1997 Ford Taurus thermostat replacement

Tiny
MPTECDIR
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD TAURUS
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Engine heats up very slow, never really gets to full temp. Temp climbs when sitting still but drops down as soon as car starts moving. Is this the thermostat? If so, is it located where the upper radiator hose enters the block? Is the thermostat easily accessable without special tools or moving other parts?
tia, michael
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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 AT 5:55 PM

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Tiny
SCHRIMPIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Yes, chances are you have a stuck open thermostat. I answered a similar question in the Windstar forum section. Windstar / Tarurs share same engines. I copy/paste text from my answer to another member:

The thermostat is located below the throttle body, just above the transaxle bell housing. Follow the top radiator hose from the driver's side of the radiator towards the engine. The hose clamps onto a flange. The flange is attached to the engine via 3 bolts, and within rests the thermostat.

You'll need to remove the air cleaner, intake snorkle, various cables and move some wires around, maybe remove the battery for extra space; but it's not too complicated. Be sure to clean the old gasket material off REALLY WELL, even though it's a real pain in the a** to squeeze your hand into awkward positions, scraping off the old gasket material. Any leaks in that area will be very discouraging indeed. I always clean water-area gasket mating surfaces with a rag wet with brake cleaner, then follow up with the gasket and a bit of Grey Silicone gasket maker. The blue and red gasket maker stuff just doesn't do it. Spend the extra $2 per tube on the grey stuff; it'll be worth it.
How hard is it to replace? That depends on your level of expertise and available tools. Just make sure you have a good ratchet set with a U-Joint / Swivel and metric sockets.
While you're at it, go ahead and replace the upper radiator hose if it has more than 40,000 miles on it. The upper hose takes the most stress because that is where the hottest water comes out from on its way to the radiator. It'll be completely exposed during your thermostat replacement. Undo the connection at the radiator and replace the hose.
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Sunday, December 21st, 2008 AT 8:50 PM

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