Question about Ford Explorer Sport

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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.

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  • 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?

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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 explorerforums.com 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,

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Changed out water pump and thermostat and vehicle runs high temperature what could be issue?


Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads High

If the temperature gauge reads high, it could mean your engine is overheating. Another reason your reading might be high is you could be losing coolant. A small leak or evaporation may cause your radiator to slowly lose coolant. A third reason your temperature gauge reads high could be because the thermostat is broken. If this is the case, you may need a coolant temperature switch replacement. The last reason the temperature gauge could read high is because of a water pump, or water pump gasket failure. If the water pump is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced by a professional.

What to Do If Your Temperature Gauge is High

If your temperature gauge is reading high, it means your car is overheating. This is a very serious matter and you should never drive an overheating car. If your car starts to overheat, shut off the air conditioner and open the windows immediately. If this does not reduce the overheating, turn on the heater as high as it can go. If this still doesn't work, pull over on the side of the road, turn off the engine, open the hood carefully, and wait until the vehicle cools down. Never open the radiator cap while the engine is hot - coolant can spray and burn you. Once the vehicle has cooled, take the car to a mechanic right away so they can diagnose the problem. Cars are especially susceptible to overheating in hot climates, like what's common in cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Atlanta.
The temperature gauge is an important tool in your vehicle that shows the temperature of your engine's coolant. Contact YourMechanic and have your car inspected for overheating if it reads too high, as this can cause serious problems...

Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads Cold

On most vehicles, the temperature gauge reads cold until the engine has run for a few minutes. If the temperature gauge still reads cold after the engine has warmed up, the gauge may simply be broken. Another reason the temperature gauge could read cold is if the thermostat in the vehicle stays open. With the thermostat stuck open, the engine can be overcooled, causing a low temperature reading. If this is the case, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

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