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Ezareth

2011 GT500 Coolant explosion Under hood

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So I noticed the first night I drove her 130 miles home that a little bit of steam was escaping around the overflow reservoir cap and didn't think much of it. I wasnt about to check it that hot and it was such a long drive I figured that she was running hot and forgot to check it later.

 

I drove 5 miles to and from Starbacks after work today(she'd been in my garage all day) and about half a mile from home I notice steam pouring from my hood vents. I pull it into my driveway and it is literally gushing steam all over. I didn't want it to ruin my paint and stripes so I took the hose to her and lifted the hood. The underside of the hood was covered in pink antifreeze/coolant as was my entire engine compartment. I sprayed everything off with the hose and then took a good hour wiping everything down inside.

 

By the time she cooled down 45 minutes later when I checked the cap I was able to unscrew it with just the weight of my rag sitting on top of it...it was literally could half fallen off on it's own with a full rotation. I tightened it down and noticed that unlike the coolant tank to the right of it doesn't "click" very strongly and seems a bit to easy to unscrew. Does anyone know of the caps on the right and left reservoirs should have the same "feel" to them?

 

If this is because someone at the factory didn't tighten the cap I'm going to be pissed. If it leaked out of the overflow reservoir I should be OK on coolant to drive it right? Advice would be appreciated.

Edited by Ezareth

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So I noticed the first night I drove her 130 miles home that a little bit of steam was escaping around the overflow reservoir cap and didn't think much of it. I wasnt about to check it that hot and it was such a long drive I figured that she was running hot and forgot to check it later.

 

I drove 5 miles to and from Starbacks after work today(she'd been in my garage all day) and about half a mile from home I notice steam pouring from my hood vents. I pull it into my driveway and it is literally gushing steam all over. I didn't want it to ruin my paint and stripes so I took the hose to her and lifted the hood. The underside of the hood was covered in pink antifreeze/coolant as was my entire engine compartment. I sprayed everything off with the hose and then took a good hour wiping everything down inside.

 

By the time she cooled down 45 minutes later when I checked the cap I was able to unscrew it with just the weight of my rag sitting on top of it...it was literally could half fallen off on it's own with a full rotation. I tightened it down and noticed that unlike the coolant tank to the right of it doesn't "click" very strongly and seems a bit to easy to unscrew. Does anyone know of the caps on the right and left reservoirs should have the same "feel" to them?

 

If this is because someone at the factory didn't tighten the cap I'm going to be pissed. If it leaked out of the overflow reservoir I should be OK on coolant to drive it right? Advice would be appreciated.

 

I have about 600 miles on mine and i just went out took check my caps after reading your post ,they both did click when i turned them if that helps.

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I have about 600 miles on mine and i just went out took check my caps after reading your post ,they both did click when i turned them if that helps.

 

 

Do they both "click" with the same degree of strength? The one that was leaking has a very "weak" click like it is almost stripped or something.

 

Thanks!

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Does anyone know of the caps on the right and left reservoirs should have the same "feel" to them?

 

 

 

As far as I know, they are the same exact cap with the same part number and interchangeable. I have both of my old caps in a box on a shelf and I can double check for you if you like (look for a part# on the caps).

 

If they were different, they would need to be labled so someone didn't mix them up by mistake.

 

 

Phill

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Ok problem is much worse than I expected.

 

After I let her cool down I took her about 2 miles down the road and kept her around 1K rmps. Suddenly my heat guage goes red and I notice the needle is frikin buried. I pull her into the nearest parking lot and turn on the heat and shut off the engine. I notice the air coming through the vents is ice cold with the temp jacked up to 80+ degrees. It took me 3 times off pulling over to get her back home and the air coming through the vents will not heat up. In the past this is something you could do to help a car that was overheating. Something is seriously messed up.

 

Do these cars still have a thermostat? If so could mine be locked up? (I've seen that happen on my old cars back in the day) Maybe some moron at the plant didn't hook up the heat exchanger right? Help!

 

Now I'm faced with the Dilema of calling a tow truck in the morning to take it to the dealer or trying to drive it in myself. Gah!

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Call the dealer and get them involved. They should tow that "5" in and get it repaired. Sounds like a thermostat stuck in the closed position.

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Sounds like your cooling system not circulating...........Don't drive it..............

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Sounds like your cooling system not circulating...........Don't drive it..............

 

 

Yeah I kept pulling it over as soon as the guage went red.

 

Only thing is I don't want some jackass tow truck company screwing up my car towing it to the dealership.

 

The Dealership is 5 miles away. Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to help get it there? Should I put some water in the coolant reservoir?

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Sounds like your cooling system not circulating...........Don't drive it..............

 

 

 

Sounds like you have air and/or low coolant in your system. Let Ford come pick it up and purge the air out of the system. Don't let it overheat too much because heat and aluminum heads don't mix too well.

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Sounds like you have air and/or low coolant in your system. Let Ford come pick it up and purge the air out of the system. Don't let it overheat too much because heat and aluminum heads don't mix too well.

 

 

You were right. I just dumped 12 aquafina bottles of water into the reservoir and ran it a little bit, heat kicked on after a few minutes of running (the water was ice cold) and the coolant level dropped which purged the air out of it. Ran for a good 10 minutes without going above halfway heat. Going to add a few more bottles once she cools down to bring the level up to "cool level" as it says in the GT500 supplemental and take her into the dealership in the morning for a coolant flush.

 

Looks like a loose coolant cap was the cause of everything, glad I can drive it and the thermostat appears to be working.

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You were right. I just dumped 12 aquafina bottles of water into the reservoir and ran it a little bit, heat kicked on after a few minutes of running (the water was ice cold) and the coolant level dropped which purged the air out of it. Ran for a good 10 minutes without going above halfway heat. Going to add a few more bottles once she cools down to bring the level up to "cool level" as it says in the GT500 supplemental and take her into the dealership in the morning for a coolant flush.

 

Looks like a loose coolant cap was the cause of everything, glad I can drive it and the thermostat appears to be working.

 

 

You were spot-on about cranking the heater on, to help draw off heat from the engine. As you thought, the heater core can act as an auxilliary radiator to help get rid of engine heat if the main radiator is inoperative.

 

Based on your subsequent posts, it sounds like a lack of coolant volume was a big culprit in your overheating problem. The lack of a tight reservoir cap caused a loss of coolant volume and pressure. Don't underestimate the effect of pressure loss on cooling system efficiency. I once had the upper radiator hose on my 1970 Olds 442 develop a split. The hole in the hose was the size of a pencil tip, but the volume of coolant loss was amazing (it made a friggin' MESS of my nice engine bay!).

 

From inside the car, I only became aware of the problem when the temp gauge literally went from 1/4 of the way above "C", to being pegged at "H", in the span of about 15 seconds. In other words, pressure-integrity of the cooling system matters!!

 

Accordingly, make sure the dealer pressure-tests the cooling system. Don't just assume a loose reservoir cap caused the problem. For all you know, you could have a leaking head gasket or a defective radiator. Make sure they check it out thoroughly.

 

For your question on towing versus driving 5 miles to the dealership, I firmly believe the car will not heat up enough in 5 miles to hurt it (assuming you are not driving 5 miles in L.A. traffic....).

 

I read in my owner's manual that the car will deactivate cylinders and employ other engine-management tactics, to enable you to limp to a garage even if the cooling system is shot. I'm curious to know if you encountered any intervention from the car's computer system to deal with the problem.

 

Hope everything checks out Ok on the car!

 

Now, pardon me while I run out to the garage to make sure my radiator and intercooler reservoir caps are on tightly!!

Edited by KEYSTONE

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So from what I remember...

 

Yes, pressure in the cooling system matters. As part of the Ideal Gas law equation, introducing pressure in the system effectively results in raising the boiling point of the water inside the engine, thus it takes much more heat before the water in the system will boil; this is a good thing for an engine cooling system.

 

However, this is also why it is recommended that you open a hot radiator cap sloooooowwwwwllly and carefully as, once the liquid in it is exposed to normal, atmospheric pressure, it immediately becomes "super heated" water and can scald and burn.

 

As to the overflow reservoir, it is used when the pressure in the cooling system exceeds the pressure rating on the radiator cap. So for example, if the cap has a pressure rating of 13lbs and the pressure in the cooling system exceeds this, the spring in the radiator cap will get depressed by the pressure and vent the hot water/coolant to the reservoir.

 

When the engine is hot, it does no good to fill the overflow reservoir as the cooling system will only draw the water/coolant back in when the engine is cool (and a vacuum forms drawing the water/coolant back into the radiator).

 

The engine block holds water/coolant at all times and it is circulated through the water jacket in the block via the water pump. When the water in the block reaches a temperature hot enough to open the thermostat, it should open and the radiator then takes the hot water in from the block, cools it and returns it to the block. This flow cycle repeats and the "sealed" system cools your engine as you drive.

 

If you develop a leak in the system somewhere, (loose rad cap, split hose, etc…) that would cause a loss of fluid (and pressure, so now the boiling point is normal at atmospheric pressure), then the cooling system runs low on water/coolant and the engine begins to overheat (and the needle moves on the gauge).

 

Additionally, when the "sealed" cooling system is compromised somehow, air is likely to get inside it and into the block and radiator, this is bad. Many times you will top off the radiator (and think it is full) and then moments later, with the engine running, the gauge will peg out to hot, because there is still not enough water in the system. And the overflow reservoir is no help, since the system is now hot, a vacuum cannot form so it will not draw liquid in from the overflow reservoir.

 

So, if the system is up at operating temperature and the gauge pegs to hot, and you need to add water, fill the radiator (carefully) and slowly, while the engine is running. This avoids cracking the block or warping the head because adding cold water to an engine that is off can shock the system. The running engine (and water pump) will circulate the cold water better than if you were to add cold water to a hot, but not running engine (don't ask me how I know).

 

Once the system has cooled down, then top off the overflow reservoir. For good measure, check the radiator again at the cap and top off as needed.

 

But, others here are correct. Somehow the "sealed" system seems to have lost coolant. Either by human error (loose cap) or by some other means (leak somewhere) or vented off (bad thermostat - if the therm will not open, the pressure gets too high, the cap opens and the coolant vents off to the reservoir. If the reservoir overflows and dumps water, then once the system cools, the vacuum forms emptying the reservoir, but it draws in less than it vented. If this happens repeatedly, over time the coolant level will go down and the car will not have enough coolant and thus overheat.

 

I agree, I would get it to the dealer and…

 

- Have them check the fluid levels

 

- Bleed the air out of the cooling system (if there is any)

 

- Check that the system will hold pressure (no leaks)

 

- Confirm that the caps fit correctly

 

- Confirm that the thermostat is working (opening) properly and at the correct temp

 

Once this is done, carry some water with you just in case and keep your eye on the temp gauge.

 

Essentially, it is designed as a "sealed" system with all the elements working correctly; the radiator, the thermostat and the reservoir. It should never lose fluid (except a small amount to evaporation over time).

 

Hope you can get this fixed and back out enjoying your car!

 

-Pockdog

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Sort of similar situation happened to me a few years ago.

 

I just bought an SRT8 Charger brand new and was taking a trip to so. cal from phoenix that same day. Well i didnt think anything about it and went on my way to cali. Nothing really happened that day but the following day i was going to see my friend at the ford dealer in ontario and he wanted to look under the hood. So i open it and to my surprise coolant is on the block and all over the radiator cover. but the funny thing is i didnt see any steam or smoke. Well i turns out the Radiator overflow cap was just sitting on top. I dont know how it stayed on but it was wierd.

 

And how does that stuff get through the dealer PDI!? I mean these dealers make it seems so serious that they do the PDI but maybe they should take more pride in doing a good job at it then. Thats why ill stick with my fords!!!!!

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Just went out and checked my radiator fluid cap....it was loose and needed to be tightened more. Now mind you it wasn't "1 turn off loose" but it was halfway.

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That sucks, we assume everything is serviced correctly and find out other wise. It's always a good idea to check the simple operator level service points on the car regularly.

 

Now I would like to add some info for everyone that has a problem with a car that is in warranty. As soon as you notice something is wrong DO NOT do anything accept get the car to a safe place off the road. DO not try to fix it yourself by adding fluids or adjusting this or tightening that. Think of your car as a crime scene. Do not mess with the evidence. As soon as an owner starts fiddling with the elements of the failure it clouds the original condition and puts doubt into the dealers mind. No matter how good your intentions are it is perceived as a cover up.

 

For example if the OP's car has sustained internal damage from the overheating, now the dealer looks at the car and it's full of fluid and the cap is tight. Well, what's wrong with that? oh, you say the cap was lose, really? it's tight now. You have tampered with the evidence and now it's your word vs. theirs

 

I understand the inconvenience and fears of towing and dealers in general but the consequences and costs are too high to ignore. "rant off"

Edited by blazeone

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A little off subject question my 2011 seems to get really hot when driving not the temp gauge but in the car and under the hood, so much it heats my garage up is this normal?

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A little off subject question my 2011 seems to get really hot when driving not the temp gauge but in the car and under the hood, so much it heats my garage up is this normal?

 

 

Yeah, these engines put out a ton of heat. I've noticed it too. As long as your temp isn't going up and up, I think you're okay.

 

But I've noticed if I bring the car back after driving it and wash it - before I get a chance the front wheels are dry and half of the hood is dry before I get around to finish washing the rest of the car. The heat is just coming off of the engine like crazy.

Edited by Burning Blue Star IV

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Well I took her into the dealer (this one about 15 miles from my home) and they pinned the problem on a faulty thermostat. I had the heat on the whole way in and it was working fine, the temperature guage was below 50% the entire time but they said when they tested it it overheated. They had to order one and it will be in on Thursday so I had to leave her at the dealership until then. They assured me they'd keep her indoors until then.

 

I hope the brief period of time she overheated didn't do any damage to the engine, but only time will tell. I didn't notice the vehicle shutting off cylinders or anything during this time but I never drove it more than 100 yards "in the red" and kept the RMPS at 1K.

 

My guess is the thermostat was getting stuck and then the coolant reservoir was building pressure which then blew the cap. I believe the cap is designed for just this to "blow" at 16PSI as they are labeled. If your cap is loose then I would keep an eye on it. Maybe the 11s have bad thermostats?

 

My dad said I should just take the thermostat out and not "chance it" with an aluminum engine overheating.

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My dad said I should just take the thermostat out and not "chance it" with an aluminum engine overheating.

 

 

Do *NOT* run your engine without a T-stat.

 

It is computer controlled and one of the parameters for the EEC system to go into closed-loop is that your engine must reach operating temp. The car will stay in open-loop, run rich, eventually set a MIL/code and go into "limp home mode".

 

This ain't yer daddy's oldsmobile......

 

 

Phill Pollard

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Do *NOT* run your engine without a T-stat.

 

It is computer controlled and one of the parameters for the EEC system to go into closed-loop is that your engine must reach operating temp. The car will stay in open-loop, run rich, eventually set a MIL/code and go into "limp home mode".

 

This ain't yer daddy's oldsmobile......

 

 

Phill Pollard

 

 

Haha my dad has a '99 Cobra but yeah technology has changed things quite a bit. I've removed the thermostat in one of my old cars back in the day when the heat wouldn't come on and had to put a piece of cardboard over the radiator to keep it from getting too cool. Glad my turning on the heat idea still made sense but I know better than to try any "home remedy" for fixing an issue, especially on a brand new vehicle under warranty. I'll be sure and bring that one up to him when I call him tonight.....he is always giving me advice about things that is either common sense or too dated.

 

He also suggested I look for a different "racing" thermostat and was worried that maybe the new block had something to do with the thermostat locking up considering this is the first year but considering my dealership had to order mine specifically I think there is only one made for the GT500 and why pay for something when it is covered under warranty?

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Sounds like you have air and/or low coolant in your system. Let Ford come pick it up and purge the air out of the system. Don't let it overheat too much because heat and aluminum heads don't mix too well.

 

 

Aluminum heads??? Try an aluminum block. He's screwed. The block is now warped and the cylinder coating is flaking off as I type. I tried telling him to stick with the 2010. :rant2:

 

As far as the caps, try swapping them and see it still feels the same.

 

Now relax Ez, I was just mess'n with ya. :finger:

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Aluminum heads??? Try an aluminum block. He's screwed. The block is now warped and the cylinder coating is flaking off as I type. I tried telling him to stick with the 2010. :rant2:

 

As far as the caps, try swapping them and see it still feels the same.

 

Now relax Ez, I was just mess'n with ya. :finger:

 

 

You forgot to menton the large puddles of molten alumunium on the ground. :hysterical:

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You forgot to menton the large puddles of molten alumunium on the ground. :hysterical:

 

 

STIG's lucky I luck his avatar so much I find it hard to critisize him.

 

Maybe my engine will be the first '11 to go )=

 

I'm definately getting the 7 year warranty on this baby!

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Yeah, these engines put out a ton of heat. I've noticed it too. As long as your temp isn't going up and up, I think you're okay.

 

But I've noticed if I bring the car back after driving it and wash it - before I get a chance the front wheels are dry and half of the hood is dry before I get around to finish washing the rest of the car. The heat is just coming off of the engine like crazy.

A lower temp thermostat really helps with underhood temps. It averages 105 here and since I put in the 170 I don't get that blast of heat when I open the hood.

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Just got the car back, running cool now except it came back dirty as hell with water spots all over it and 12 more miles on it than I left it with.

 

I delivered the car to them after just washing it in pristine condition.

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Sounds like someone helped break in your baby..rant2.gif When I leave mine with the service manager / body shop manager, I always state and make them confirm verbally & written on the work order "No Test Drive Allowed", my current mileage, signed by manager. That's how I've always done it with my nice cars, and keep doing it every time.

 

 

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Sounds like someone helped break in your baby..rant2.gif When I leave mine with the service manager / body shop manager, I always state and make them confirm verbally & written on the work order "No Test Drive Allowed", my current mileage, signed by manager. That's how I've always done it with my nice cars, and keep doing it every time.

 

I go as far as taking a photo of my odometer with my iphone when I turn the car over to them, making sure they see exactly what I am doing.

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Come on guys. It was taken in for warranty work for an overheating issue. It's not out of line for it to go through a short test drive to verify the issue is resolved.

 

These cars aren't made out of glass, and it makes the car no difference if YOU run it through the gears or someone else does. Maybe y'all have watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off a few too many times?

 

Glad she's good as new!

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Come on guys. It was taken in for warranty work for an overheating issue. It's not out of line for it to go through a short test drive to verify the issue is resolved.

 

These cars aren't made out of glass, and it makes the car no difference if YOU run it through the gears or someone else does. Maybe y'all have watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off a few too many times?

 

Glad she's good as new!

 

 

 

When one of those monkeys blows your engine and you spend the next nine months trying to get it right again will give you a whole new perspective!!!!!!

 

I agree with the others, no free rides...unless I'm present.

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When one of those monkeys blows your engine and you spend the next nine months trying to get it right again will give you a whole new perspective!!!!!!

 

I agree with the others, no free rides...unless I'm present.

 

 

The same monkeys from another mother built your car. You should consider fixing it yourself.

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