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2007 focus, 2.0 automatic overheating at highway speeds, but not at low speeds

Does not overheat off the highway or at idle. One mechanic said the fans are working and the thermostat is fine. Said the radiator was gunked but it could be a bad water pump as well. Put new radiator on, at a ridiculously high price, and same problem. He says time for a new water pump which also comes with a high labor charge. Still insists thermostat working properly. I go for second opinion. Second opinion mechanic says the water pump is working fine. Must be a thermostat problem which, on a ford focus, apparently costs hundreds of dollars to replace that thirty-something dollar part. Now, I'm looking for a third opinion, even though the thermostat being bad makes sense. Looking over the web the last two days, I've seen many folks with the same problem who have parted out the radiator, water pump and thermostat only to have the overheating at highway speed problem persist. In fact, this problem seems to be so common, I find it unlikely that a mechanic at a Ford Dealer hasn't seen it dozens of times. That said, I've seen nothing resembling a real solution to this problem- just an old school- part it out til you find the problem- "solution" that ends up costing loads of money. What gives? Could this common issue really be befuddling the entirety of Ford mechanics? Is this a problem they've somehow not seen, despite a growing group of dissatisfied customers complaining about it for years? Really, there's got to be a common solution to this common problem that doesn't involve completely replacing the cooling system, only to have the darned thing continue to overheat.

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  • Jamie Alton
    Jamie Alton Nov 01, 2012

    Can you please confirm whether you are loosing any water from your cooling system?Are you sure you haven't suffered a head gasket failure?Is your tailpipe emitting a lot of steam or water, even after running for 30 minutes or longer? (typical sign of engine water leak)

  • enovasub Nov 01, 2012

    Thanks for responding Jamie. No leaking at all. The car ran for two hours with no leaks, no steam and no smoke. Both places said the head gasket was sound. Both places said the fans were working properly. One says it's a water pump, but the second says the water pump is working properly because the heater is blowing hot air constantly, rather than cooling down which he said would happen if the pump was not working. i've had that happen in another car when the water pump went out. The heater started blowing cool air. The radiator and resevoir are unchanged since I had a new radiator put on last Friday. Still overheats at highway speeds though, but does not leak. Yet. I have to find a fix without changing out everything, only to have the problem stll as so many on line have experienced.

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Start out with a new rediator cap. if that goes, it can also cause conditions that you describe

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Well you could have a bad water pump that is not circulating the water right while you driving you car on high speed but if you wan to try if is the thermostat take off and drive the car like that if the problem goes away just put a new thermostat

Posted on Nov 01, 2012

  • enovasub Nov 01, 2012

    Are you suggesting to remove thermostat and try driving without one? Wouldn't the car overheat without a thermostat?

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SOURCE: why is my 2005 jeep wrangler overheating while

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first check and see if the fan is comming on when it gets hot if it does and you dont see any white smoke i would replace the radiator.

Posted on Feb 09, 2010

dttech
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SOURCE: 2004 Ford Explorer Sports Trac

Did the engine overheat before the water pump was replaced? If so, you may have a warped cylinder head and/or blown head gasket.

Was the radiator full of rusty-colored liquid before you flushed it? If so, your radiator is probably restricted with rust deposits in the cooling tubes. Flushing WILL NOT get this stuff out. The radiator MUST be replaced if this is the case. Your heater core is probably not in real good shape either, so you should be expecting some heating problems this winter.

If the above is not the correct answer, then you should check to make sure the temperature gauge is not "LYING" to you. This could be caused by a defective gauge, a bad temperature sending unit, or faulty wiring.

The way to check this is with a scan tool that can read engine data and an infrared thermometer. While reading the coolant temperature data from the computer, check the cylinder head temperature with the infrared thermomometer. The readings you get should be within 5 degrees (F) of each other. If the computer data does not match the thermometer within the 5 degrees, then the sending unit for the computer should be replaced.

Then look at the gauge to see if the gauge reading is appropriate to the temperature readings that you took. Normal operating temperature is between 190 and 230 degrees. This should place the gauge at slightly to the right of center to about 5/8ths of the way to HOT. If the readings you took are OK and the gauge is reading higher than this, then you should try replacing the temperature sending unit for the gauge and see if that fixes the problem.

Please note that there are TWO temp sending units: One for the gauge and one for the computer.

Posted on Aug 30, 2011

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