1995 Windstar LX

Tiny
KNTENT
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 FORD WINDSTAR
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 319,000 MILES
1995 Windstar LX, 319,000 miles, digital dashboard:
Recently the vehicle alerts that it is overheating but never actually does overheat, and overflow resevoir is full to the appropriate marking. Temperature gauge goes all the way to the top within five minutes (or 2-3 miles) of starting and stays there until engine is shut off for 5-10 minutes and gauge returns to normal. Dealer can find nothing wrong; states sensor is okay; thermostat is working; electric colling fan is also working. Dealer also states heat is working but when I drive the vehicle; there is not heat/defroster. Water pump and thermostat were replaced two months ago.
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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 AT 6:11 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If you have lost heat, have them check for a bad head gasket. As far as the issue, I would also consider replacing the temp sending unit. It is easy to replace and not expensive. It could be shorting and sending a false signal to the gauge.

Let me know.
Joe
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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 AT 6:35 PM
Tiny
KNTENT
  • MEMBER
If the head gasket was slit or leaking, would not the fluid level in the resvoir be lower? It's not. Dealer service manager agrees that although the sending unit tested as good, he will just replace it.
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Friday, December 24th, 2010 AT 12:36 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That does make sense, but everything you have described sounds like a bad headgasket. As far as the sending unit, that could cause the issue with the temp gauge, but it won't stop you from getting heat. The two are not related. You have coolant running through the heater core at all times. What determines if you get heat is a blend air door that opens one way for heat and the other way for AC. The only other thing I can think of is you are getting pockets of air in the cooling system from engine compression (bad headgasket) and it is causing the temp to rise quickly until the pump forces coolant to flow through again as well as the heater core getting an air pocket that the pump can't clear. All in all, he is there and I'm not. If he feels the sending unit will help (I don't) it may be worth the try. It is a cheap part, and you could install it yourself to save money. It just screws into the engine. I hope it is something that simple, but I don't think it is. Finally, remember, it is possible for compressed air to get into the cooling system and for you not to loose to lose coolant. The cooling system could actually (burp) it out while the engine is running. Keep in mind, he said he had heat, but you don't. Something is stopping the flow of coolant through the heater core. When you have no heat, have you ever felt both heater core hoses to see if they are both hot and not just one? Have they ever checked engine compression to see if there is a low cylender?

Let me know.

Joe
PS: Sorry it took a couple days to get back to you. With Christmas, kids, wife. Well, you know. I hope you had a good one.
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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 AT 6:31 AM

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