Question about 2002 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

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Needle jumps to red suddenly and returns to normal

I have the same symtoms on my Ford Ranger (2002) as with the earlier post " 2004 ford ranger. temperature gauge." Needle suddenly jumps from normal to red, by the time I notice and maybe drive a tenth of a mile ( the time it takes to run wicked bad thoughts through your mind) and finally decide, Okay.... I'll pull over.... apply turn signal and brake and Viollah.... needle returns to normal. I have become a parts changer it seems with no satisfaction. Replaced Fan Clutch, Reverse flushed radiator, acid cleaned condensor coil, replaced Thermostat and Housing assembly, replaced water pump, replaced 4 port heater valve, (yes I know that had nothing to do with my problem, but thats the biggest piece of plastic junk I have ever seen and it developed a slight leak just like the previouse three in less than 1.5 years, so I replaced it again.) another reverse flush of radiator, replaced temp sensor, ( which by the way - for those of you who have not found it yet - is located on the rear of the engine close to firewall, very difficult to get hand or tools on but is barely possible with deepwell 3/4" socket, extention bar and swivel knuckle, first need to get a finger on the release clip of the electrical connector. Start by loosining the module harness to the left of the sensor which is mounted through the firewall itself and moving it to the side, allowing you more room to get your left hand in to touch the lil buger.)
Okay, with all these items changednow, now I don't get the rapid needle, not yet anyway, but still overheating after about a 40 mile trip. resovour was filled to max line while cold but after heating up is above the inlet and outlet tubes that enter and exit the resovour. If I go out and restart the engine after letting it cool down completly, the excess water will re-enter the engine and normal level will resume. I can think of only three things I have not done, 1) is change the temp sending unit, 2) possibly air is locked somewhere in the sealed system, and 3) troubleshoot the cooling fan located in the radiator fan shroud. I don't know for sure wether the cooling fan is operating properly,(it does come on when wired direct to battery) but don't know f it comes on when it should or if at all. I suspect this is where the problem may be because I don't hear it coming on when the AC is turned on, my understanding is that it should come on then but need advice on the troubleshooting process for this, I have a meter and know where the relay is, So if there is someone who can answer this for me, please don't hesitate to write the complete details for checking the relay and the circuit. I have a manual but it only mentions the electric cooling fan once to discuss how to remove it for when you replace the water pump, no diagnostic discussion whats soever. Please Help, I am running out of money and patients, if you can't help please send explosive C4 and a fuse.
Thanks, John "The Parts Changer"

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  • joweba Jul 31, 2008

    Update: hard wired cooling fan to direct power - it works. checked continuity at the cooling fan plug for the ground wire to ground and for the power feed wire to the female reciever where the relay plugs in and have good continuityto both. fuses are good ( 2- 30 amp fuses, one powering the cooling fan relay and the other powering the PCM power relay), used a simular relay where cooling fan relay goes to make sure the original relay was not bad and still have no cooling fan when key is in start and A/C selecter is on. I have the Cooling Fan Circuit Wiring Schematic for the vehicle. Could it be the Relay control in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and if so, is this a replaceable relay control without replacing the PCM itself? Is there a way to toubleshoot the control relay in the PCM? I have not tried to remove the PCM to open it and see whats inside, not sure if I would be sorry for doing so. H E L P.

  • joweba Jul 31, 2008

    Just to clarify. The PCM power relay is in the Battery Junction Box along with the Cooling Fan Relay, and the PCM Relay Control (located in the PCM itself) are two different relays, its the one in the PCM I am concerned about. Of course - There is the possibility I could be looking in the wrong place all together.

  • joweba Aug 06, 2008

    What a great web site(NOT), Thanks people for all your coments(NOT).

    Sheesh, I gave all kinds of details, and nothing, notta, zilch.

    Maybe I shoulda just wrote 2002 ford ranger overheating, and coulda got replys that said check water and hoses, was this helpful?

    This site gave me Anal Glouchoma. I can't SEE my *** coming back.



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Check out Buy a subscription for your vehicle and you'll have very good information to troubleshoot. I use it all the time and it has allowed me to do alllot of repairs myself rather than being at the mercy of car dealerships. The subscription only costs about $26.00 per year.

Posted on Aug 07, 2008


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