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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a 2016 Challenger Hellcat with 1,261 miles that I purchased from a dealer a couple weeks ago. A day after I brought it home, I was on a spirited drive and when I shut it off I had coolant leaking in the garage under the overflow bottle and running out the passenger side of the car. The dealer sent a flatbed, took it to the dealership, and diagnosed it as a bad radiator cap. The next day they said that had to "burp" (purge?) it several times to get all the air out of the system. Fast forward to today and, once again after a performance drive, I park the car and it starts to do the same thing. I started the car back up, checked the temp again, and then shut it off and it was fine. I don't understand what is happening and wondered if anyone else has experienced this with their cars. Once thing to note is that both times it was driven in Track mode but was not hot when I shut it off. Any thoughts?
 

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Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
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The passenger side would be the supercharger intercooler reservoir. I don't recall anyone mentioning this issue before. The driver's side is the reservoir for the radiator. That one is kinda common to have to replace the cap. Sometimes they don't seal right if you remove them. Often people replace the cap to resolve the it. I'm curious on the issue tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The passenger side would be the supercharger intercooler reservoir. I don't recall anyone mentioning this issue before. The driver's side is the reservoir for the radiator. That one is kinda common to have to replace the cap. Sometimes they don't seal right if you remove them. Often people replace the cap to resolve the it. I'm curious on the issue tho.
The dealer said the cap was the issue, but they also said they had to get the air out 4 times. Maybe after all those times the cap doesn't seal any longer.
 

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Did you pop the hood and look for the source when you saw the fluid? That would be my suggestion. If it's leaking bad enough to be running out under the car it should be obvious where it is coming from visually. It's entirely possible that one of the hoses is leaking at one of the clamp locations which seals just fine when the car is cool or nut under high pressure (a hard run). I'm assuming the dealership pressure tested both system (cooling and intercooler)? If so, they should have found anything that was causing a leak of that size.
 

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Ditto, a LOT of us have lost faith in dealerships. They may not be filling it correctly either. If it is coming out of the overflow tube, it will self level itself; if it was overfilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you pop the hood and look for the source when you saw the fluid? That would be my suggestion. If it's leaking bad enough to be running out under the car it should be obvious where it is coming from visually. It's entirely possible that one of the hoses is leaking at one of the clamp locations which seals just fine when the car is cool or nut under high pressure (a hard run). I'm assuming the dealership pressure tested both system (cooling and intercooler)? If so, they should have found anything that was causing a leak of that size.
It is leaking out of the radiator overflow bottle (both occasions) from the overflow hose. The first time it drained the bottle quite a bit, this time not as much. I am wondering whether I should just look at a quality aluminum overflow canister (similar to a Moroso unit I saw) and replace the factory one.
 

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Dumb question, but where is the level when the engine is cold? Is it at the lines on the side of the tank?
 

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Any idea how much coolant you lost? Did it drain the coolant reservoir? Sometimes getting the air out is a pain.
 

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2016 Bright White Challenger
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First, as stated your passener side (smaller tank) is for your blower, and your driver side (large tank behind intake) is your engine coolant. You really need to burp both systems after opening them.

Its simple;
-for engine coolant level: Leave cap off, put a funnel with extra coolant in it (sorta sticking out of the res so the coolant isn't spilling because its held in by the funnel), turn car on, heat on high and let it idle til coolant gets warm enough for thermostat to open (gonna take a while so have a few beers while you wait or something) and then once it burps a few times and you see the level in the funnel change, put the cap on. this will get rid of any air in your system and wont make your hoses kink. squeeze them a few times to get any extra air out but ensure the funnel is there, or you will create vacuum and cause more air to enter the system.

-for blower coolant level; fill until it shows the lines, run the car hard and get it warm, and then once it cools off top off coolant. I am unsure if the blower has a thermo (im almost sure it doesnt but not positive), so the burping method doesnt work as well. I think you might have to follow someone elses advice if we are talking about your blower overflow resiv.

both have overflow lines that run to the ground so overfilling wont ever be an issue. I painted by tanks because they were discolored and when asked how I'd know if the level was high enough, I just told them I would top it off and let he car level itself out.

How To Bleed or "Burp" Air Out Of Your Car's Cooling System To Prevent Overheating! DIY - YouTube

here's a video. Stop taking your car to a dealer, regardless of warranty. Become self sufficient at this stuff cus in the long run, you cannot lean on a dealer to properly fix your machine. They're a business and their profits come from your demise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Any idea how much coolant you lost? Did it drain the coolant reservoir? Sometimes getting the air out is a pain.
The coolant level is currently about a finger's width below the "full cold" range. Last time it happened it drained the reservoir. This time it stopped once I started the engine again.
 

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The coolant level is currently about a finger's width below the "full cold" range. Last time it happened it drained the reservoir. This time it stopped once I started the engine again.
wait, you ran the car hard and when you got back it evacuated ALL coolant in the reservoir? that is not normal at all. which reservoir, about how long after did it start doing that? Did you check the hose clamps on the bottom of both? Sounds like a massive leak, not a overflower/car getting hot issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wait, you ran the car hard and when you got back it evacuated ALL coolant in the reservoir? that is not normal at all. which reservoir, about how long after did it start doing that? Did you check the hose clamps on the bottom of both? Sounds like a massive leak, not a overflower/car getting hot issue.
Car did not get hot and was in normal operating temps. The first time it happened last week (day after I took delivery of the car), it started to drain after I shut it off and it continued to do so emptying the overflow tank. The dealer sent a flatbed, towed it to their dealership, and did the cap was not sealing and let air into the system. They said they had to "burp" it several times to get all the air out of the system and then they delivered it back to me on Friday afternoon. I drove it Saturday and Sunday with no issues. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon after I brought it home from the tire shop. I drove it home and although the temp was not hot, it started draining coolant from the overflow tank again when I shut it off. I restarted the engine to see what the exact numerical temp of the engine was and when I shut it off again, it was no longer leaking coolant out of the reservoir. When it is leaking it seems as if the overflow tank is pressurized and it is not letting the coolant go anywhere, that is why it overflows. I generally do my own work but with this car just being purchased the dealer did this "repair" (i put that in quotes as it obviously wasn't repaired) at their expense.
 

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Car did not get hot and was in normal operating temps. The first time it happened last week (day after I took delivery of the car), it started to drain after I shut it off and it continued to do so emptying the overflow tank. The dealer sent a flatbed, towed it to their dealership, and did the cap was not sealing and let air into the system. They said they had to "burp" it several times to get all the air out of the system and then they delivered it back to me on Friday afternoon. I drove it Saturday and Sunday with no issues. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon after I brought it home from the tire shop. I drove it home and although the temp was not hot, it started draining coolant from the overflow tank again when I shut it off. I restarted the engine to see what the exact numerical temp of the engine was and when I shut it off again, it was no longer leaking coolant out of the reservoir. When it is leaking it seems as if the overflow tank is pressurized and it is not letting the coolant go anywhere, that is why it overflows. I generally do my own work but with this car just being purchased the dealer did this "repair" (i put that in quotes as it obviously wasn't repaired) at their expense.
Gotcha, glad you do your own work

Overflow shouldn't occur from heat or anything heat related, simply from having too much coolant inside the system. This is a weird issue. I personally would do a full system check, down to the thermostat. That way you KNOW for fact everything is in order as its supposed to be.
 

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I just checked mine, after moderate driving, and it barely moved up from cold.
 

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Car did not get hot and was in normal operating temps. The first time it happened last week (day after I took delivery of the car), it started to drain after I shut it off and it continued to do so emptying the overflow tank. The dealer sent a flatbed, towed it to their dealership, and did the cap was not sealing and let air into the system. They said they had to "burp" it several times to get all the air out of the system and then they delivered it back to me on Friday afternoon. I drove it Saturday and Sunday with no issues. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon after I brought it home from the tire shop. I drove it home and although the temp was not hot, it started draining coolant from the overflow tank again when I shut it off. I restarted the engine to see what the exact numerical temp of the engine was and when I shut it off again, it was no longer leaking coolant out of the reservoir. When it is leaking it seems as if the overflow tank is pressurized and it is not letting the coolant go anywhere, that is why it overflows. I generally do my own work but with this car just being purchased the dealer did this "repair" (i put that in quotes as it obviously wasn't repaired) at their expense.
That is just crazy to me. In order for the fluid to come out the overflow it must create enough pressure to activate the bypass in the cap (18 psi) so it can escape through the overflow tube. Then once the pressure gets below 18 psi the spring closes the valve and it would stop coming out. So the cap must be bad but the crazy part to me is in order for the fluid to come out it must be at the very top of the coolant tank so it's not like it's a siphoning effect is happening where it's flowing from a lower hose and suction keeps it going, it's got to be actively pushing it all out. I guess it could be a massive air bubble in the system but to be that big you "should" be having cooling issues to where the car would be running hot really fast.

If you are going to do the work yourself, go get a decent AC pressure test kit (or maybe rent one from a parts store like autozone) and see if it hold pressure. If so, put a new cap on the overflow and burp the system. If you don't have one, get a lisle funnel as it makes burping a system like this stupid easy. https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-24680-Spill-Free-Funnel/dp/B00A6AS6LY

Best of luck!
 

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Modern coolant caps have a pressure valve, to increase pressure when hot to prevent boiling, and a vacuum valve to admit air when the coolant contracts after it cools. One or two warm-up cycles ( like driving the car and parking it ) should eliminate air in the system. Also the filler for the system is higher than the engine and air will naturally vent out anytime the thermostat is open.
The concern is whether the engine is making "air" and if it can do that it means a head gasket. The check is to test the coolant and the gases above it for combustion products. There are various ways that can be done. If you just bought the car run it back to the dealer and make it clear you want them to test drive it with until this problems appears again.
Maybe it is a simple fix. Maybe not. Be there when the engine displays this problem to them.
 

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I don't think it's a boiling problem, unless it does it at rest after hard driving, in which case it would be POSSIBLE, but still seems strange.
Another, though unlikely problem, is that there is a leak in the aftercooler bricks that is allowing air to be stuffed into the coolant stream by the uberstuffer, and conversely, to leak out in low-throttle-opening situations.

I ran both of my cooling systems with no pressure caps until the water had all boiled off over time, adding pure food-grade propylene glycol to them as the levels decreased from water boiling off. I now run the car without any pressure, the caps just loosely set on their respective tanks. Propylene glycol boils at 380 degrees, so if it is currently a a boiling problem somehow with your car, doing what I did will show that it is, indeed, an air infiltration problem if the problem persists.

Eliminating variables is often the cheapest way forward, but if you are under warranty you may not want to do anything they can jump and say "Aha! That's why we won't warranty the fact that the driveshaft fell off, because you had pure PG coolant!"
 
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