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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So overnight it was -17 degrees, and by the time I left for work it was -8. I started my truck 10 minutes or so before I left. It turned over tough, but started, which is what I expected.

When I got in my truck the temperature gauge was where it usually is when the truck is warm. As I started driving, the temp gauge quickly climbed to the max temp, which I figured was just due to the cold because the truck obviously was not that warm.

During the 15 minute drive to work I got absolutely no heat from the vents. I started hearing a small whine from under the dash area which I originally assumed was the HVAC not working properly.

As I pulled into my parking lot and stopped the truck, the whine continued, and there was steam coming from under the hood FCUK! I popped the hood and it looks as though the antifreeze reservoir overflowed and spilled into the engine bay. WTF!?!?

Soooo how effed is my truck? I am hoping that something froze up overnight and clogged the circulation of something? I have no idea where to even start. It is only going to get up to about 17 degrees here today. What should I do?

Thanks guys.
 

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Is there an off chance that the antifreeze in your rig isn't pre-mixed? Like the previous owner maybe mixed it themselves - and instead of distilled water used tap?
 

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your "bitter cold" is cute. it seems you may have an ice dam. park it in a warm garage overnight and see if that clears up the issue. if it does, then drain your rad and refill with some pre mix -40. should clear up the issue. oh and that whine you heard was probably your dry water pump trying to grenade itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess it's possible, or the mixture has too much water in it? I havent done anything with the antifreeze since I bought it, and went through all last winter without problem. I don't remember it getting this cold last year though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
your "bitter cold" is cute. it seems you may have an ice dam. park it in a warm garage overnight and see if that clears up the issue. if it does, then drain your rad and refill with some pre mix -40. should clear up the issue. oh and that whine you heard was probably your dry water pump trying to grenade itself.
Thanks. I wasn't actually going to use "bitter cold" until I saw it described online like that and thought it would be an effective title :)

I am at work all day, do you think it will melt enough for me to drive it this afternoon or should I set up a tow truck?
 

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What if the thermostat had frozen closed? Wouldn't that just circulate the fluid outside of the heater core and cause the overflow as well? Or I could be confused about the path of the radiator fluid. I was under the impression that if the thermostat was open, the hot fluid flowed through the heater core so the vents would blow hot and the temp gauge would read normal.
 

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No mater how cold it is, if you see a temperature gauge spike, STOP! You would not believe how many cooked motors we see at the shop because someone noticed an overheat issue but kept driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^^ That was the crazy part, good thing I wasn't going far, I need to change the oil this weekend anyway, good timing.

I just went out and ran the truck until it got up to temp, it didn't overheat, but I still got no heat out of the vents.
 

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^^ That was the crazy part, good thing I wasn't going far, I need to change the oil this weekend anyway, good timing.

I just went out and ran the truck until it got up to temp, it didn't overheat, but I still got no heat out of the vents.
The no heat out of the vents part could be because you loss so much fluid earlier today. You know how finicky our rigs get with low fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A bit of an update, I have started it twice today and let it warm up to operating temp. I drove it the 2nd time and it did not overheat, stayed at the normal operating temp.

However I still have no heat, at all, my antifreeze is below the minimum amount, due probably to losing some this morning.

I'll fill it up after work and hope that it fixes the heat problem.
 

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I have no reference point for -17! When I worked as a Conveyor Belt Specialist in my 20's, I worked in northern AZ where once it was around 5 degrees, and to me THAT WAS BITTER COLD!

Good luck man, hope ya sort it out!

Back in college I did ice sculpture competitions. My best year? Five hours outdoors in -28 (wind chill). Worst year it was 35 out - everything was melting like crazy. Six years later I am no so hardy...
 

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Radiator (and probably the heater core) froze solid because the coolant has too much water in and not enough antifreeze. The engine probably had enough residual heat to keep from freezing solid. You started driving, the radiator is solid, engine can't get rid of the heat. You overheated the engine and spit out coolant.

Now you are low on coolant, the heater won't work. If it is even thawed out.
As the day warmed up (and the heat soak of your overheated engine) thawed the radiator and now the truck will run fine without overheating.

Hopefully you didn't hurt the radiator. The tubes can expand and crush the fins killing airflow. Sometimes it is obvious that you hurt it, it will leak.

This problem WILL happen again the next time it gets cold. Get the anti-freeze tested and get it replaced so it can handle the coldest temperatures you will see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Final update on this.

Before this issue I was not getting heat while idling, I assumed the issue was low anti freeze that I read on here.

So after I lost some anti freeze from over heating this morning I had no heat whatsoever.

Tonight I filled the reservoir with fluid as well as the radiator. I put probably a gallon of fluid total into the truck!!!

I went for a drive and after about a mile I got my heat back. It actually has heat at idle too. So I assume the lack of heat today started with a stuck thermostat, then due to lack of antifreeze.

All is good, will check back in the morning!


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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So first you drove it overheating.
Then you drove it again with coolant below minimum?!
Are you looking to blow a head gasket?

There may be some premature failure in the near future...
 
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