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Overheating Issue


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I'm look for help on my overheating issue with my Focus. I bought it just over a month ago from a used dealer, cheaply as it has a few little faults (loose drivers electric window button, heater resistor broken, boot lining missing etc), all in all I'm very pleased, it's a '99 1.6LX Hatch with Air Con and being 19 finding insurance for £400 less than I could for any other car was just icing on the cake and it's unbelievably quicker than my Fiesta 1.8D '92 which was stolen hence the new car requirement :)

After a week or two the temperature gauge would rise when at speed or up hills, for example going from 60-70mph on a motorway would be fine but decelerating from 70-60 it would rise unless I accelerated again (would make a great excuse when being pulled over :blink: ), or going up a steep hill on a dual carriage way, it slowly got worse where it'd be fine up until a motorway or a-road stretch when it would start increasing even on minor 30mph roads afterwards. Eventually it did get too high one time and flicked the fail safe cooling system. At this point I took it back to the dealer who diagnosed the problem as the thermostat and replaced it the next day for me.

Worked for a couple of days before it overheated again but this time it would not do so on a motorway run or a hill on a dual carriageway, instead it overheated on small gradients on roads of 30-40mph. I then remembered that when I collected the car from the dealer and run it home the heater was on it's hottest setting, and that since the overheating started again it was set to cold. For the last week I've had the heater on it's hottest setting and it hasn't budged from the center of the gauge since.

I love the car, if someone gave me £20,000 to buy a car I know exactly what I'd buy, it puts a huge smile on my face every time I get in it. But I can't sort out the small issues until I know what the cause of the overheating is. I fixed the heater resistor today thanks to some advice on here and saved myself some money there. Hopefully someone can enlighten me :)

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The thermostat is NOTORIOUS for being prone to issues. They are always cracking breaking or some stupid other thing. had MULTIPLE issues with my own. Mine is US Spec but i am sure your issues closely follow ours.

As for your newest issue. Seems like whenever your running your AC or whatever it wants to overheat. Could be a fan issue. Maybe not kicking on and cooling the system as it should. I would turn the AC on and let the car idle for a bit. Seem if the problem persists. If you see your temp needle start to inch cut it. You will know if this is an underlying factor possibly causing it.

Could also let it idle with whatever setting you want and give her a good bit of gas sitting still. See if when the system is under load if it is doing it as well.

Good luck let us all know how it turns out.

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I've done a good 80 miles today, mixture of town & motorways. Each time starting the car with the heater on hot (I'm willing to try anything at the moment) and then preceeded to turn the blower onto cold, didn't oveheat. Again turning the AC on (which needs regassing as I suspected) as little as it did to cool the car down didn't overheat either..

Did reveal that the blower makes a rather loud scrapeing noise on lower speeds which is hopefully just an oiling job.

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  • 3 months later...


My Focus a 2001 Zetec 1.6 auto starded indicating overheating 6 weeks ago.

At first only at high speed, then got worse.

The radiator and bottom rad hose would go cold when driving.

None of the following worked;

1, change of thermostat

2, flush system with 2 part crud remover (made it worse)

3, new cylinder head temp sensor,

4, more flushing, new radiator hoses,

5, new water pump - can't go over 30mph with heater on full blast.

I got a Ford TIS CD, and found a service Bulletin covering this problem.

It's TSB 05/2001

What I did was fit a 74 degree thermstat, (normal is 82)

and a hose kit linking the heater return and radiator top hoses (£57 from Ford).

Fitted, filled, bleeding a cynch and runs properly again at last!

Good luck with yours.

Here's the TSB.....


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