1998 Ford Contour Overheating

Tiny
RICCIOMAN3
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD CONTOUR
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 115,000 MILES
I have recently bought my contour as is. The problem I have is that it overheats after about a mile or so driving. I've flushed the radiator, replaced the thermostat, and put a block sealer through the car. It takes longer to heat up, but it still climbs up the gauge pretty quick. Not sure if I should replace water pump and radiator or just junk it. One mechanic told me it might be a head gasket running me 2000 dollars to fix. What should I do?
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:06 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Hello and thanks for donating

is the cooling fan coming on?

Pretty easy to rule out head gasket, just remove radiator cap when COLD then start vehicle. If coolant shoots out of radiator cap opening then you have cylinder head issues.
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:28 PM
Tiny
RICCIOMAN3
  • MEMBER
The fan comes on and thats when it seems to climb temperature wise the quickest.
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:40 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Ok since fan is working and radiator flused & tstat replaced, the head gasket would need checked next. If the gasket is good then check for excessive exhaust backpressure ( such as clogged catalytic converter) and also check for a slipping belt, leaky or wobbling water pump and radiator hoses
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:46 PM
Tiny
RICCIOMAN3
  • MEMBER
So to check my gasket without taking apart the engine, I need to take off the radiator cap when cold and start it. If it spews coolant its a gasket? So a water pump could be at fault? Also if the right mixture of coolant and water isn't in there could that cause an issue of overheating? I'm just trying to figure out if the car is worth fixing since I'm on a low budget
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:54 PM
Tiny
RICCIOMAN3
  • MEMBER
Also someone told me to take the tstat out completely.I dont know if I'm that brave. Would I be able to tell if the car was overheating if the tstat was out?
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:56 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
That would indicate a fault with the cylinder head or the head gasket, yes. A weak/failing water pump could cause overheating as well. The mixture of coolant doesn't matter, you could run straight water if you want, the coolant is just so it won't freeze and also so rust will not build up in the coolant system.
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 10:59 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Removing the thermostat is not a good idea and will most likely not help the overheating issue any at all. The thermostat's job is to keep liquid in the radiator long enough to cool it. The manufacturer's have set a certain temp that the engine can run at before it needs to be cooled. If the operating temp of the engine is below the thermostat temp level (say 180 degrees), there is no reason to try to cool the engine down lower than that temp.

When the thermostat is closed the coolant in the radiator will continue to cool. Even if the outside temp is 100 degrees it will still be cooler than what your engine temp is. When the temp outside is in the higher levels it will take more time for the coolant to cool while in the radiator. By removing your thermostat, you create a situation where the coolant never sits in the radiator long enough to reduce the temeprature of the coolant. Essentially the coolant is constantly circulating and never cools down. You will most likely see a rise in the operating temp instead of a decrease.
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Friday, May 21st, 2010 AT 11:01 PM

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