Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Cooling System

WARNING! You or others can be badly burned by hot engine coolant (antifreeze) or steam from your radiator. If you see or hear steam coming from under the hood, do not open the hood until the radiator has had time to cool. Never try to open a cooling system pressure cap when the radiator is hot.

Engine Coolant Checks

Check the engine coolant (antifreeze) protection every 12 months (before the onset of freezing weather, where applicable). If the engine coolant (antifreeze) is dirty or rusty in appearance, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled with fresh coolant. Check the front of the A/C condenser (if equipped) or radiator for any accumulation of bugs, leaves, etc. If dirty, clean by gently spraying water from a garden hose vertically down the face of the A/C condenser (if equipped) or the back of the radiator core.

Check the engine cooling system hoses for brittle rubber, cracking, tears, cuts and tightness of the connection at the coolant recovery bottle and radiator. Inspect the entire system for leaks.

With the engine at normal operating temperature (but not running), check the cooling system pressure cap for proper vacuum sealing by draining a small amount of engine coolant (antifreeze) from the radiator drain cock.

The radiator drain cock is located in the lower radiator tank. If the cap is sealing properly, the engine coolant (antifreeze) will begin to drain from the coolant expansion bottle. DO NOT REMOVE THE COOLANT PRESSURE CAP WHEN THE COOLING SYSTEM IS HOT.

Cooling System - Drain Flush And Refill

If the engine coolant (antifreeze) is dirty or contains a considerable amount of sediment, clean and flush with a reliable cooling system cleaner. Follow with a thorough rinsing to remove all deposits and chemicals. Properly dispose of old engine coolant (antifreeze).

Refer to the "Maintenance Schedule" for the proper maintenance intervals.

Selection Of Coolant

Refer to "Fluids, Lubricants, and Genuine Parts" in "Maintaining Your Vehicle" for further information.

CAUTION!

  • Mixing of engine coolant (antifreeze) other than specified Organic Additive Technology (OAT) engine coolant (antifreeze), may result in engine damage and may decrease corrosion protection.

    Organic Additive Technology (OAT) engine coolant is different and should not be mixed with Hybrid Organic Additive Technology (HOAT) engine coolant (antifreeze) or any "globally compatible" coolant (antifreeze). If a non-OAT engine coolant (antifreeze) is introduced into the cooling system in an emergency, the cooling system will need to be drained, flushed, and refilled with fresh OAT coolant (conforming to MS-12106), by an authorized dealer as soon as possible.

  • Do not use water alone or alcohol-based engine coolant (antifreeze) products. Do not use additional rust inhibitors or antirust products, as they may not be compatible with the radiator engine coolant and may plug the radiator.
  • This vehicle has not been designed for use with propylene glycol-based engine coolant (antifreeze).

    Use of propylene glycol-based engine coolant (antifreeze) is not recommended.

Adding Coolant

Your vehicle has been built with an improved engine coolant (OAT coolant conforming to MS-12106) that allows extended maintenance intervals. This engine coolant (antifreeze) can be used up to ten years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km) before replacement. To prevent reducing this extended maintenance period, it is important that you use the same engine coolant (OAT coolant conforming to MS-12106) throughout the life of your vehicle.

Please review these recommendations for using Organic Additive Technology (OAT) engine coolant (antifreeze) that meets the requirements of Chrysler Material Standard MS-12106. When adding engine coolant (antifreeze):

  • We recommend using MOPAR Antifreeze/Coolant 10 Year/150,000 Mile Formula OAT (Organic Additive Technology) that meets the requirements of Chrysler Material Standard MS-12106.
  • Mix a minimum solution of 50% OAT engine coolant that meets the requirements of Chrysler Material Standard MS-12106 and distilled water. Use higher concentrations (not to exceed 70%) if temperatures below -34º F (-37º C) are anticipated.
  • Use only high purity water such as distilled or deionized water when mixing the water/engine coolant (antifreeze) solution. The use of lower quality water will reduce the amount of corrosion protection in the engine cooling system.

Please note that it is the owner's responsibility to maintain the proper level of protection against freezing according to the temperatures occurring in the area where the vehicle is operated.

NOTE:

  • Some vehicles require special tools to add coolant properly. Failure to fill these systems properly could lead to severe internal engine damage. If any coolant is needed to be added to the system please contact your local authorized dealer.
  • Mixing engine coolant (antifreeze) types is not recommended and can result in cooling system damage. If HOAT and OAT coolant are mixed in an emergency, have a authorized dealer drain, flush, and refill with OAT coolant (conforming to MS-12106) as soon as possible.

Cooling System Pressure Cap

The cap must be fully tightened to prevent loss of engine coolant (antifreeze), and to ensure that the engine coolant (antifreeze) will return to the radiator from the coolant expansion bottle.

The cap should be inspected and cleaned if there is any accumulation of foreign material on the sealing surfaces.

WARNING!

  • The warning words "DO NOT OPEN HOT" on the cooling system pressure cap are a safety precaution.

    Never add engine coolant (antifreeze) when the engine is overheated. Do not loosen or remove the cap to cool an overheated engine. Heat causes pressure to build up in the cooling system. To prevent scalding or injury, do not remove the pressure cap while the system is hot or under pressure.

  • Do not use a pressure cap other than the one specified for your vehicle. Personal injury or engine damage may result.

Disposal Of Used Engine Coolant

Used ethylene glycol-based engine coolant (antifreeze) is a regulated substance requiring proper disposal. Check with your local authorities to determine the disposal rules for your community. To prevent ingestion by animals or children, do not store ethylene glycol-based engine coolant (antifreeze) in open containers or allow it to remain in puddles on the ground. If ingested by a child or pet, seek emergency assistance immediately. Clean up any ground spills immediately.

Checking Coolant Level - 3.6L and 5.7L Engines

With the engine OFF and cold, the level of the engine coolant should be between the ADD and SAFE range on the dipstick.

To check the coolant level:

1. Open the coolant reservoir.

Cooling System
Opening The Coolant Reservoir

2. Lift and remove the plastic dipstick from the reservoir neck.

Cooling System
Coolant Reservoir Dipstick

3. Check the coolant level on the dipstick.

The radiator normally remains completely full, so there is no need to remove the radiator cap unless checking for engine coolant (antifreeze) freeze point or replacing engine coolant (antifreeze). Advise your service attendant of this. As long as the engine operating temperature is satisfactory, the coolant bottle need only be checked once a month.

When additional engine coolant (antifreeze) is needed to maintain the proper level, it should be added to the coolant bottle. Do not overfill.

Checking Coolant Level - 6.4L Engine

The level of the coolant in the pressurized coolant bottle should be between the "MIN" and "MAX" range on the bottle when the engine is cold.

The radiator normally remains completely full, so there is no need to remove the cap unless checking for coolant freeze point or replacing engine coolant (antifreeze).

Advise your service attendant of this. As long as the engine operating temperature is satisfactory, the coolant bottle need only be checked once a month. When additional engine coolant (antifreeze) is needed to maintain the proper level, it should be added to the coolant bottle.

Do not overfill.

Points To Remember

NOTE: When the vehicle is stopped after a few miles/ kilometers of operation, you may observe vapor coming from the front of the engine compartment. This is normally a result of moisture from rain, snow, or high humidity accumulating on the radiator and being vaporized when the thermostat opens, allowing hot engine coolant (antifreeze) to enter the radiator.

If an examination of your engine compartment shows no evidence of radiator or hose leaks, the vehicle may be safely driven. The vapor will soon dissipate.

  • Do not overfill the coolant expansion bottle.
  • Check the coolant freeze point in the radiator and in the coolant expansion bottle. If engine coolant (antifreeze) needs to be added, the contents of the coolant expansion bottle must also be protected against freezing.
  • If frequent engine coolant (antifreeze) additions are required, the cooling system should be pressure tested for leaks.
  • Maintain engine coolant (antifreeze) concentration at a minimum of 50% OAT coolant (conforming to MS- 12106) and distilled water for proper corrosion protection of your engine which contains aluminum components.
  • Make sure that the coolant expansion bottle overflow hoses are not kinked or obstructed.
  • Keep the front of the radiator clean. If your vehicle is equipped with air conditioning, keep the front of the condenser clean.
  • Do not change the thermostat for Summer or Winter operation. If replacement is ever necessary, install ONLY the correct type thermostat. Other designs may result in unsatisfactory engine coolant (antifreeze) performance, poor gas mileage, and increased emissions.

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