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Old 06-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
ItstheletterR
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Reverse Overheating Problem?

Hey guys, long time viewer of the forum, but I had to join finally. I have to find out what the deal is with my overheating.

First off; 2002 SVT Focus. No aftermarket parts. 124,XXX miles.

I've been watching the forum specifically for overheating problems, but no one seems to have the same problem I do. First off I'll say that there are no leaks, fluids are all topped off, coolant reservoir cap is in good working order and seal is fine. Checked the resistor plug in the middle of the fan housing, the coil looks good and the plugs look brand new, all wires are intact and not melted. I do have error codes for the downstream O2 sensor and an EVAP leak, but I know the O2 sensor shouldn't have anything to do with this problem. MAYBE the EVAP does, but I could never find the leak, so I really think it's just the gas cap (even though it looks perfectly fine as well).

Now, the nitty gritty... When I say overheating, I just mean it's redlining. It has never steamed, smoked, anything. Under normal city driving, braking, accelerating, and idling the car is perfect. Even under highway speeds the car does just fine. There is a slight oil temperature increase that gets close to red line under hard accelerating, when accelerating to highway speeds and when the engine is under duress going up hills on the hwy at 65-70mph. My main problem is happening whenever I turn on the AC.

When I'm on the highway, 65-70mph, as soon as I turn on the AC both water and oil temperatures rise quickly and red line, while I can feel the car hesitate a bit as the compressor kicks on and power falls a tad. Both fans turn on (to what I'm assuming is high speed), but the temperatures stay in the red and the AC gets warm. Once the AC is turned off and the fans go off, both oil and water temperatures slowly fall back to normal.

When I'm in the city under idle and the AC is on, it runs perfectly cold, and the temps only slightly start to warm up, if at all. But once the fans kick on (to what I'm assuming again is high speed) and I start to accelerate to easy, low rpm driving, the temperature quickly red lines again and the AC warms up. But just like on the hwy, once I turn off the AC and the fans turn off, both oil and water temps fall back to normal after a bit.

So I hope you all can see my dilemma. Everyone has had a problem that they get hot, but once they turn on the AC and the fans kick on, the temperatures fall. I have the exact opposite problem in that once I turn on the AC and the fans turn on, my temperatures peg.

I know you all have been pretty spot on with the overheating diagnoses so far, so I know you can do it again! Ha ha. And sorry for the lengthy description, I just wanted to make sure I got everything out there. Any help would be greatly appreciated, guys. Thanks.


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Old 06-13-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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You need a new water pump.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Is it really going to be that easy? If a water pump is going bad, shouldn't the engine run hot all the time? and is the oil heating up simply because the engine isn't being cooled by the water?
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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I say pressure test the cooling system with a pressure tester, just to make sure you hold 15lbs of pressure without losing any. I'd agree with the water pump diagnosis if it holds pressure and the thermostat isn't sticking.

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Old 06-15-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Im thinking the same, h2o pump. If the propeler is loose from shaft, at low engine speed the propeler on pump is turning enough to circulate coolant throughout system and keep cool. with faster engine speed the coolant cant circulate fast enough to get cooled, thus heating up coolant and oil. heck, at 90k miles it wouldnt hurt to do a t-belt and pump anyway.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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I'd go for the t-stat first. It's the cheapest and easiest. Then look at the water pump if problem persist. You could also just try squeezing a water hose (one of the big ones) and feel it feels like it has pressure. If the car is off and you squeeze it should be easy to squeeze. That would tell you that the system does have pressure.

Now you should also replace your O2 sensors, you car could be running really rich or lean which can cause it to over heat as well, though unlikely but you never know. If your check engine light is on you should get it rescanned to ensure that it's just the problems you mentioned and not nothing new.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:01 AM   #7
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This is an odd one but I'm inclined to think your AC comp may be going. seizing at high rpm but not at low, not yet anyway. All you symptons suggest the comp?? If it runs fine without the AC, that elininates most of the cooling components. Possibly try adding oil to see if it help?
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, I'll be testing these theories and see what comes up.

I definitely need to change the timing belt, but don't want to have to change out a pump if I don't have to. I'll have to check the pressure with the engine on and off to see what I'm getting.

The 02 sensors have both been changed about 5,000 miles ago, so I don't think they've gone bad (could be wrong by now I suppose)

I would definitely hate to have the compressor go bad, but worse things could happen. I also hadn't thought about low compressor oil, but I'll get on that and the thermostat first. Fingers crossed...
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