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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi
I have a 2001 ford focus se zetec engine manual with 180k miles, changed the water pump, thermostat and the car is still overheating. Starts after around 30 minutes of idling. When it starts to run hot it jumps by little increments will get up to the red line then i shut it off When it gets right below red I shut it off. I can hear the anti freez boiling. No Check engine lights, no leaks nothing.


The first time we ran the car in idle the fan or fans kicked in but it was in the red or very close to the red (dont remember) so we immediately shut it off. The fans weren't on prior to that. The second time we started it the fans never came on but we never let it go to the red zone. Hoses had good heat.

The first thread Robby04ZX5 posted had alot of information, makes me think its the cylinder head sensor, relay, resistor or something stupid. But it sounds way to complicated to test the cylinder head sensor as he mentioned. We have the meter tool but are unfamiliar how to use it. I found this video telling you a simpler way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcs2oWiZ07Q is this accurate for testing the sensor?

Second is the testing of the resistor. Whats a simpler way of testing the wiring to the resistor and the actual resistor itself

Also because the car needs to be refilled of freon when I turn on the a/c the fans dont spin aswell.
 

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First thing is first. Check to see if the cooling fan in running. The low speed resistor tends to corrode or the harness burns up. The next step is to see if there is a blockage in the radiator, feel around the fins when its hot (be careful lol) and see if there are any cool spots. If there are, that's where your blockage is. Also check the hoses for blockages. Do you have heat good heat?



My bet is on the cooling fan/resistor
 

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And, if there's no pressure build up in the system it'll boil at a much lower temp..

Bad cap or leak somewhere. ( if not just a loose cap)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First thing is first. Check to see if the cooling fan in running. The low speed resistor tends to corrode or the harness burns up. The next step is to see if there is a blockage in the radiator, feel around the fins when its hot (be careful lol) and see if there are any cool spots. If there are, that's where your blockage is. Also check the hoses for blockages. Do you have heat good heat?



My bet is on the cooling fan/resistor
Yes I am using coolant, the first time we ran the car in idle the fan or fans kicked in but it was in the red or very close to the red (dont remember) so we immediately shut it off. The fans weren't on prior to that. The second time we started it the fans never came on but we never let it go to the red zone. Hoses had good heat.

The first thread Robby04ZX5 posted had alot of information, makes me think its the cylinder head sensor, relay, resistor or something stupid. But it sounds way to complicated to test the cylinder head sensor as he mentioned. We have the meter tool but are unfamiliar how to use it. I found this video telling you a simpler way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcs2oWiZ07Q is this accurate for testing the sensor?

Second is the testing of the resistor. Whats a simpler way of testing the wiring to the resistor and the actual resistor itself

Also because the car needs to be refilled of freon when I turn on the a/c the fans dont spin aswell.
 

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Replace the Cooling Fan Resistor and stop thinking it's something else until. Because it's not.
 

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Looks poor, only a continuity test would tell for sure.
 

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More important what does the plug look like?
My resistor is not quite as ugly as yours on the front side but the connector end is about the same. When I had my cooling issues recently I decided to just clean the resistor up and re-use it until I could get a replacement...well, it's still in there a month later and working fine.

The problem is likely the plug on the harness. If that has any corrosion on it it's junk; the connectors are too tiny and any resistance from corrosion causes them to get hot, melt and cause the failure. You have two options: first, replace the short harness (Ford sells it). I can't remember the exact price but I think it's around $60-80. Second option is to lop off the plug and replace it. I'm not sure if you can buy it separately but Dorman makes a kit with the resistor p/n 902-219 you can get from most part stores:

Option 2A is to chop the plug off and replace it with two terminal ends (shielded!). This is what I did for a weekend/no-stores-had-it repair. Been working fine for me but if you're not good with wire crimping it can be a fiddly and somewhat tedious repair.

Also if you've not replaced it yet I'd seriously consider buying this little piece of misery and installing it as they can burst without warning when they get to the age ours are at (ask me how I know):

$28 IIRC at the dealer and easy to install. Far cheaper than calling a tow truck.

One last thing I've found on 1st gen Foci is the coolant expansion tanks like to crack where they mount to the fenderwell. That one bolt mount stresses it and they will crack and trickle leak; it will look like the hose fitting at the bottom is weeping but it's not. Nearly every one I looked at in the junkyard had the problem. Expensive from Ford but they make Aftermarket ones that are around $30 if memory serves.
 

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Also if you've not replaced it yet I'd seriously consider buying this little piece of misery and installing it as they can burst without warning when they get to the age ours are at (ask me how I know):

$28 IIRC at the dealer and easy to install. Far cheaper than calling a tow truck.


I have had this happen and what a mess it creates as well. It is good to buy a replacement but I went a little cheaper....I cut the center section out leaving enough room on the single and double ends and spliced in a piece of heater hose...viola! instant fix and has been good ever since. BTW my Focus wagon has 509,000 on it and this was the original tube that burst, not bad! [hihi]
 
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