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Old 07-21-2018, 09:22 AM   #1
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Over heating in town

All of a sudden, with 10k miles on the 2016 Prism, it occasionally overheats when driving in town with all the stop and go driving. It got hot once going up a long grade.


Has anyone else had this happen?

My thoughts are it's most likely a thermostat but I suppose it could be the fan not working at slower speeds. It looks like changing the thermostat could be challenging.


Of course we are on day 2 of a 2k mile, 3 week trip
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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Assuming you've checked your antifreeze level, fans would probably be my first suspect. Make sure your cooling sections (Radiators, Condensers, and any other associated items) are clean of dirt, leaves, etc. Thermostat not opening is a little less suspect if your not running hotter at cruising speeds.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:43 AM   #3
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A 2016 with only 10K miles the first thing I would check is look and see what has built a nest between the AC condenser and the radiator
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
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A 2016 with only 10 miles the first thing I would check is look and see what has built a nest between the AC condenser and the radiator
He said 10k miles. It's been on a few trips.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:56 AM   #5
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I've come across the issue a few times on tractors and big rig trucks, and it was always low coolant, plugged radiator(s), slipping fan belt (which would cause other problems along with it), thermostat, fan clutch not engaging - in this order.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyduo View Post
He said 10k miles. It's been on a few trips.
I thought id did an edit of that mistake thanks
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:14 AM   #7
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My first thought is to check the electric fan or clutch fan while it's running hot. It may tell you if your drawing air thru the radiator to keep it cool.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:16 PM   #8
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Likely an air flow problem if occurring at low speed in town. Not a lot of heat generated at low speed and not much air flow to cool the heat generated. A lot more air flow on the highway, so not likely a thermostat problem, especially given the age and low mileage if not overheating on the highway and only in town. A thermostat doesnít make any cold, it only controls the hot water leaving the engine, so why would it not control it in town, but control it on the highway? If the coach is not equipped with a coolant level sensor, the engine coolant may be low. However, if there is no coolant level sensor, coolant should be visually checked each time the fuel tank is filled. Airflow may be blocked by bug screens, debris, or inoperative fan clutches or fan motors, switches, relays, or fuses that control the fan motor.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
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Check the fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiDudi View Post
All of a sudden, with 10k miles on the 2016 Prism, it occasionally overheats when driving in town with all the stop and go driving. It got hot once going up a long grade.


Has anyone else had this happen?

My thoughts are it's most likely a thermostat but I suppose it could be the fan not working at slower speeds. It looks like changing the thermostat could be challenging.


Of course we are on day 2 of a 2k mile, 3 week trip
Pretty easy to check the fan. Start it, idle it until warm, slow drive in town until it begins to overheat. Pull over, leave engine running, pop hood. Is fan spinning?

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Old 07-21-2018, 02:18 PM   #10
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A Retired Diesel Mechanics Thoughts

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Pretty easy to check the fan. Start it, idle it until warm, slow drive in town until it begins to overheat. Pull over, leave engine running, pop hood. Is fan spinning?

Larry
Because a fan is turning, does not always mean it is working properly. Generally, when an electric fan motor is powered, it is working OK, although if the motor is bad, it may be turning slower than designed. Viscous fan clutches, if equipped, are much more difficult to diagnose because the fan will always turn. When a viscous fan clutch does not fully engage based on temperature, it will turn, yet produce insufficient air flow that can cause engine overheating and poor or no cooling from the air conditioner. Sometimes the only way to diagnose a failing viscus fan clutch is to replace it with a new clutch and see if the cooling problem is eliminated. Viscous clutches are designed to slip and even a small amount of slipping over designed engagement can cause very noticeable problems. Direct belt driven fans are seldom used any more due to wastefulness and noise. However, even a direct belt driven fan can slip if the belt is improperly tensioned or glazed. Electromagnetic clutches will usually burn up and fail if slipping so they are much more easily diagnosed when failed.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyduo View Post
Assuming you've checked your antifreeze level, fans would probably be my first suspect. Make sure your cooling sections (Radiators, Condensers, and any other associated items) are clean of dirt, leaves, etc. Thermostat not opening is a little less suspect if your not running hotter at cruising speeds.
I would suspect fans also, I have a 2016 with 22K miles and it has never run hot even in traffic at 100 + degrees while towing so it is not inherent in the Sprinter.
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:18 PM   #12
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Sounds like the fan or thermostat. We have been thru some very challenging heat with our sprinter. Climbing steep canyon walls in Moab in 115 degree heat with the outdoor thermometer on the dash readin 125 and ac on high ,no problem. Stuck in standstill traffic on I 10 in mobile Alabama in 100+ degree heat ac on high, no problem. I worry about a countdown from the def system traveling but never about overheating. It's a problem in your unit not a design problem.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:41 PM   #13
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Problem identified

The belt from the crank to the fan pulley had shredded. Trying to find one now. Looks like it will be fun to change.


Thanks for the suggestions. I overlooked the belt initially.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:57 PM   #14
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After getting the belt replaced, try going to a carwash and cleaning the radiator fins with soap, then a good water rinse. That cleans the bugs and the oils off of the radiator/transmission cooler and improves the cooling efficiency. I had to do that and it worked WONDERS, let me tell you!


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Old 07-21-2018, 09:02 PM   #15
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The belt from the crank to the fan pulley had shredded. Trying to find one now. Looks like it will be fun to change.


Thanks for the suggestions. I overlooked the belt initially.
Todayís belts are pretty tough. Suggest you inspect for a cause for the belt shredding. Very rare today, I believe.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:47 AM   #16
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Only 10K miles and a shredded belt it sounds to me as if something else is going on. At a bare minimum I'd be carrying a spare belt all the time and checking the condition of the belt very frequently until the real cause can be figured out. If everything pans out and you don't have an issue after you log another 10K miles then maybe it was a bad belt. I agree with previous comment that after (or during belt change, depends on access to the cooling stack) that you clean all the bugs and debris out. Happy to hear it's a simple fix (kinda) that can be done by an average DIY and you don't have to pay high $$$$ in labor costs. Time to take the DW Garter Belt off the rear view mirror and replace it with a fan belt. Oh, also if there is an Automatic Belt Tensioner on that belt check it for ease of spinning. That can cause a problem and shred the belt.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:18 AM   #17
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In April in Salt Lake City, I hit a large plastic box the went up under the MH and drove the radiator fan shroud up. The shroud was easy to put back in place - Im' wondering if it didn't nick the belt. I'll check out the serp belt also.



There are two tensioners on the serp belt - the pulleys on the crank and fan are double pulleys and the tensioners are on the serp belt only so the fan belt does not run over the tensioners.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:08 PM   #18
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Fixed

Kudos to the Mercedes dealer in Fife, WA for getting me in on about 2 hours notice, quickly fixing the problem under warranty and storing the MH for 3 days while we traveled in the toad.

As there is no tensioner on the belt, it is an elastic belt that requires special tools to install, along with removing the fan to get the belt on.

Tomorrow we're heading down the OR coast for a week.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:23 PM   #19
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As there is no tensioner on the belt, it is an elastic belt that requires special tools to install, along with removing the fan to get the belt on.
It also requires the utterance of special words to install. Words you tried all your adult life to keep your kids from hearing and using

Going to a coin operated car wash and using their pressure wand to clean the radiator and other cooling fins is not a bad idea but a BIG CAUTION. Fins are very flimsy and a high pressure stream from one of these wands that isn't straight into the radiator can bend them sideways and block air flow. Be careful.

If one has traveled muddy roads (attn Alaska Hwy Travelers) it's a good idea to have a shop and have them deal with cleaning the space between Radiator and A/C condenser, as well as back side of oil coolers. Unless you are a good DIY mechanic it's not an easy job but NOT cleaning it out can lead to perpetual overheating problems which could in turn lead to big engine damage.

Near liquid mud can fly up and pass through the first set of fins and then almost instantly dry out when it hits the hot radiator. Some will wash out during the next trip in a rainstorm but often some will merely drop in lumps when you hit bumps and build up a dam between the radiator and condenser. I've seen it so bad that mechanics have had to scoop it out with putty knives.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:40 PM   #20
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You will get to try out your heater on the Oregon Coast.
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