1996 Ford Taurus 1996 Taurus running hot

Tiny
ALWAYSLEARY
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 113,000 MILES
I just bought a second hand 1996 Taurus GL with a 3 litre V6 Vulcan engine. The water pump innards were non existent. I had the water pump changed, but the in cabin temp gauge keeps reading between 1/4 on the gauge then up to 3/4 on the gauge and I can hear the fans kick in and the temp goes down again, but it's a constant thing. It never finds a happy median unless the car is sitting idling, then it will keep itself at halfway on the gauge.

Also, when I drive at speeds of 45-50 it seems to hold a halfway mark on the temp gauge, going up and down very little, but still does. When driving at normal highway speeds of 60-70 MPH the gauge does a seesaw, but what gets me is that the gauge will go all the way down to 1/4 again and then back up.

So my question is, WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? LOL. Please, I don't want to have to keep driving this car with one eye on the gauge and one on the road. Should I pull the thermostat out and run it with no thermostat for one day to see if that helps?
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 9:29 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Replace the thermostat and test the engine coolant temperature sensor.
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 9:53 PM
Tiny
ALWAYSLEARY
  • MEMBER
I actually think there "IS" something wrong with that coolant temp sensor. The cabin temp gauge sticks. When I turn the car off the gauge stays where the car temp was when I turned it off. Even after I start the car back up again, the gauge sticks where it's at until the thermostat opens up, then it climbs up 3/4's of the way up and the fans come on. Odd. I'll replace both thermostat and coolant temp gauge. Is it ok to use a 180 degree thermostat? OE is 192 degrees.
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Monday, October 5th, 2009 AT 10:29 PM
Tiny
ALWAYSLEARY
  • MEMBER
I had my mechanic put in a new thermostat ( I could have done this myself, but the coolant temp sensor I didn't want to fool with) and a coolant temp sensor since it was throwing a code on diagnostics. The up and down movement on the in cabin temp gauge stopped. It now reads normal and holds a level, but still climbs up to 3/4 on the gauge when sitting at a light after running at 50 mph. I know this is pretty normal, but I have a feeling that I need to back flush the radiator since the original water pump eroded away and the core might have a clog in it.

Thanks for your expertise. After all I spent on this car if I had a few extra bucks I would make a donation. I will as soon as I catch up on some money.

Thanks again.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 9:00 PM

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