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Hey everyone, with the hotter days here in Houston starting to show up, I've noticed a couple of things. First, my last tank of gas lasted only 220 miles (about 15 mpg). Second, I'm having a slight bubbly feeling on acceleration, kinda like a tiny surge. I don't know if I'm actually feeling something or just being paranoid, but if anythings there, I don't know what it is. But, anyway, since the gas and acceleration problems are just inconvenient right now, my third problem is the most worrysome: On the highway, on the temperature gauge, my Duratec will stay pretty much about a millimeter away from the high end of the scale (not the H mark, but the end of the "normal" bar range.) Normally, what it would do was cruise at about half way, sometimes a little above, and sometimes peak at...i dunno, I would say about 7/8's. Then, it would cycle down to about half way with the fans turning on (this is at about 75mph, btw.) Last night, though, I could cruise for about five minutes or so with it way up there on the gauge, with it SOMETIMES coming down to about half way, but mostly cruising above that.

I don't know what to do. I just flushed the radiator earlier this month, with no percieved change in temperatures, and an oil change around the same time. The fans cycle on the appropriate temperatures, and the old coolant that came out wasn't discolored or burnt or anything. I don't know of the coolant pump making any wierd noises.

The car has ~123k on it. What should I do? Should I yank the radiator out (something I don't think would be easy) and hose it out, in case debrii is in the fins? Should I replace it? Should I replace the coolant pump? Is there anyway to diagnose a dying pump? (it's as old as the car is)

Just a little info-- Lilu has a 123k mile Duratec, with a 24k tranny cooler mounted in front of a new condenser, so I would suspect that airflow at speed through the radiator should be sufficient to keep the temperatures in the normal range. The radiator has been flushed yearly over the last two years, and the water pump has never been touched. All the hoses look good, the system holds pressure well. I'm living in Houston, where the drive home yesterday was around 80 degrees ambient. I was towing a small boat, but the same temperatures are reached when the hitch is empty. Parents are willing to pay for preventative maintanance to prevent stranding.

Long post short, again: The car runs really REALLY hot cruising on the highway, where the fans are off. While the fans are running all the time in stop and go driving (AC on all the time), the car maintains a decent temperature, but still hotter than last year around the same time. Is there anything I should check or do?
 

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Should I replace the coolant pump? Is there anyway to diagnose a dying pump? (it's as old as the car is)
A dying water pump would leak fluid, make noise or seize. However, as long as you're not loosing large quantities of coolant and as long as your pump is not seized up, it should cool normally (no gradual decline in cooling power)
 

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Originally posted by Deniz@May 22 2004, 01:57 PM
I'd try and replace the thermostat. Might not be opening.
I would normally suspect that, but I believe I replaced it within at least the last year, if not from within two years ago. It seems like that wouldn't be a culprit, but maybe I'll shove a 180degree one in there, seeing as how cheap that option would be.

A dying water pump would leak fluid, make noise or seize. However, as long as you're not loosing large quantities of coolant and as long as your pump is not seized up, it should cool normally (no gradual decline in cooling power)
Is there any way the pump itself could corrode without external effects? I mean, I've heard that's rare, but I was trying to come up with all the possible problems to find the most likely one. I think my first option is to replace the thermostat with a cooler one (since I forgot that), and then yank the radiator out and clear the fins, and if that doesn't help, try to find a suitable 2 core radiator.

Btw, does anyone know if Ford uses a single type of thermostat? I've found a site stocking a 180 degree thermostat, but it's sold as a "Universal Ford part," and that makes me uneasy. I can't find any places stocking a Taurus 180 degree thermo that distinguishes between Duratec and Vulcan (or even SHO.) Does anyone know if the Vulcan and Duratec share a thermo? See, like here. I don't wanna buy a thermo that won't work on my car.
 
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I would talk to Levi (theman21), I'm pretty sure he has had cooling problems and could probably tell you what worked on his car.
 
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