2002 Ford Explorer overheating

Tiny
MELON1981
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 101,000 MILES
Hello, I just bought this. And it overheats and dies. My husband changed the thermostat and it is still doing this. It overheats in no time. Could u please help me. Thanks
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 5:05 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What does "in no time" mean? A minute? An hour? Slow, city driving? On the highway? What are the symptoms? Are you simply going by the gauge on the dash or is there something else that tells you the engine is too hot?

When you think the engine is too hot, feel the upper radiator hose near the radiator. It should be too hot to hold onto for very long but it shouldn't burn you. If the hose is relatively cool, suspect the thermostat isn't opening, and that would most commonly be due to a leaking cylinder head gasket. Combustion gases can pool under the thermostat and prevent it from opening. They have to be hit with hot liquid. Hot air won't do it. There's a chemical test your mechanic can perform at the radiator to test for a leaking head gasket. That test just takes a couple of minutes.

When the engine stalls, what do you have to do to get it restarted? Has anyone checked for diagnostic fault codes?
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 6:17 PM
Tiny
MELON1981
  • MEMBER
Thanks for answering me. It takes 5 or 6 mins to get to normal operating temperature. Then less than a second it shoots to hot. Yes the diagnostics has been done it said #2 cylinder misfire. And overheating. It starts back up when it dies also.
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 7:37 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The place to start is by connecting a scanner to view live data and see exactly what the coolant temperature is. If it's normal, around 200 degrees, but the temperature gauge is reading too high, suspect the instrument cluster. The engineers at Ford have turned the really reliable cluster into another computer module, so now we have all kinds of computer-related problems we never used to see.

Your mechanic will also watch that coolant temperature to see if it suddenly jumps up too high. If it does, there could be a problem with the temperature sensor or its wiring, but those should both be down pretty far on the list of suspects.

If we were to assume the misfire and overheating are related, the leaking cylinder head gasket is a good suspect. Your mechanic will perform a test at the radiator with the engine warmed up and running. That involves drawing air from the radiator through a glass cylinder with two chambers partially-filled with a special dark blue liquid. If combustion gases are present, the liquid will turn bright yellow.
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 8:29 PM

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