1991 Mercury Tracer Overheating 1.9, confussed

Tiny
HEDYE4U
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 MERCURY TRACER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 40,000 MILES
We have a 91 merc tracer with 40k miles. Go it a year ago with 30k from my great aunt who had it maintained by a less than reputale mech. In the 30k miles they convinced her to replace the trany, radiator and pretty much every part and never gave reasons.

After 10k miles we having overheating problems. I have replaced the thermostat, lower hose, tested guage and sensors. The car overheats slowly and does so at speed or at idle. I am beginning to think it might be the water pump failing, even though it is not leaking. The radiator/hoses take a long time to warm up even when at temp. Everytime I have heard of pumps failing they leak but we have no leak. Any guess on how to check? It is sit for a while and may have had a substandard pump put in it at some point.

thanks
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Monday, May 24th, 2010 AT 9:00 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Could simply need a cooling system flushing. Even though it has low miles, it still has a lot of years on it. There is most likely a lot of debris / residue built up in the cooling system which can restrict the coolant flow.
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Monday, May 24th, 2010 AT 10:06 PM
Tiny
HEDYE4U
  • MEMBER
We did try a flush, no change, there was almost no "gunk" coming out, and looking in radiator, it looked new
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Monday, May 24th, 2010 AT 10:25 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
OK, heres a few steps to test the water pump out

Open the car hood and locate the thermostat on the top of the radiator lid. Pull the thermostat and start the car. Watch the temperature gauge carefully. If the water pump is working properly, the engine should take a long time to warm up (if it ever does). With the thermostat removed, the coolant should circulate continuously, making it harder for the engine to warm up. If you cannot tell if the car is heating up slow or not, move to next step.
Turn the car off and locate the water pump and the water pump drive belt in the engine compartment. Use the wrench set to loosen the belt retaining bolt and pull the belt off of the pump. Spin the belt drive with your hands to see if it rolls smoothly and to determine if there is any movement or "play" in the driveshaft. If the pump seems in good working order, replace the belt, tighten the retaining screw back up, and move on to next step.
Locate the coolant drain plug on the bottom of the radiator and use the wrench set to remove it. Allow all of the coolant to drain out into a container and dispose of it. Replace the drain plug in the bottom of the radiator and then pour coolant into the radiator. Start the car up and watch the level of coolant carefully. If the water pump is working properly, the coolant level should drop quickly as the pump circulates coolant to other areas of the engine. Fill the radiator back up with coolant and watch it to drop again. If the coolant drops then your water pump is fine, however if the coolant drops very slowly or not at all it may be time for a new pump.
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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 AT 2:46 PM
Tiny
HEDYE4U
  • MEMBER
Symptoms say bad water pump. So thats the next step. Thanks for your help i'll post the results
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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 AT 9:00 PM

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