Thermostat went out? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Thermostat went out?

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by zx2woman2000, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    My temperature gauge on my 2000 zx2 always sits a little above a quarter of the way up from the cool line, well last night I had ran a trip to the store to get some food and I noticed that the temperature gauge was sitting a little above half way, which it has never done the entire 7 months I have had it. I parked it back on base and left it alone. When I went to get into the car today I checked the coolant and the overflow was empty but the radiator was full. I started the car and the temp gauge was already sitting where it was suppose to be when the car was running normally and I did a lap to get back out and see the cap was on. There was about a five to seven inch round puddle of antifreeze on the ground, but the cap wasn't on all the way. I fixed the cap and went on my merry way. I could see my temperature gauge bouncing between below half way and above it. Everytime there was stress on the engine it would go up, but then it would go down sometimes when I shifted. I stopped and checked for a puddle and there was a little two inch puddle under the car. I got in and the temp gauge was reading higher than before. I go to my next stop and no puddle but the car is now not idling around 900 rpm like it use to and was barely idling around 200 or 300 rpm and sometimes bouncing up to 900. The temp gauge was doing the same thing as it was when I first got on the road, then when I hit traffic on base it just got hotter and hotter and hotter until i could park it. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice to help point me in the right direction of something like the water pump, thermostat, or just a bad radiator cap. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    My guess is that it's either the water pump, thermostat or radiator cap. When you had puddles under the car were they in the area below the water pump? If they were that is probably the problem. It sounds like your thermostat is stuck closed or the water pump is shot not letting the water flow fast enough through the engine to keep it cool. If the thermostat is stuck closed the car would probably be dangerously within 10-15 minutes of driving depending on the outdoor temperature. You could buy a thermostat and radiator cap both for about $10-15 and it wouldn't take but a 1/2 hour to replace them. You could pull the timing cover off and if the water pump is leaking you should be able to see the leak with the car running or you could turn the car off and check the water pump for play in the bearing. One reason I think it might be the water pump is because you said the over flow bottle was empty indicating that coolant is going somewhere. Are you sure the car was actually getting hot? It's also possible your temperature sensor is bad.
  3. WJC

    WJC Guest

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    Sounds like a head gasket to me.
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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    I'd have to agree with FordMan59 on this one. There is only one thing that bothers me about the water pump idea. Usually when a water pump goes it goes all at once dumping coolant all over the place, this gradual release of coolant sounds like remnant dripping from a poorly secured cap. You might as well replace your thermostat, you need to drain your coolant to do that and it sounds like that's already happened so why not spend 5 bucks and throw a new one in, be sure to replace the gasket as well! Refill your radiator with clean water and run the engine for a while. If your water pump is shot it'll spew water all over the place so you know that could be the problem. BTW, if it is your water pump you might want to replace your timing belt while you've got everything apart.
    Check your oil for any signs of coolant, if your seeing any it could mean a bad head gasket.
    Good luck!
  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    How many miles are on the car?
    Does it still have the original water pump?
  6. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    around 160k miles. I am pretty sure it is still the original water pump because the only thing that was really put into the car was fuel related. I am sure now that it isn't the water pump, but now I have it down between the sensor because the thing when I start it never says the car has cooled down to where the C is, or it is a bad thermostat and radiator cap. It hasn't leaked any more and the radiator is back to full because I refilled what little came out. Thanks for all of the help.
  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    At 160,000 miles on a water pump, you either need one or will need one soon. In fact, it's probably not the original and about to go bad.
  8. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    Most people must have more trouble with the water pumps than I do. My '88 with 484K miles is just on it's second water pump. The original and the the one that is currently on it.
  9. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    I really have never had any problems with this car since I got it except bad spark plugs and wires. I changed them already, so it was okay until two days ago and it just went all of out wack. This will be the second car that I have had to change a thermostat in.
  10. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    Have you found out what the problem was yet?
  11. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    I am pretty sure it is the sensor that runs the temp gauge inside the car. the gauge shouldn't be saying it is half way when I start the car after letting it sit overnight. If that isn't it, I will replace the thermostat and whatnot.
  12. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    If the gauge isn't reading correctly when the engine is cool it's got to be something to do with the sensor.
  13. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    That is what I kind of thought. I can't think of why it would be anything else at this point. Then again, my logic has been proven wrong with my own logic again haha.
  14. WJC

    WJC Guest

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    None of this explains the coolant leakage. I would be looking for the source of the leak.
  15. zx2woman2000

    zx2woman2000 Guest

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    My cap wasn't on all the way when I first took off, and I did a lap around the parking lot and stopped again and realized it and fixed it. There was just a little bit of fluid collected on a plastic piece right under the radiator right where the cap was and had came off from there.
  16. Jigure

    Jigure New Member

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    at 160k miles i'm pretty surprised your car hasn't had a serious tune up yet. Like someone else said I'd recommend getting that timing belt changed if you need a new water pump. Might as well make use of any labor hours you'll already be paying provided u have a technician do this for you.

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