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Chappers3694

FORD Focus overheating

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hi everyone, 

I'm new here and don't know alot about cars.

in may i brought a focus mk2 1.8 tdci its on 120k thought i had a bargain until the journey home.

Came across it on ebay, spoke through message and was stupid enough not to go through eBay and pay cash on collection so no chance of getting any money back obviously. took it for a spin and everything seemed fine gone through all gears gave it a bit of a thrash, looked under bonett and from what I had been told to look out for everything seemed ok. Upon the journey home I'd got not even half hour back and red light popped up on the dash and temperature was in the red section so pulled over rang the bloke he said give me five let me ring my machanic, five minutes later I rang again and... Blocked my number.

Basically the engine gets really hot very fast, coolent seems to vanish but when I take the cap off it comes flooding back into the header tank. As I speed up the temp gauge goes down as I come to a stop in traffic or slow down it shoots back up and the light comes on. Iv squeezed a few of the pipes to and from the header tank everything seems to be flowing ok, everything is tight on so I assume there's no leaks as I can't see anything underneath when left stood so now I'm stuck. Can't go anywhere in the car apart from 5 minutes up the rosd. Iv had it looked at by 4 different garages and no body can get to the bottom of it? so far had a new pipe fitted because it's was loose and a new water pump and one said it was the dreaded head gasket the other 3 say no  it isn't the head gasket, the garage that did my water pump eliminated her cooler by blanking it, no white stuff under cap that seems to be ok so Now I just don't know what to do and this forum seems to be pretty helpful so anyone who can shed some light on it that would be great! 

 

Thanks 

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does the fan on the radiator come on when it gets hot? Is the fan blowing the right way? sucking air from front of car and blowing it out backwards from radiator?   could the radiator core be blocked with silt. Years ago car radiators did get blocked with silt and people would reverse flush them with a pressure wash.  

I assume you have had thermostat changed as that would have been first thing to focus on.

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The fan only comes on when the temp is in the red, I have no idea About the fan I just know about it when it comes on because it’s very loud and it stays on for 5/10 minute after I turn the car off! When I got my water pump changed they changed the thermostat with another one and it was the same problem so they just put mine back on so he said it couldn’t be that.

 

thanks 

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I would expect the fan to come on earlier than that. I think sometimes they come on at a slower speed first of all prior to full speed/noise so you might not neccessarily hear it when on lower speed (I do not know what sort of year car makers started installed multi speed fans)

I do not know where the temp sensor that controls the fan going on and off is.

Years ago I had a car where the fan was coming on too late - when the temp is already far too high - so I installed a switch on the dashboard so I could switch the fan on myself when I thought it needed. I did not bypass the sensor on the engine, I installed the switch as an extra means of switching it on in addition to the automatic one

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removing the thermostat might help as it would take a lot longer to warm up in the first place. but not ideal as longer warm up means worse emissions/fuel economy and harder to demist your windscreen (but I assume you have quickclear windscreen) and longer to get the inside of the car nice and warm- with winter coming

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If the coolant disappears from the bottle without leaking, there's not enough in there.  You've got an air lock somewhere, basically a massive bubble which stops the coolant circulating properly.  

There will be a 2 speed fan on your car, but you won't hear the low speed over the engine.  

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Iv been told to remove the temp sensor but i want to sort it ideally! it’s full to the brim tom, how would get rid of the air in it? 

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I agree with TomsFocus if the coolant is vanishing there is not enough of it and from the sounds of it you have an air lock as well, shocked 4 garages could not figure this out to be honest! If it were me I would look at doing a really good flush through the cooling system, make sure it is all nice and clean and then fill it up with decent coolant and bleed properly, I think on these it is just a case of removing the cap from the header tank and allowing the car to come up to temperature, whatever you do, do not allow the header tank to run dry whilst bleeding as you will introduce more air to the system. I would also look at replacing the thermostat if it has not already been done and finally get an auto electrician to make sure the fans are kicking in when they should do, I have the same car, mine kick in at just over half way on the temp gauge.

The only thing that make no sense is you have had a new water pump, was this done at a decent garage? I would have expected them to top the coolant up to the correct level and bleed it before they gave it back to you really.

Disclaimer: I am no mechanic or expert but have built up a little knowledge through having many bangers over the years, see what @TomsFocus has to say before taking what I say as gospel ;)

 

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I agree with the "not enough coolant" comments on the basis that if the cooling system was truly "full" of coolant, the expansion tank would not be able to temporarily "empty" itself unless the coolant was leaking out somewhere.  I reckon the comments about an airlock are on the money TBH.

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Thanks for that i’ll Give it a try and give you a update? Although I’m not sure how to flush coolant do I need to drain it out somehow? Yes the car was done at a popular garage in our area never had a bad word said! 

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I'd suggest picking up a used Haynes manual off ebay as it covers a number of jobs (some fairly simple, some not).  It certainly good for giving you a starting point or guide for many relatively straightforward tasks.

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Air lock removal should be simple on these cars as they self bleed, it's not quite fool proof though.

As others say above, run the engine with the coolant cap off and the heaters on full until the stat opens and the fans come on ideally, might not happen at idle on a cold day with a diesel though which is where problems can occur.  I would try bleeding before flushing just so you don't waste coolant if that fixes it.  

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I’m trying to bleed it now, the gauge is halfway, fans on full whack took it for a drive before hand to warm it up, coolant seems to be coming back in the header it’s filling right up is that right? 

 

Cheers 

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Update: Iv sat with the car for a hour while I let it do it’s thing heaters on, fans open, temp gauge half way and the bubbles looked like they had stopped, coolent at max took it for a drive up the road 2 minutes and it’s overheated... fans going mental currently roadside waiting for it to cool down looked under bonnet and coolent has stayed the same place it was when I left now I’m just completely clueless

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I'm guessing you turned the heaters off when you went for a drive which is when the issue seems to have come back?  

You might find you can stop the overheating by keeping heaters on.  If so, I would suggest a blockage in the radiator.  

It may be the stat but I wouldn't have expected it to last an hour at idle without overheating if that was the issue.

 

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2 hours ago, Chappers3694 said:

Update: Iv sat with the car for a hour while I let it do it’s thing heaters on, fans open, temp gauge half way and the bubbles looked like they had stopped, coolent at max took it for a drive up the road 2 minutes and it’s overheated... fans going mental currently roadside waiting for it to cool down looked under bonnet and coolent has stayed the same place it was when I left now I’m just completely clueless

basically it sounds like this ;

you have plenty of coolant in the system but it is not circulating when the car is driven so engine gets hot quick

what could cause this ;

faulty pump , faulty thermostat , collapsed or blocked hose are the main culprits.

 

im not sure its just an airlock as the system is self bleeding for the most part ,  a 10 min drive with the heater temp on max ( to open heater pipework loop ) will shift most trapped air

so long as the pump is working correctly.

if it was me i'd want that recently fitted pump removed for a more thorough examination as it seems theres a blockage somewhere........

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INope, left the heaters on full tom yeah was sat for a hour kept the coolant topped up to max but strangely the coolant was still they’re when I go back?

i’ll have to get someone to come and fetch it been talking to a ‘Ford specialistand they have offered to pick it up and look at it looks like my only option as going in to taking stuff off is beyond me 

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Yeah I agree there is more to it than an air lock now.  If heaters won't cool it there's definitely something wrong.

One last cheap thing to try would be a new coolant cap.  They're designed to release pressure as the coolant expands but hold enough pressure to stop the coolant boiling.  Yours may be stuck permanently closed.  They cost less than a fiver so worth a try.

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It may be the water pump,  you should be ok if there is no blue smoke and you wait for to temp to come down before topping it up you wont crack the head. The fix shouldnt be too bad of a money pit most parts can be picked up cheap from ebay, scrappy's etc, if your not getting smoke on startup engine will be fine so your ok. Saying that, if heaters wont cool the engine it that may be the thermostat. Is it blowing cold when engine is warm?

If i can remember correctly the thermostat housing and thermostat are all in one and just bolt off, its quite simple. Id start small and work your way up, New waterpumps are cheap id do this last, its just obviously the belt has to come off, so if you do get to this stage might aswel replace the belt too.

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