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Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus  
Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - Chrisb239

I discovered my coolant reservoir was completely empty and we had a leak in the system which turned out to be some cracked housing. This was replaced along with the thermometer and coolant replaced. After a day the temp guage kept shooting to red. Took it back to garage (twice) and they stated the engine wasn't overheating and they believed it was a dash issue and recommended I just drive it as it was. Issues with engine management light coming on as well, and the guage then died completely. Car eventually went into limp mode.

Took it to my normal garage for their opinion, they checked thermometer and water pump which were both fine, replaced a broken switch which revived the temp guage and replaced a sensor. All was well except still going into red which they believed was down to an airlock. Bled the system, test drove the car hooked up to scanner and verified when guage went to red engine wasn't overheating. Suggested we drove the car as may still be a small amount of air in system.

After a week of driving still having issues with the guage going into red, staying there anything from 20-60 secs and dropping back down again. Only does this in 5th gear and seems to be more prevalent when you take your foot of the accelerator to slow down. Fan seems to be working overtime though. Garage have now suggested this may be electrical.

Is this still likely to be air if it only happens in 5th gear or does this sound electrical? Easy for them to say its ok to carry on driving but when the needle is sitting on red and doesn't budge doesn't come natural to carry on dirivng. Any help appreciated!

Tags: technical issues legal and consumer advice warning lights limp mode

Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - Peter.N.

Difficult to say with a modern car, it could well be electrical if the fan is controled by the same sensor as the gauge. If you are not using water and the heater works OK I wouldn't worry. The fact that it only does it in 5th is probably because you spend most time there. Next time it does it, stop and feel the radiator, if its warm/hot the water is circulating allright, if its cold suspect a faulty thermostat.

Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - TeeCee

>Fan seems to be working overtime though

Silly question: Which way round is the fan going? I've seen 'em come out the factory wired bass-ackwards before now, although this would sound like whoever worked on the system dropped a clanger. Run the engine while stationary until the fan cuts in and put your hand in front of the car, if air is blowing out forwards you have found the problem.

It only becomes a serious problem when you are going at exactly the right speed for the blowing fan to exactly match the airflow, causing a dead area in the middle of the rad, at which point the rad temps go off into lala land. In your case, cruising in 5th would appear to be that speed..

Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - Chrisb239
Thanks for the feedback on the rad and fan issues.

Its had a once over on the electrics today which they can find no issue with, but we now have a TSB from Ford which they think is the key - still seem to be looking at an airlock problem. Its back in the garage tomorrow for another drain and refill so fingers crossed this time!
Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - unthrottled
"Only does this in 5th gear and seems to be more prevalent when you take your foot of the accelerator to slow down"

I don't want to sound alarmist but when a temp gauge shows a rapid response to changes in throttle position, the omens are not good.

Forget the fan; once the car is moving faster than about 20 mph, it simply isn't needed, and its effect would be negligible anyway.

I'm afraid that when you first lost coolant, the engine experienced localised overheating (which wouldn't show up on the temp gauge). This could easily crack the cylinder head or the head gasket.

When you lift off, you're creating high vacuum in the cylinders. If there is a breach from the coolant to the cylinder, the drop in colant pressure will promote boiling and airlocks which could cause the remaining coolant to overheat-which the gauge (correctly) registers.

Key question: Is the engine continuing to use coolant. If so, is there any excessive white smoke at idle. Is the white smoke 'heavy', ie does it hug the ground?
Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - Chrisb239
>I don't want to sound alarmist but when a temp gauge shows a rapid response to changes in throttle position, the omens are not good.
Ok I am slightly alarmed now!

>Key question: Is the engine continuing to use coolant. If so, is there any excessive white smoke at idle. Is the white smoke 'heavy', ie does it hug the ground?
I am keeping an eye on the collant tank but the level isn't moving so don't think it is using and have seen no white smoke as yet!
The garage did Ford's recommendation yesterday, car was still going into red last night but today the guage only moved once and went to 3/4 and not onto red. Would it take a while to settle down after the woek has been done? Is it too early days to make a judgements on whether its fixed the problem?
Ford Focus - Temperature Guage issues - ford focus - Grimps

I am posting this in the hope that I can save others from expense of going through what I have. If you want to just skip to last para the solution is there. Over the past month I have had the same probelms with my 2001 Focus 1.6 Zetec. I have owned the car from new and various members of the fmaily have used it so its taken 11 years for this issue to come out. The temp gauge would shoot to the red mostly when on a motorway or climbing a long hill but it gradually got worse to the extent that even on short journeys it was an issue.

Cut a long story short, change thermostat, then temp sender, then full flush of rad, then had water pump examined by camera, then garage found that head was an issue when tested at high tempertaure as gas was discoulouring test liquid they used. Head was warped probably due to overheating.

After rebuild no better so garage spend hrs on the interent to find solution (I had tried and not found one). like above everyone says they have an issue but no one says what the solution is!!! So thanks to my garage (an independent) here it is for those who feel there is no end to the problem.

Ford in 2001 issued a bulletin on overheating 1.4L and 1.6l Zetec engines. Bulletin TSB 005/2001 which was updated by bulletin no.5 dated 17th may 2001 (1 month after I bought the car). The fix involves new expansion tank and cap, new 74degree thermostat and new coolant hoses to splice into exisiting. Thanks to my indepedent garage they found this - when they spoke to Ford they knew nothing but went and investigated and parts were delivered in 24hrs once they had agreed it was the fix. Ford should be ashamed of themselves for not informing drivers better as there many many drivers out there who seem to have the issue but no one seems to know the fix. Hope this helps, my car to date has not overheated despite my best efforts in testing the garages work.

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