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Had what we thought was a leak in the cooling system because coolant levels dropped in the reservoir. Took it to dealer and they say maybe a hiccup in the line when starting to use the rear heating. Got it back now noticing the engine temperature bounces all over the place. Ranging from 187-230. Differes from stop to start and stays a steady 195 while on the interstate. Noticed yesterday the fan won’t kick on even at 217 degrees when it should be kicking on by 185. I’ve looked for the cooling fan relay but can’t seem to find it. Any other ideas would be great. Also read it could be the coolant temp sensor but also having a hard time locating that. Never paid attention from the start whether the temperatures fluctuated that much but could it cause damage to anything with the temperatures bouncing back and fourth like that?
 

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Had what we thought was a leak in the cooling system because coolant levels dropped in the reservoir. Took it to dealer and they say maybe a hiccup in the line when starting to use the rear heating. Got it back now noticing the engine temperature bounces all over the place. Ranging from 187-230. Differs from stop to start and stays a steady 195 while on the interstate. Noticed yesterday the fan won’t kick on even at 217 degrees when it should be kicking on by 185. I’ve looked for the cooling fan relay but can’t seem to find it. Any other ideas would be great. Also read it could be the coolant temp sensor but also having a hard time locating that. Never paid attention from the start whether the temperatures fluctuated that much but could it cause damage to anything with the temperatures bouncing back and forth like that?
I don't know the answers to your questions, but you can try the search feature to find more posts. It probably needs to go back to the dealer service dept.
https://www.pacificaforums.com/forum/193-2017-chrysler-pacifica-minivan-general-discussion/40461-leaking-coolant.html?nojs=1#goto_threadtools
 

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Your temperatures sound pretty normal to me, and this is a big reason why most manufacturers don’t allow us to see real temperatures.

There’s a huge amount of fluctuation in a normally functioning cooling system, and I’ve never heard of a cooling fan that kicks on a 185. The fan in my Lincoln would kick on at 230, the Odyssey around 212, and my Pacifica will come on around 230 as well. If your temperatures are staying at 195 while going down the road, everything seems to be working as it should.
 

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Yes. Most thermostats don't even open until 192-195 F, so it makes no sense that the cooling fan would come on at 185.
Bogus information.
Also, depending on outside temp and work load on engine (idle?), 187 may be the highest temp the coolant may be able to maintain, as it is being used to heat the interior and using more btu's than the engine is making.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Your temperatures sound pretty normal to me, and this is a big reason why most manufacturers don’t allow us to see real temperatures.

There’s a huge amount of fluctuation in a normally functioning cooling system, and I’ve never heard of a cooling fan that kicks on a 185. The fan in my Lincoln would kick on at 230, the Odyssey around 212, and my Pacifica will come on around 230 as well. If your temperatures are staying at 195 while going down the road, everything seems to be working as it should.
Thank you for the information. Our Pacifica has reached temps over 230 but this is when we first noticed the high temps, while sitting at the gas station. We do not know if the fan kicked on or not. The temps cooled off once when we started to drive. Would you say it is normal for the temps to jump to high 220’s when you accelerate? For example when driving through town the Pacifica stays around 190 to 195. When we go to merge onto the interstate and while getting up to speed, which is 70, the temps will jump to about 228 to 230.
 

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Had what we thought was a leak in the cooling system because coolant levels dropped in the reservoir. Took it to dealer and they say maybe a hiccup in the line when starting to use the rear heating.
So just to clarify, the loss of coolant wasn't an actual leak anywhere in the system? Did they describe where it went? We also have a coolant loss (but so far only in the summer months - not sure how that happens).
 

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Thank you for the information. Our Pacifica has reached temps over 230 but this is when we first noticed the high temps, while sitting at the gas station. We do not know if the fan kicked on or not. The temps cooled off once when we started to drive. Would you say it is normal for the temps to jump to high 220’s when you accelerate? For example when driving through town the Pacifica stays around 190 to 195. When we go to merge onto the interstate and while getting up to speed, which is 70, the temps will jump to about 228 to 230.
Yeah, that sounds completely normal to me.

I saw 230° in the parking garage once, caused by slow-speed operation without much air blowing through the radiator. I'm fairly certain the cooling fan comes on around 232°, but most engines can see over 250 under normal operation. I tow a 3500 pound boat with mine, and keep a close eye on temperatures when I do. Even when pushing it hard, it's never seen higher than 238 degrees. But the indicator gauge has always displayed the completely normal midrange value.

Your van is operating as designed, and if you owned a non-Chrysler or vehicle before you probably are not used to seeing actual coolant temperatures. I've been monitoring temperatures for about a decade with different OBD readers in every vehicle I've owned, both for towing and otherwise, and temperatures jumping around is completely normal. Trust me, they all do this. You're not hurting a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Had what we thought was a leak in the cooling system because coolant levels dropped in the reservoir. Took it to dealer and they say maybe a hiccup in the line when starting to use the rear heating.
So just to clarify, the loss of coolant wasn't an actual leak anywhere in the system? Did they describe where it went? We also have a coolant loss (but so far only in the summer months - not sure how that happens).
No, there was not a leak anywhere. They had our van for two days and did different pressure tests and checked all hoses and found no coolant leaking anywhere. They told us that the problem was possibly from an air pocket being formed between the front and rear and when we began to use the rear heat, it pushed the air pocket through and the empty space filled with coolant. We didn’t understand where the coolant could have been going and couldn’t find any info else where so we took it in. Coolant was added when we took it in and haven’t had a loss of coolant since 🏼
 

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Thank you for the information. Our Pacifica has reached temps over 230 but this is when we first noticed the high temps, while sitting at the gas station. We do not know if the fan kicked on or not. The temps cooled off once when we started to drive. Would you say it is normal for the temps to jump to high 220’s when you accelerate? For example when driving through town the Pacifica stays around 190 to 195. When we go to merge onto the interstate and while getting up to speed, which is 70, the temps will jump to about 228 to 230.
Yeah, that sounds completely normal to me.

I saw 230° in the parking garage once, caused by slow-speed operation without much air blowing through the radiator. I'm fairly certain the cooling fan comes on around 232°, but most engines can see over 250 under normal operation. I tow a 3500 pound boat with mine, and keep a close eye on temperatures when I do. Even when pushing it hard, it's never seen higher than 238 degrees. But the indicator gauge has always displayed the completely normal midrange value.

Your van is operating as designed, and if you owned a non-Chrysler or vehicle before you probably are not used to seeing actual coolant temperatures. I've been monitoring temperatures for about a decade with different OBD readers in every vehicle I've owned, both for towing and otherwise, and temperatures jumping around is completely normal. Trust me, they all do this. You're not hurting a thing.
Clears things up. We bought the van new but have never payed attention to the temperatures until after thinking there was a coolant leak. And you are correct, the vehicle I owned before did not display the actual temp numbers.Thank you so much for explaining it!
 
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