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Thanks for the suggestions btmaldon and artscot79, will look at these over the next few days. Just as an aside, my wife drove to an relatives tonight 23 miles, and it went into the red 5 times putting the heater on full blast cured it! However when I drove back the reverse journey same speeds, it did not happen once.
I have exactly the same problem with the temp gauge going into the red every so often. If the engine is sitting idling (i.e sitting in queue of traffic for 10 mins) there is no problem. As soon as I am on a longish run at mway speeds it will suddenly go into the red. If I turn the heating up full blast 8/10 times it will make the gauge go to normal. The (non Ford)garage have done the following so far. Replaced the thermostat twice. Replaced the radiator. Removed the thermostat and this seems to cure the problem. There are apparently no leaks in the system, however the water levels drop occasionally and need refilling up to the max mark but not always. When opening the coolant bottle sometimes there is a rush of air and the coolant level goes up to the max line. There are no signs that it is the head gasket. The water pump appears to be functioning. I need to get this sorted as I am looking to sell the car as I want to buy a newer model. Any ides would be appreciated.
Realise that this an old post but... I had the same issue with the boot opening on its own accord, and also the rear wiper would not park properly. Turned out that it was a earth wiring issue with the electrics running to the boot lid. An auto electrician frigged up another connection and all is ok now.