2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - waldenyid2007
I recently purchased a 2001 fiesta ghia (with the 1.6 zetec se engine). The problem is it keeps running really hot. The only real pattern to it is that it will stay cool as long as its working.. if for example I'm on the motorway it will be fine, however, when i come off the motorway and get stuck in traffic thats when it can really shoot up.. Then as soon as i get on a country lane it will go back down. Another example would be that it will never get hot going up hill because you have to give it some gas to maintain speed but going downhill is when it will normally shoot up.

Ive changed the thermostat and i bought a new cap for my water as my old one looked a bit dodgy and its still doing it. It doesn't have any of the tell tale signs of a blown head gasket - its not losing water, the oil is fine, the emisions seem fine.

I was told to bleed the system to get rid of air locks. The method i used to try and do this was to take the cap off the water, let the engine run until the fan comes on and if before this happens it begins to bubble and spit water turn it off let it cool down and start again. Well it did start spitting water so i kept doing this and i ended up doing this all day and it just did the same thing everytime.

If it is indeed that there are air locks in the system am i using the wrong method to try and get rid of them? Is there any methods that work better? I have been searching google and it seems like theres a million different ways to do it but i need some advice that relates specifically to fiestas. I have a mechanic friend who said he would bleed it for me but when he looked at my fiesta couldn't find the bleed valve (?) does anyone know where that might be?

Well, i think I've explained the problem as best as i can. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - Screwloose

There was a problem on the Zetec engined Fiestas with a batch of sticking heater control valves causing odd thermostat functions.

Get your garage to bridge out the whole heater by joining the hoses and see if that makes a difference.
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - jc2
There are no bleed valves on gasoline Fiestas.
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - Micky
Not a good idea to bridge a heater matrix on some cars, the revised pipework can also function as a bypass for the radiator. Is the rad fan working?
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - waldenyid2007
Yeah the fan comes on. For the most part I haven't had that many problems with my actual heater. That being said, i drove it yesterday and after about 5 minutes the heater started blowing out max hot when it was on max cold with the air con button pushed in. Before that normally if i change the temp after i give it a little gas the temp would change (wouldnt change straight away unless i did).
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - karlbbb
This seems to be a common Fiesta problem. The heater control valve often sticks/fails. Get it replaced (although it's not the nicest of jobs, have to get behind the bulkhead in some cases).
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - bell boy
read what screwloose says its a common problem and it was a specific ford problem as they had some inferior valves made for themselves,basically the bleed between the two pipes is insuficient in the bore and leads to overheating
i have been told that there is a fiesta forum that will give the exact serial numbers to avoid in case in case your local ford dealer has new old stock on the shelf
the weird thing is i have seen this on the 1600 engine and have myself been flumaxed by it until the owner did his own in depth research and told me the exact cure
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - DP
What bell boy and Screwloose say is exactly right - there is a big problem with a certain batch of valves not allowing sufficient coolant to bypass when the heater is turned off.

Within a few days of buying it, I had major problems with our 1997 1.4 Zetec overheating when the heater temperature control was turned below half way and the engine worked hard, such as hard acceleration or constant high revs (motorway cruising). This was accompanied by the radiator hoses, and the radiator itself going stone cold. After chasing countless phantom airlocks, and replacing water pump, radiator and thermostat, I got nowhere.

I had a nose through the service history, and it transpired a new heater valve had been fitted two months prior to our purchase of the car. These are a known weak point on Fiestas (and Pumas) and the symptom of failure is that the heater temperature control stops working (it will be stuck on hot or cold).

Anyhow, the service history showed a new valve was supplied and fitted by the Ford dealer who had serviced the car, and sure enough, there was a new, shiny valve sitting on the bulkhead. My guess is that the previous owner started experiencing overheating problems after having this valve fitted, and sold the car on. I test drove the car on a snowy January morning when it was -2 outside, and hence apart from confirming the heater temperature control worked (it did), had the heater on full "hot" all the time. The car would behave perfectly in this situation.

I found lots of useful help and information on this at www.zsoc.com which is an owners club for the Zetec-S Fiesta (which we used to own). It transpires that the original part number fitted when this system was introduced, 96FW-18495 was fine. Ford then, as bell boy said, changed suppliers and the part number changed to 98FU-18495. Although Ford say the parts are identical, and they are directly interchangeable, it seems this first batch of 98FU valves are all faulty. There were scores of people on zsoc who had overheating issues within days of having these new valves fitted.

I understand that Ford (eventually) accepted this as a problem, but they were in denial for months. People were being billed for all manner of unnecessary work, which didn't solve the problem, and at least two guys cooked engines as a result of it. I bought a replacement off Ebay (with the 98FU code, sold as genuine, but no Ford logo anywhere), and fitted it, and it solved the problem overnight. I believe the current stock from Ford is also okay, although to the best of my knowledge, they didn't change the part number again. Therefore I'm not sure if it is possible to identify the problem stock and the corrected stock, although I don't know this for sure.

Hope this is useful.


2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - waldenyid2007
Thanks for all the great advice guys.

So what should really be my first course of action? I'm going to get it pressured tested on tuesday just to make sure but I've read a few different cures for this. I presume i need to get my heater control valve replaced but I've also read that one "official" cure is to drill a 3mm hole in the thermostat.

I haven't really driven the car an amazing amount since i last posted but since i bled the water system the temp hasnt gone above half way once. The heater is blowing out hot air all the time tho which it actually didn't do before.

Anyways i'll be driving to london in a couple of days which is an hour and a half journey so i'll know if its still overheating by the end of that.

thanks for all the help so far,

2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - jc2
There will be a suffix after the ####-18495-??.The ?? will be different.
2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - DP
also read that one "official" cure is to drill a 3mm hole in the thermostat.

The genuine Ford 'stat has one already.

2001 Ford Fiesta Ghia overheating - waldenyid2007
I see, well i just bought a brand new thermostat from a ford dealer and had it fitted so i guess i just need 2 get the heater control valve replaced and hope that sorts the problem?

Value my car