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Old 06-15-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
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Update: Engine overheating?

Update on Post #14

Hey guys!

Earlier today i drove my focus for about 20 miles out from home. I noticed after I parked the car, it started to spit-out coolant from the water reservoir when i shut it off. Also noticed that my fans are not kicking in.

2 weeks ago, i changed the heat resistor that goes in between the fans and the pigtail. But the fans only turn-on if i put on my a/c. Nevertheless, with the a/c on and having the fans blowing every few minutes - after driving and parking it again it started to spit out water/coolant again.

I am confused of what is going on. Read few other threads about this problem but i don't have a Zetec engine or a Duratec. I got a 2004 Focus LX 2.0 SPI Engine.

What tempreture does it need to reach for the fan to kick in?

Also, I removed the thermostat to see if it was that, but it is still spiting out coolant after i park it.



Last edited by Felsvar; 06-21-2015 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Updating
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
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Hi. Not sure about exact temp for fan engagement on an SPI engine. My fans turn on Low speed at about 110-C. Use odometer test mode if you want to see your engine/coolant temperature. Did the temp gauge/needle inside the car move into the Red area?

It sounds like your coolant tank AND/OR the cap for the tank is defective. This is very common. They often leak after 8 to 10 years or so. My tank was replaced back in 2012. A tiny leak will make the coolant boil and only make it seem like an overheat condition.

Odo test mode - See post #5 here->
Low temperature heater output
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:10 PM   #3
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Look hard at the cap. Sometimes they can get a hard enough seal so that simply hand tight won't seal them. One car I have I have to slightly overtighten the cap with a large pair of channellocks. The plastic tank thread gets frayed enough that handtight is not enough to seal at pressure. All engines overheat slightly at shutdown when the water quits circulating. It's normal, the cap holds that in. Until it goes bad anyway.

When most people get alarmed about car overheating they then are firmly convinced the fans never come on as they don't until pretty high temps on these. Rig an indicator light to come on when fan comes on and you'll see when it works and not nearly so much as you think. Mine even now do not come on until like 15 miles driven if a/c is off. Depends on how much time in stopped traffic.

With a/c on the fans at least should be on low all the time generally.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Last night i hard wire the engine cooling fan (not the A/C fan) so it can turn on with the ignition; therefore the fan won't turn off till i shut-off the car. This is just temporary as I ordered a new ECU for the car.

My uncle had this same experience with a Dodge Neon and said that to " change the ECU because there is a chance a negative cable is making the engine overheat." I took his word and ordered a new ECU for the car.

Also, the coolant tank does look kinda old and begging for it to be replaced. However, it only leaks out the coolant through the overfill hole that it has above on the edge. there is a rubber hose connected in it that leads downward - (nothing is connected at the other end).
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:47 AM   #5
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I would be careful about just slapping a new ECU on it. I just had the same issues with overheating and it was about a 20-30$ fix versus putting a new ecu onto the car.

If it is spitting out the overflow hose have you looked at replacing that specific hose?

We here on the forum could help you out a bit with a few more details. My issue was where the fans were not kicking on and i did the same MOD as you to turn the fans on with the car on. Now it was just a new relay to be purchased and it fixed everything for me.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:17 AM   #6
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@J-Rod

I have not replaced the overflow hose since I thought it is only use to direct the water out. I mean does it matter even if it is a hose that isn't doing nothing but exiting the water after it has too much?

Also thinking of changing the coolant tank since it looks a bit old and worn. And I am having double thoughts on changing the ECU; found one on E-bay but it is used. Also, what relay did you changed? I have not changed any relays yet.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:15 PM   #7
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There is no "overflow hose" that I know of.

Overflow is out the cap when pressure gets too high.

Disconnected hose would prevent it from pressurizing to prevent boiling, and also be a place for it to leak.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felsvar View Post
@J-Rod

I have not replaced the overflow hose since I thought it is only use to direct the water out. I mean does it matter even if it is a hose that isn't doing nothing but exiting the water after it has too much?

Also thinking of changing the coolant tank since it looks a bit old and worn. And I am having double thoughts on changing the ECU; found one on E-bay but it is used. Also, what relay did you changed? I have not changed any relays yet.
Check out the thread I had going.Overheating Issues w/details. It has some pics in it. The relay i replaced was the green one in bottom right corner in the pics.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:25 AM   #9
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(shaking head)

The plastic tank has NO OVERFLOW HOSE, there is your leak to cause boiling over. The hose MUST go somewhere. Odds are one of the bleeds and if so then engine probably has a fat air pocket in it to overheat again.

There is NO engine cooling or a/c fan, they BOTH run together as a pair, both on low or high speeds, another boilover issue. One fan running only will overheat.

The PCM is most likely working perfect.

Wanting to change the PCM too quickly is one of the biggest indicators of a person who does not understand how the cars work.

Sorry and not trying to be insulting but it is what it is.
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Last edited by amc49; 06-17-2015 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:41 AM   #10
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Rewiring the fans will typically cause more problems. 100% of the time when I repaired cars in junkyards with owner installed wiring changes to the cooling fans- I was able to get the fans working on the factory wiring. I used to call it "owner damage".

Sometimes it was a temp sensor that was the cause, and other times there was no problem at all. The coolant overflow cap is much cheaper than the PCM, and it is easier to change than rewiring the fans. Most auto repair problems are that simple.

In your case, I would've used the electronic odometer trick to check what the computer was reading before I did anything.
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