Chrysler Cirrus/Stratus/Sebring/Avenger/Breeze 1995-1998

Cooling System

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See Figure 1


CAUTION
Never remove the radiator cap under any conditions while the engine is hot! Failure to follow these instructions could result in damage to the cooling system, engine and/or personal injury. To avoid having scalding hot coolant or steam blow out of the radiator, use extreme care whenever you are removing the radiator cap. Wait until the engine has cooled, then wrap a thick cloth around the radiator cap and turn it slowly to the first stop. Step back while the pressure is released from the cooling system. When you are sure the pressure has been released, press down on the radiator cap (with the cloth still in position), then turn and remove the cap.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Cutaway view of a typical cooling system flow

FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



The cooling system should be inspected, flushed and refilled with fresh coolant at least every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or 36 months. If the coolant is left in the system too long, it loses its ability to prevent rust and corrosion.

When the coolant is being replaced, use a good quality ethylene glycol or equivalent type antifreeze that is safe to be used with aluminum cooling system components. The ratio of antifreeze to water should always be a 50/50 mixture. This ratio will ensure the proper balance of cooling ability, corrosion protection and antifreeze protection. At this ratio, the antifreeze protection should be good to -34°F (-37°C). If greater antifreeze protection is needed, the ratio should not exceed 70% antifreeze to 30% water.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 2

When checking the coolant level, the radiator cap need not be removed. Simply check the coolant level in the recovery bottle or surge tank.

Check the coolant level in the recovery tank, usually mounted near the firewall, to the right of the passenger side strut tower. The coolant recovery tank level should be between the ADD and FULL marks on the side of the recovery tank, when the engine is at normal operating temperature. Only add coolant to the recovery tank as necessary to bring the system up to a proper level.



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Fig. Fig. 2: Check the coolant level at the recovery tank. A proper level is between the FULL HOT (1) and ADD (2) marks on the side of the tank. Add coolant if necessary


CAUTION
Should it be necessary to remove the radiator cap, make sure the system has had time to cool, reducing the internal pressure.

DRAIN & REFILL



See Figures 3 through 9


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted by ethylene glycol antifreeze and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused until it is contaminated or several years old. To avoid injuries from scalding fluid and steam, DO NOT remove the radiator cap while the engine and radiator are still hot.

  1. Before draining the cooling system, place the heater's temperature selector to the full WARM position while the engine is running. This will provide vacuum for system operation.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine off before it gets hot and the system builds pressure.
  4.  
  5. Make sure the engine is still cool and the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
  6.  
  7. Remove the recovery tank cap.
  8.  

If the radiator draincock on Cirrus, Stratus and Sebring convertible models equipped with the 2.5L engine cannot be located, remove the right lower fog light unit from the front vehicle bumper/fascia. Then, loosen the mounting fastener and swing the horn out of the way. If necessary, unplug the wiring connectors.

  1. Place a fluid catch pan under the radiator. Turn the radiator draincock counterclockwise to open, then allow the coolant to drain. The coolant should drain out of the recovery tank first. On Cirrus, Stratus and Sebring convertible models equipped with the 2.5L engine, use a 3 inch long, 3 / 8 inch drive extension and a 19mm socket with universal joint.
  2.  
  3. Remove the radiator cap by performing the following:
    1. Slowly rotate the cap counterclockwise to the detent.
    2.  
    3. If any residual pressure is present, WAIT until the hissing stops.
    4.  
    5. After the hissing noise has ceased, press down on the cap and continue rotating it counterclockwise to remove it.
    6.  

  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Location of the horn, which must be moved aside on many 2.5L models. If necessary, also detach the horn's electrical connector (arrow)



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Fig. Fig. 4: With the horn removed, the draincock is accessible



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Fig. Fig. 5: Coolant draining through an opening and into a suitable container



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Fig. Fig. 6: While pressing down on the radiator cap, rotate it counterclockwise to remove



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Fig. Fig. 7: Clean the radiator cap's rubber gasket of any dirt to achieve a proper seal

  1. Allow the coolant to drain completely from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Close the radiator draincock.
  4.  

When filling the cooling system, be careful not to spill any coolant on the drive belts or alternator.

  1. Using a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and clean water, fill the radiator to the bottom of the filler neck and the coolant tank to the FULL mark.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Be sure to fill the cooling system to the bottom of the filler neck with a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol (or other suitable) antifreeze and water. Always use a funnel to avoid spills



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Fig. Fig. 9: Fill the coolant recovery tank to the proper level after filling the cooling system at the engine. Always use a funnel to avoid spills

  1. Install the radiator cap, then place the cap back on the recovery bottle or surge tank.
  2.  
  3. Start the engine. Select heat on the climate control panel and turn the temperature valve to full WARM. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature. Check to make sure there is hot air flowing from the floor ducts.
  4.  
  5. Check the fluid level in the recovery tank, and add as necessary.
  6.  

FLUSHING & CLEANING



  1. Drain the cooling system, as described in the preceding drain and refill procedure.
  2.  
  3. Close the drain valve.
  4.  

A flushing solution may be used. Ensure that it is safe for use with aluminum cooling system components, and follow the directions on the container.

  1. If using a flushing solution, remove the thermostat, then reinstall the thermostat housing.
  2.  
  3. Add sufficient water to fill the system.
  4.  
  5. Start the engine and run it for a few minutes. Drain the system.
  6.  
  7. If using a flushing solution, disconnect the heater hose that connects the cylinder head to the heater core (that end of the hose which connects to the fitting on the firewall). Connect a water hose to the end of the heater hose that runs to the cylinder head and run water into the system until it begins to flow out of the top of the radiator.
  8.  
  9. Allow the water to flow out of the radiator until it is clear.
  10.  
  11. Reconnect the heater hose.
  12.  
  13. Drain the cooling system.
  14.  
  15. Reinstall the thermostat.
  16.  
  17. Empty the coolant reservoir or surge tank and flush it.
  18.  
  19. Fill the cooling system, using the correct ratio of antifreeze and water, to the bottom of the filler neck. Fill the reservoir or surge tank to the FULL mark.
  20.  
  21. Install the radiator cap, making sure that the arrows align with the overflow tube.
  22.  

 
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