Question about Ford Contour

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I have a 98' ford contour that keeps overheating i have replaced the water pump and thermostat and belched the coolant system but it still overheats. when i turn on the a/c the radiator fans work, and it blows out hot heat when i turn on the heat..... help me please what should i look for next?

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  • awarmoth Aug 07, 2010

    i flushed the system and replaced the sensors on the thermostat housing and it is still running hot the fans kick on with the air off. the radiator looks fairly clean i am going to blow it out with an air hose just as shot in the dark. tried feeling the radiator but its kinda hard to get close to it with how small and compact everything is under there.... should i look at checking my catalytic converter?

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  • Master
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Check the radiator itself by feeling the radiator while hot, being careful not to burn yourself feel from the top to the bottom while going side to side, it should be hot at the top and generally cooler as you go down with out any cold spots, if you have a cold spot the radiator is plugged and will need to be cleaned or replaced, also make sure that the radiator fan runs with engine temperature, not just when you turn on the a/c. If this all checks well, look at the exhaust pipe, if you have antifreeze in the radiator see if there is white smoke coming out the tailpipe when engine is hot, if so the cylinder head gasket may be blown out. Hope this helps, let me know.

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

  • awarmoth Aug 07, 2010

    well i flushed the coolant and replaced the antifreeze with 50/50 mix like required. no smoke is coming out of my exhaust. the radiator fans kick on on their own with the a/c off. and it still over heats. i even replaced the sensors on the thermostat housing. going to blow out the radiator with an air hose just to try it but it looks pretty clean actually

  • Jeff Hammack
    Jeff Hammack Aug 09, 2010

    In order to check the radiator you may need to remove the fan, do not run the engine to an overheat temperature, and see if you can check it that way. Does your thermostat housing have a small bleeder screw in it? If it does you need to bleed the air out completely, trapped air with make it overheat. If not then let the engine cool and remove the spark plugs, look at each one, they should appear clean, not black and certainly without any water or antifreeze, while you have the plugs out, have someone else turn the engine over a couple of times, while you observe the plug holes, look and see if any moisture comes out, if so the cylinder head may be cracked or the headgasket blown, either will make it overheat. Hope this helps, please let me know.

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Most people think of this is a common problem of the thermostat. To make sure it is not the only problem, run your car a day or two without the thermostat to make sure it is not overheating anymore, then put in a new thermostat. Your problem is solved.
However, if your engine still has overheat without the thermostat, then there is a problem with restriction of coolant circulation through the engine from 3 followings:
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I can't believe anyone would replace the waterpump without also replacing the thermostat. Once overheated, a thermostat is no good anymore. It must be replaced.

But that is not the only possibility. You could have a bad head gasket, without having oil in the water. Only a pressure check can tell. You could also have a collapsing lower hose, as water pump suction causes it to pinch off. You could also have an air bubble from not bleeding it properly when refilling. You could also have a loose waterpump belt. You could have put in the wrong waterpump, as the type for normal V-belts runs the opposite direction of the type for serpentine belts.
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Son has a 1997 contour with 2.0l overheated


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A thermostat is the cheapest part to replace, a thermostat opens and closes allowing coolant into the motor as needed to keep it cool, if it gets stuck closed then it doesn't allow any coolant into the motor thus overheating.

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