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Old 01-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #1
katie83
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Unhappy 2001 Ford Focus ZTS overheating

Hi,

My 2001 Ford Focus ZTS started overheating on me 2 weeks ago. I noticed the temperature needle was almost in the red and I couldn't have been driving the car for more than 20 minutes or so. The needle hit red as I was pulling into a parking garage and I could smell the coolant and as soon as I drove up on an incline to get to the different floors the needle shot back down to the middle area. That night I drove home without an issue. I refilled the coolant since I honestly couldn't see how much was in the reservoir and nothing else happened for 2 weeks so I thought maybe it was a fluke or maybe the car was low on coolant.


Thank you so much,

Katie



Last edited by katie83; 02-19-2012 at 12:12 PM. Reason: The problem is back :(
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
darkside212
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if it does it again, turn your heater to hot, and turn the fan on high. This will help circulate the coolant system.

it probably is the thermostat stuck in the closed position, but check your coolant level (from the radiator cap) when the car is cold.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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thermostat
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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Probably your cooling fan resistor. Its a common failure it controls the second fan for additional cooling. I will come on when the temp get very high (instead of earlier to keep it normal ) and your engine will cool down to normal.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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You have one of the 2 problems listed above, but the two will overheat under completely different circumstances.

A cooling fan problem will not be noticeable while you're moving on the highway or at a decent speed. As soon as you slow down or come to a stop, it will overheat.

A thermostat will overheat regardless of where you're driving, and will overheat quicker if the engine is turning faster like on the highway.

Test the cooling fan by idling the engine until it starts to overheat. If the fan's don't come on, then you have cooling fan problems. You can also visually inspect the wiring going to the engine cooling fans. What happens on Zetec engines is that the heat from the exhaust manifold melts the cooling fan resistor and power plug. A new plug can be purchased from the Ford dealer, as well as a fan resistor, if needed. I'm guessing your problem is the plug because if it was just the resistor, the fan would come on high speed.

There is a way to watch the thermostat temperature to see if it is actually working. With the key OFF, press and hold the odometer reset button. Continue to hold, and turn the key to ON. Wait until the gauge needles start jumping around before you release the odo reset button. The odo display should read [test]. Now every time you press and release the reset button you will scroll through one of 30 test modes. Look for the one where the odo will read [15 C] or whatever temperature in C that it should be at the time. If you accidentally scroll past it, then just circle around again, until you turn the key off the odometer will stay in test mode. Now start the engine, and watch as the temperature climbs. If the thermostat is working, it will climb to around 95C then cool off, and rise up again. If it is not working, then it will continue to climb, and the engine will overheat.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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The problem is back :(

So after I refilled the coolant, a couple of weeks went by without an incident.

Yesterday, I was pulling into the same parking garage when I noticed the same coolant smell and the needle being pretty high- but not so much in the red. Again as I went up the different floors the needle moved around a little but remained above the midline. Both times that this has happened it's first thing in the morning, the engine is fairly cool and I drive in traffic, with some stop and go and iddling here and there for 20-30 minutes.

On my drive home I noticed that when I was sitting at a light the needle would jerk slightly up but it never went past the midline. It was not as long of a drive as my morning commute because there was less traffic.

Does any of this provide more clues about what may be going on?

Thank you so much,

Katie
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
s22225
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hmm

If you replaced the thermostat and still have issues while idling, I would think the fan or wiring harness. Anyone else have any thoughts?
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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We had that problem and had ours in the shop 6 times and finally they changed the connector for the fans I guess it is a common problem with the electrical system. Only over heated when we ran the AC in town it was fine on the highway.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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If it seems to get somewhat better after overheating for a bit then high speed fan is kicking in after low did not when it should've. A/C not coming on says again low speed problem. Resistor or low speed relay problem. Resistor check is easy, if not melted then it's OK, relay harder, can stick occasionally and still test good. Best way there is buy a new one, not expensive.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
If it seems to get somewhat better after overheating for a bit then high speed fan is kicking in after low did not when it should've. A/C not coming on says again low speed problem. Resistor or low speed relay problem. Resistor check is easy, if not melted then it's OK, relay harder, can stick occasionally and still test good. Best way there is buy a new one, not expensive.
where is that resistor located. I've been having the same problem except i took the connector off to test the ground and it was fine then plugged it back in and worked. drove a bit and then sat and idled for a while again and it started to overheat.
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