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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I just purchased a 1996 Taurus wagon with 100K on it at an auction, so I really don't know the history of the car. It's in great shape and the motor runs well. Here's the problem: the Temp gauge reads hot so I've replaced the radiator, water pump, thermostat, temp gauge sending unit and even purchased another cluster thinking the gauge was bad and it's still the same. The car does not overheat in fact with a thermometer in the tank and shooting the hoses with my temp gun everything stays around 190 degrees. The gauge reads hot and when you rev the motor you can actually see it move up. I even tested it for Hydocarbons thinking it might be a head gasket but that test was negative.

Does anyone have any ideas what could be wrong or what to check?

Thanks in advance,

Premium Member
2,124 Posts
did you replace one sender or both? one is for the pcm and the other is for the gauge.

2,097 Posts
Replaced the one for the gauge, where is the one for the PCM?

On a Vulcan, there side by side. the dash gauge sender is a single wire
and the PCM sender is a two wire. Mounted on a pipe between
the thermostat and the firewall.

On a GEN3, you need to make sure the system is holding pressure.
look at the degass tank. Make sure its not cracked. you need to make
sure the heater bypass hoses don't have a pinhole leak in them.
I made a ghetto pressure gauge for $15 using harbor freight gauge and
t fittings for about $15. Gauge, T, two hose barbs, clamps. I then inserted it
into the small line going to the degass tank. got an extra line from the
bone yard so i did not have to cut the hose. Then i could monitor the
cooling system pressure real time to see if i had issues. If the system is
not holding pressure, it will overheat

On my 97 when i got it, i had issues too. the Degas tank was cracked.
and i had a leaking bypass hose at the plastic joint. I replaced
what you did trying to cool it down.

If you had brown sludge in the degass tank, you need a thorough
flush. When i did mine, i took off the water pump (Vulcan) and
flushed the block out through the water pump holes in the block.
back flush the heater core while your at it.

I thought my 97 ran hot too after all that. I got a live OBD2 scan gauge and
checked the actual PCM sender temp. my Vulcan when its warm out, runs
7/8 up normally. I checked it with the scan gauge, and the temp was at the
thermostat open point. It would cool off a few points when the AC was on and
the fan was on non stop.

Its strange my 98 Vulcan runs at about the 1/2 mark on the dash gauge.
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