Question about Ford Explorer Sport

1 Answer

High temperature gauge reading, low battery voltage reading

I have a 1997 Ford Explorer. I live in Wisconsin and its really cold here. When its been really cold, when I would start my truck, it would whine pretty loud until warmed up. Today, like any other day it did the same thing, but when I went to get in, I noticed the temperature gauge pinned on Hot and the check gauge light was on, also the battery voltage was low and the headlights didn't look quite as bright. I shut the truck off and started it back up, started just fine. Please can someone help me out, I know very little about these things.

Posted by on

  • llb2976 Jan 01, 2009

    But would a bad alternator affect the water temp?? I mean with a battery light on and the voltage low, yes an alternator is understandable. But with the check gauge light on and my water temp. pinned on "H", I'm wondering if it isn't the belt. I called a local garage, guy didn't mention alternator, just said with noise and all those lights on, he believes either the belt and/or tensioner pulley. Does this sound somewhat legit?


1 Answer

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert that hasĀ over 10 points.


    An expert whose answer gotĀ voted for 2 times.

    Problem Solver:

    An expert who has answered 5 questions.

  • Contributor
  • 14 Answers

The loud whine you speak of indicates one of two things a bad serpentine belt or alternator, The first thing would be to check the belt.Look for cracks worn spots or glazing. If the belt looks ok then take the belt off and start the engine for a minute or so and listen for noise.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

  • bob neumann Jan 02, 2009

    yes the belt slipping would cause the water pump not to operate properly. There is a great web site for explorers like ours it is It deals with all sorts of problems and all of the people on there are great. I know about the cold I am just south of you in Rockford,IL Tell me one thing does the temp gauge act normal after running or is it still pegged? If it is still pegged does it overheat and spill coolant? There maybe two problems present, 1 the serpentine belt and 2 the temp sensor,


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

2 Answers

1997 ford expedition eddie bouer addition at the same time my oil,battery,and temp gauge started reading high why the speed and gas gauge is bottomed out but the tech gauge works fine

a guess
thats a lot of sensors to fail all at once
may need an auto electrician
.any fuses blown
if happened all at once
voltage overload/spike from alternator regulator
or huge short / wire loom melt ....

May 30, 2016 | 1997 Ford Expedition

1 Answer

The temperature gauge goes up when car starts to HOT like its out of calibration. the engine is not overheating

check that the wire to the temp sender unit has not fallen off and is shorting out on the head/block. The power comes from the ignition switch through the gauge down to the sender unit and because the sender is a temperature controlled resistance unit the voltage is very low and so the gauge reads cold . as the temperature heats up , the resistance is decreased and so the voltage is increased though the gauge and the needle reads higher.. Hench if the gauge goes directly to hot on start up the wire is shorting out or the sender unit is faulty.

Mar 09, 2014 | Acura CL Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1998 Ford Explorer Low Battery/Voltage Reading

Bad alternator you should have about 14.7 volts at idle with a new alternator.

Nov 02, 2012 | Ford Explorer Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2002 Ford F250 Super Duty miss firing when cold

Check your intake gaskets by spraying a water mist from an old spray bottle on them when the engine is running. Sometimes heat will expand the gaskets and seal them. When you find the leak, the engine RPM will change or the engine will stall.

Sparkplugs will do this when they are going bad. So will glowplugs on Diesel engines.

Also have your Battery checked. If the battery is weak, you will start at a low voltage and then as the Alternator catches up, the engine will get smoother when electric power is restored. The controls on your engine work off of Voltage readings so some controls will automatically set up controls bercause of the wrong Voltage for the condition.

Cold start circuit. Your engine will step up the idle and enrichen the fuel mix when a temperature sensor tells the controls that the engine is cold. There can be 2 temperature sensors and you want to check the sensor that operates the engine, not the dash gauge. You can tell which is the dash gauge by unplugging the sensor after the engine has warmed up(Running). When you lose your dash gauge, then you know that the other sensor is the one you want.

Jan 27, 2012 | 2002 Ford F250 Super Duty SuperCab

2 Answers

2002 Ford explorer outside temperature reading is wrong. Changed temperature sensor between grill and radiator but still wrong temperature reading on dash. Reads 10 degrees too low all the time and it does...

This may be a wiring issue as the sensor is electronic in nature. Any loose wiring may cause the voltage across the sensor to differ resulting in an inaccurate reading.

Oct 16, 2011 | 2002 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

I have a 1986 XLT Lariat F150, 8cyl. 302. The truck starts and runs fine for a while then the oil presure gauge will start to drop past the low mark, then the temperature gauge will read very hot, when I...

There is a small voltage regulator in side the dash that controls the gages its on the back of the instrument panal over the speedometer you need to remove the panal to get is it conects almost like a 9 volt battery that the conector likes like but its a lot smaller in side

Dec 22, 2010 | 1986 Ford F150 SuperCab

1 Answer

I change the battery but the battery light still on and the battery gauge still low

Sounds like your alternator is not producing enough current. That will illuminate the battery light and show as a low voltage on the battery gauge.

Sep 22, 2010 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

1 Answer

Temperature gauge not working,stay cold

Hi. the vdc at the sensor seems to be fine. if the ground is sufficient, i would replace the gauge. its malfunctioning. Check for loose connection at gauge before replacing the gauge.

May 14, 2009 | 1997 Ford Contour

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

1,072 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Ford Experts


Level 3 Expert

70387 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22041 Answers

Ron Lankford

Level 3 Expert

5386 Answers

Are you a Ford Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides