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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2004 SE Wagon with 2.3L
The radiator started leaking so I replaced it with a new one, I did not replace the thermostat because it's too hard to get to and I figured if it ain't broke. Anyway, after replacing the radiator, I flushed the system, and everything was fine for about a month but now it's overheating. The coolant level was over the max full line (how that happened I don't know) so I took some out, but no change. I let the car idle for about 20 minutes no overheating. I tried the thermostat test I found on this site, and it seems to be working normally. As I drove around the temperature went up to 100c and hovered around there, but after a while it begins to fluctuate between 106c and 120c. I pulled over to see if the fans would come on but they are not operational until 121c (I turned the car off at that point). The coolant level was below the MIN mark, so I added coolant but no change. What is going on with this car?
 

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Overflow tank is new and it's dry in that area. Where is the CHT sensor located?
Cylinder head temp sensor is in the middle spark plug well between spark plugs 2 & 3.

Can you feel the upper radiator hose? Is it hot? That's the return from the motor to the radiator. If coolant is flowing okay, it should be hot to the touch. If it's not, then it sounds like a flow issue which would point to either the water pump or the thermostat.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cylinder head temp sensor is in the middle spark plug well between spark plugs 2 & 3.

Can you feel the upper radiator hose? Is it hot? That's the return from the motor to the radiator. If coolant is flowing okay, it should be hot to the touch. If it's not, then it sounds like a flow issue which would point to either the water pump or the thermostat.

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Yes. The upper hose gets hot. I put on an oven mitt and tried squeezing it, the coolant level moved but no air bubbles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thermostat housing can leak. I would definitely change it, along with the thermostat. This is not expensive. I didn’t read all the answers however.
Aye caramba! I bought one but I have no idea how to get to it. I've read you get at it from underneath and some said take off the RH headlight, but I still don't see hot to get to those bolts.
 

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Ford Focus SE Sport 2003
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Aye caramba! I bought one but I have no idea how to get to it. I've read you get at it from underneath and some said take off the RH headlight, but I still don't see hot to get to those bolts.
Yeah, sorry for that. I have the zetec and it is easy to acces. Put some newspapers under your car for a whole night and see if anything is leaking when the engine is cold because when it’s hot, leaking coolant evaporates.
 

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Aye caramba! I bought one but I have no idea how to get to it. I've read you get at it from underneath and some said take off the RH headlight, but I still don't see hot to get to those bolts.
The easiest way for sure is to pull the headlight out. Honestly the front end of these cars isn't too hard to pull, that's usually my strategy. Spend a little more time in the setup so that I'm not cursing while doing the actual work.

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Unless one can walk right out and buy another car when the stat burns engine down then you change it if the mileage and time on it are high. It may work 10 times right and then burn engine up on the 11th and a stupid way to lose a car. Sorry about the difficulty of the work but think of the cash you are saving. There are relays running the fans that can work then not then work again too. 120C is well over 240F and that is in head gasket blowing territory.
 

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2004 ZX3 SVT EE 173k miles. 2004 ZX3 SVT 194k miles
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Unless one can walk right out and buy another car when the stat burns engine down then you change it if the mileage and time on it are high. It may work 10 times right and then burn engine up on the 11th and a stupid way to lose a car. Sorry about the difficulty of the work but think of the cash you are saving. There are relays running the fans that can work then not then work again too. 120C is well over 240F and that is in head gasket blowing territory.
I'm thinking you were right about the belt tensioner possibly being weak.
 

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2004 ZX3 SVT EE 173k miles. 2004 ZX3 SVT 194k miles
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