1999 Ford Explorer Sport
105,000 miles, 4.0L engine.
For the past 2 weeks, my temperature gauge has been behaving strangely. After about 10 minutes of driving it makes its way up to High. The check engine light comes on and after about 30 seconds the gauge slowly drops down again. Its usual state after dropping is still considerable higher than it would stay prior to the onset of this problem.
The idle at a stop is higher too, usually around 1500 rpm where it is usually a tad under 1000.
I have also noticed that when the automatic transmission shifts gears it is a bit jerky and not smooth like it used to be.
Are these problems related? They all seem to have started at the same time.
I had to remove half of the intake system just to get to it.
Well it seems to have cleared up my problem. I took it for a good 20 minute drive and the temp gauge maxed out at about 1/3 scale past " C" and stayed there as it did prior to the problem occuring. The idle seems normal again and I didn't notice the jerkiness in the shifting, though I'm going to continue paying close attention to that one.
I checked for the fuzzy blanket between the radiator and condenser, but other than a little bit of debris at the very top, it was clean.
The radiator was full and the reservoir partially full. I took the opportunity to replace the coolant since I had to drain it anyway. It was a little murky, but not oily at all. I just figured it couldn't hurt to give it fresh coolant. I went with a 50/50 mix, as I live in a mild Northwest climate.
The machine still needs some work in other areas. It badly needs a brake job, but I think I'll bring some business to someone else for that as I am not equipped or knowledgeable enough to deal with them myself.
The problems I asked about here seem to be resolved with just a thermostat replacement. I had a suspicion about that when I posted, but I'm only a quasi-mechanic when the neccessity arises.
Thanks for the advice. I was afraid I would get an ambiguous answer, but I was pleasantly surprised.