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Why Is My Dodge Charger Running Hot?

The Dodge Charger is a fun car to drive, but if it's running hot, you could be posed to potentially mechanical damages. So what could be the reason this is happing? We have done the research to help you pinpoint this issue below.

If your Dodge Charger is running hot, it could be due to the following reasons:

  • Coolant Leak
  • Bad Water Pump
  • Bad Water Pump Gasket
  • Faulty Radiator
  • Bad Radiator Fan
  • Failed Thermostat
  • Blocked Hoses
  • Low Oil Level
  • Blown Head Gasket

No matter what engine is under the hood of your Dodge Charger, it is a warning sign something is wrong if it's running hot. In this article, we will discuss each of these mechanical parts and the warning signs of each. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about the Dodge Charger, so read on!

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A Dodge Charger at night in front of building in New Mexico on January 23 2021, Why Is My Dodge Charger Running Hot?

What does it mean when your car runs hot?

When your Dodge Charger starts running hot, it means the engine is overheating. The car continues to run but at a lower temperature because the fluid that brings the heat from the engine to the radiator is low or nonexistent.

Since this fluid transfers heat from the engine, when it's low, your engine will overheat itself, which could damage parts. The 5.7 L Hemi has been known to overheat for the Dodge Charger due to the radiator and water pump issues.

Don't get us wrong. The Dodge Charger is a sports car that adrenaline junkies love to drive. However, because of their power, they are prone to running hot. So no matter if you have the 3.6 L V6, 5.7 L Hemi, 6.2 L V8, or 6.4 L V8, you need to be aware of why your engine is overheating.

Let's take a look at the possible causes of this issue below:

A Dodge Charger on the desert

Coolant Leak

If your car is running hot, it could be due to a coolant leak. So the first step would be to inspect your engine's coolant level. If the engine is losing coolant, this could cause overheating issues.

Another common reason for running hot is a coolant loss, which you can verify by checking the color of your engine oil. If it's a brown or blood color, then this could be a sign of a head gasket failure, which will likely need professional assistance to fix.

Bad Water Pump

Another reason your car could be running hot is a water pump failure. In this case, the water pump may have been installed incorrectly and not working as efficiently as it should be. This process could also lead to head gasket failure; however, because the water pump is a more straightforward fix, you may want to start there first.

Bad Water Pump Gasket

If your Dodge Charger has a bad gasket, this can cause overheating issues. However, you will usually notice a coolant leak from the gasket in this case.

The water pump gasket keeps the water pump and the engine block sealed. If there is a problem with the gasket, such as a tear, then coolant can leak out, and the engine will overheat.

Faulty Radiator

A faulty radiator may be allowing hot coolant to flow into the water pump. This can cause your car to run hot. You will want to inspect the hoses and radiator for signs of wear or aging.

Bad Radiator Fan

When you use your air conditioning, it is common for the cooling fans to turn on. So if your car is running hot and the cooling fans turn on, you could have a bad radiator fan.

Failed Thermostat

Your Dodge Charger's thermostat regulates how hot your engine runs. If this part is broken or faulty, then it will let your engine run at higher temperatures than it should be. This can cause your car to run hot.

Blocked Hoses

If your car's cooling system is blocked, then this can cause overheating issues. In most cases, the heater core will be clogged. To check if this is the problem, you will need to remove it and inspect it for debris or corrosion that may be blocking coolant flow.

Low Oil Level

If your car's engine is running hot, then this may be because you have very little oil in the engine. For example, if your Dodge Charger has no oil or enough, it will run hot. Check the oil dipstick to determine if enough oil is for proper lubrication.

Blown Head Gasket

If your car's cooling system is overheating, you may have a blown head gasket. This means an issue with the metal seal between the engine block and cylinder head(s). You will need to take your Charger into the shop for professional assistance to fix this problem.

How do I stop my car from running hot?

If you notice your Dodge Charger running hot, you can do a few things to stop the issue.

Turn off the Air Conditioning

Turn off your air conditioning when driving at high speeds. This will prevent your Charger from overheating. Also, turn off the air conditioning when driving around town. If possible, only use the system when you are stuck in traffic or going very slowly.

Turn on the Heater

Ensure that your heater core is turned on and heating the cabin during cold weather. This will help to stop your engine from running hot from cooling issues.

Check Fluids

Ensure your car's cooling system has enough fluid and inspect the system for any debris or metal shavings that may be causing a problem.

Check for Antifreeze Leak

If you notice a sweet smell while driving, this could be a sign of an antifreeze leak. You will need to get it checked out by an auto specialist.

Let it Cool Down

Allow your car's engine to cool down before shutting it off by pulling over and allowing time for this process. For example, you may want to wait another 10 minutes before driving your car again.

Check the Oil Level

Hands checking the oil level in the engine before a trip

Ensure you have enough oil in the engine for proper lubrication and keep the engine's temperature down to prevent overheating issues.

Check the Hoses

Check your cooling system's hoses to see any leaks or damage that may be causing losing coolant. If you notice a leak, you will want to get this fixed as soon as possible.

Inspect Radiator Fan

Check your car's radiator fan to see if it is working correctly and turning on when the AC is turned on. If not, then you may need a new cooling fan for your car so that it continues to run cool while the AC is in use.

Watch the Thermostat

If your Dodge Charger keeps overheating, then you may want to replace the thermostat as well as replace the water pump and gasket for it.

Check Engine Leak

If there is a leak in the cooling system or head gasket issue, then you will need to get your car towed into a professional shop so that they can fix the problem.

If you know that your cooling system requires repairs, then take your car to the garage and get it inspected for issues. This will prevent further problems such as overheating.

Steam coming out of car engine while mature man is opening the hood

What are the symptoms of a bad thermostat?

If your Dodge Charger's thermostat is malfunctioning, then this will cause the engine to overheat. This is because heat cannot be released from the engine, and fluids will not circulate through it as they should.

In addition, you may have leakage into the engine compartment, or your heater may fluctuate temperatures.

If you run into this problem, then there are some things you can do on your own before taking it in for professional assistance.

How much does it cost to fix overheating car?

The price to fix your overheating car will depend on what needs to be fixed. For example, you may need to change the thermostat, radiator fan, or other malfunctioning parts.

You will need to pinpoint the problem before knowing how much it will cost to fix it. However, if you let the issue go too long, you will be taking the risk of more parts being damaged. As a result, you will be looking at more labor and part costs.

Young mechanic feeling worried while the car is smoking in a repair shop

When do you need to replace the head gasket?

If you need to replace your Dodge Charger's head gasket, then this means that there is a significant problem with your engine. You will notice a burning smell and white smoke coming from the engine and coolant issues. These are all signs of a bad head gasket.

Final Thoughts

Fixing overheating car issues will help you save money, but only if the problem is discovered early. The sooner it's fixed, then the less you'll have to spend on having your vehicle repaired or replaced.

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