coolant expands a lot with temperature, hence the "Full Cold" and "Full Hot" lines. If you fill it right to the top, it has nowhere to expand and will overflow. There is also a risk the overflow tank will rupture from excess pressure.

That's an urban legend.

Recovery tank is equipped with an overflow safety discharge, what that is, you can not fill it up all the way to the top. Few inches before coolant reaches the top, it will start pouring out.

Try filling it up all the way to the top, you'll quickly find out it is impossible to keep coolant level up to the top.

In our vehicles, recovery bottle coolant is open to the atmosphere, is not under pressure. Even the recovery bottle cap is held fairly loose.

Now, you still believe the overflow bottle will explode for excess pressure? 🤣

Full Cold-Full Hot lines are there as a reference only, manufacturers think of everything.
 

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That's an urban legend.

Recovery tank is equipped with an overflow safety discharge, what that is, you can not fill it up all the way to the top. Few inches before coolant reaches the top, it will start pouring out.

Try filling it up all the way to the top, you'll quickly find out it is impossible to keep coolant level up to the top.

Now, you still believe the overflow bottle will explode for excess pressure? 🤣

Full Cold-Full Hot lines are there as a reference only, manufacturers think of everything.
What is an urban legend? That coolant expands with temperature?

If you fill it to the point it "pours out", when the coolant gets to operating temperature, it expands and more will pour out. So I don't understand why you would overfill it in the first place.

And yes, the overflow tank can rupture (I never said explode). On some cars, there is no traditional rad cap and the overflow tank is pressurized. The overflow tank cap is effectively a rad cap, and if the pressure release fails the tank can crack (without even being overfilled). Happened on my GM. My Ford has a pressurized overflow tank too.
 

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What is an urban legend? That coolant expands with temperature?

If you fill it to the point it "pours out", when the coolant gets to operating temperature, it expands and more will pour out. So I don't understand why you would overfill it in the first place.

And yes, the overflow tank can rupture (I never said explode). On some cars, there is no traditional rad cap and the overflow tank is pressurized. The overflow tank cap is effectively a rad cap, and if the pressure release fails the tank can crack (without even being overfilled). Happened on my GM. My Ford has a pressurized overflow tank too.

Here we go again.....

Urban Legen, people wrongly believe something bad would happen if recovery tank is overfilled, that can only happen in a pressurized recovery system, which it doesn't apply to "our vehicles" (our vehicles mean Dodge-Chrysler minivans as we are in a Dodge-Chrysler minivan forum, and specifically talking about a 2008 Chrysler minivan).

First, we are talking about Dodge/Chrysler minivans.
Second, I clearly stated "in our vehicles":

In our vehicles, recovery bottle coolant is open to the atmosphere, is not under pressure. Even the recovery bottle cap is held fairly loose.
"Our" recovery bottle can not possibly be damaged by overfilling it.

Comprende?
 

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I agree with Levy on this one. This forum is specific to Chrysler and Dodge models, and the OP is specifically about an 08 model, so we know the overflow bottle is not pressurized. No reason bringing up scary sounding examples of damaged cooling systems by overfilling.

And as the name suggests, an overflow bottle is just that and cannot technically be overfilled because it will, as the name suggests, overflow, even if it means spilling coolant outside.
 

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Here we go again.....

Urban Legen, people wrongly believe something bad would happen if recovery tank is overfilled, that can only happen in a pressurized recovery system, which it doesn't apply to "our vehicles" (our vehicles mean Dodge-Chrysler minivans as we are in a Dodge-Chrysler minivan forum, and specifically talking about a 2008 Chrysler minivan).

First, we are talking about Dodge/Chrysler minivans.
Second, I clearly stated "in our vehicles":



"Our" recovery bottle can not possibly be damaged by overfilling it.

Comprende?
Do you comprende?

My question was why would you fill it until it overflows? When it gets to operating temperature, more coolant will overflow. Then when it cools down, the level will be below the overflow level by about the difference between full hot and full cold. You're just wasting coolant and harming the environment.

Comprende?
 
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