Question about 2003 Ford Focus

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Heat gage shows red line. not all the time.

This has been going on for about 2 months.this is my deuthers car. 2003, SE 2.3 liter. temp gauge is pegging on and off. then the vehicle started bucking and jerking when getting onto freeway and wouldn't go over 50 mph, had to add little water to reservoir.I think it could be 1 of three things. heater sencer .because it doesn't happen all the time.. sticking thermostat, or fan at radiator not running when it should.
the ford dealer is trying to tellme that the radiator is pluged up, and oil needs to be changed. ( this was done 900 miles ago) she does it every 3000 miles. and thermostat could be bad. they want $1100.00 todo that work. RIGHT!! also check engine light came on this time. and thats what I wanted to know what it said, what was the code?
I think I can change the thermostat my self.have to find it first. never worked on a focus before.

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Check wire that goes to the temperature sensor for a short. This will make the dash do crazy things, a common problem. Check pcv hose from the intake manifold to pipe to the pcv valve for collapse while running.This will make the light come on. Check plug boots { you will have to pull them out from the spark plug] for oil or water on them as this will make it skip. If they are dry replace the coil. Oriellys $45.00

Posted on Feb 17, 2010

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Autozone will scan your engine code for free. the thermostat is located under the nipple that the large hose coming from the top of the radiator clamps too.you can have your radiator flushed for about $80 just about anywhere.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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Engine temp gauge not reading and ac will not turn on due to engine hot warning, diognostics say its a sensor, need to know which one and can i do it myself?2003 saturn vue


What diognostics say its a sensor ?????? No diagnostic's ever tell's you it's a sensor . You as a technician would need to prove that by testing electrical circuits , viewing coolant temp sensor . Hooking scan tool and trying to command the gauge with by directional control . The temp gauge not showing any temp. ? No movement ? Engine Coolant Temperature Gage Inaccurate or InoperativeStep Action
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Schematic Reference: Instrument Cluster Schematics
1
Did you perform the Instrument Cluster Diagnostic System Check?
Go to Step 2
Go to Diagnostic System Check - Instrument Cluster
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Turn the ignition ON, with the engine OFF.
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Would hate for you to replace the coolant temp sensor an find out that's not the problem ! Does the vehicle start an run good ,trans mission shift good ? If so it's not the coolant temp sensor .
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