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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2006 Focus hatchback is running very warm and it's freezing cold outside. The passenger heater does not work when the car is at rest, but it does work when the car is moving. The coolant is orange and when warm the fluid is at the "low" line in the bottle. What is wrong with the car?
-Hugo
 

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check your thermostat. It's probably stock closed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nov173: Is there a simple way to check the thermostat? Do I have to take anything off to get to it?-Hugo
 

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Focused Focus
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Check the coolant level to be sure that you have enough and the thermostat may be stuck.
 

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do you have a haynes manual? You should purchase one. It's a reasonably simple thing to replace actually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see the housing now. For my back and fat fingers it's a bit too much of a job. Tony's Express Lube off Denton Hwy said they will do it for $99, that's my option. I'm screwed ... thanks for the diagnosis. -Hugo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Curveball -- My mechanic is saying the thermostat for my '06 is more than $110. Can that be right?
-Hugo
 

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C2H5OH
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HOLY COW, ya close to that price --> CLICK ME

Check the accessory belt. Almost sounds like you broke it, water pump is not turning.
 

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2006 Focus hatchback is running very warm and it's freezing cold outside. The passenger heater does not work when the car is at rest, but it does work when the car is moving. The coolant is orange and when warm the fluid is at the "low" line in the bottle. What is wrong with the car?
-Hugo
did anyone notice he said he had orange coolant? thats gm coolant. or is it gold my 08 ses had gold but i thought orange coolant was bad for our cars
 

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Focus "Sleeper"
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My car also says dont use orange, but mine is orange. Its just a longer lasting coolant. Dont think there is any other appreciable difference.
 

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after you figure out which coolant you need, top off the system and recheck.

the symptom of having no heat at idle, then heat when moving definitely indiactes limited flow of coolant over the heater core inside the car.

This is not controlled by the t-stat, that only controls flow through the radiator. You can figure out if coolant is flowing through the T-stat by feeling the temp of the upper/lower coolant hoses after you get the system topped off.

Fill it cold, get it hot, let it cool off overnight and then top off when cool again in the AM.

Then let it idle till the temp is normal and check if you have heat at idle, and test the temp of upper/ lower radiator hoses, where they attach at the radiator.

The most common cause for both no heat at idle and overheating is simply low coolant levels, start there before changing parts. Then monitor coolant level daily until you can confirm if you are or are not loosing coolant from a leak.

Of course, it could also be low on fluid because there is another problem like a stuck t-stat, clogged radiator, or worse, and the overheating expanded the coolant out the reservior overflow, and the low coolant level is the result of the overheat, not the source of the overheat.

IF you are nervous about having a sudden failure, here's my advice.

Have a shop pressure test the cooling system, inspect for leaks and advise on condition/operation. If you walk in and ask to have a t-stat put in, they will charge $XX.XX, you will get a new t-stat and fluid, but if it has other problems, the shop will not be inclined to stand behind the work becuase U diagnosed the t-stat, not them.

Find a shop that a friend or relative uses regualrly that you can trust, tell them what's going on and see what they say. It would be reasonable to pay about 40-50 to pressure test and provide thier estimate for repairs. They might give credit for part of the estimate off the repair work if you give them the job.

Don't just walk into a tire store or sears and beg to beat for some $$.
 

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Coolant Color Details!

IF you are certain that the colored coolant in your vehicle is Ford/Motorcraft specs then the charts in the link penguin posted are all you need to know, but there are other coolants on the market that may look similar in color but........

The coolant colors from various mfg's can be used to indicate what chemical base is used to make them, they are no longer all typical "prestone" Ethylene-Glycol deriviatives.

Also certain mfg's have additional warranty requirements for PH /Acid levels of the coolants, the VW/Audi factory "blue green" coolant was one example.

Mixing certain coolants will cause a chemical reaction that will create coagualtion/gelling, which is the automotive version of a blood clotting!(think of mixing blood types) when this gel gets in the radiatior, it's going to cause some issues. [screwy]

See info about Dex-cool below, it's an "orange coolant" but not ford spec. GM has had some issues with this coolant. Ford "orange" is similar to Dex-cool using "OAT" technology, the Ford yellow is a more advanced OAT version.

This article discusses the Ford orange fluid.
http://auto.ihs.com/document/abstract/KFEGABAAAAAAAAAA

The reference in this article "They should not be mixed with previously approved silicated coolants." conventional green coolant is a silicated coolant, and suggests the Ford orange fluid is subject to the same issues dex-cool is and this is why Ford only used it in the cougar for 2 years.

You also have to be careful about the colors of some after market and alternate OEM mfg coolants because some are very close in tint, and when blended with water it becomes even harder to tell.

I just found the details on this from Wiki, DEX-COOL is a GM coolant that is not compatible with Ethelyne-glycol, and it is ORANGE in color.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifreeze

Here's some other good info on a Zerex website, watch this video.

http://www.valvoline.com/seemore.asp?coaid=9ACBA047D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, got the '06 back from the mechanic. New $110 thermostat (complete with housing), everything seems to be in order. I had orange coolant, now I have green. It is a lot fuller than when I looked at it before the service. I am guessing tb1999 was right when stating the fluid was low and that was causing my symptoms. Guess I should have waited one more day before going to the mechanic. I will adjust the fluid level according to tb's post. You'all are very helpful, a great resource.
-Hugo
 

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well good thing u changed out the orange coolant... Ford only likes Green coolant... they say the orange fluid will cause corrosive actions.
 

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well good thing u changed out the orange coolant... Ford only likes Green coolant... they say the orange fluid will cause corrosive actions.
Thats total bull shit...... I've ran DexCool 2 in my SVT for 4 years without any issues what so ever..

Your statement makes about as much sense as saying that BF Goodrich tires are only for Chevy's and if you run them on your Ford they will explode.
 

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Thats total bull shit...... I've ran DexCool 2 in my SVT for 4 years without any issues what so ever..

Your statement makes about as much sense as saying that BF Goodrich tires are only for Chevy's and if you run them on your Ford they will explode.
And that only happens if you run Firestone tires on an Explorer. [joke]
 

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Thats total bull shit...... I've ran DexCool 2 in my SVT for 4 years without any issues what so ever..

Your statement makes about as much sense as saying that BF Goodrich tires are only for Chevy's and if you run them on your Ford they will explode.

There are some Ford motors that require certain coolants, such as the 7.3l diesels and some power strokes. If you do not use the required coolant, it could cause cavitation within the engine block which will weaken the block, which in turn will require a block replacement.

I would suggest that you read the requirements and recommendations in the owner's manual and in any related shop manual for the correct coolant and additives.
 
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