Overheating revisited

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Sometimes it does not pay to be first.

On the way down to see my mom, about an hour ago, I was at a stop light and the engine started sounding funny. At that moment I also noticed the smell of steam and looked down at the instrument cluster. The temp guage was at max and the temp light and check engine ligth were lit. There was a gas station 1 block up the street so I limped up to it. Pulled in and loosened the overflow cap to release the pressure. While waiting, I pulled out the owners manual and went through the section on cooling (not much info). After finishing the manual the pressure had released and I checked the level. It looked down a little so I topped it off, took about 16 oz. or so, not enough to cause overheating. I started the engine and let it idle for about 5 minutes and noticed the guage climb about one needle width up, so I shut it back down and again checked the level, it was OK. Restarted the engine and let it idle again for about 5 minutes, this time the guage was dead center. I was only about 3 miles from home, so I decided to take the chance to head back. Kept an eye on the guage all the way and it did not budge from center, however the check engine light remained illuminated and probably will until reset by the dealer.

I'll take it in tomorrow morning, fortunately I have this week off. I'll keep you all posted as to the outcome.

My guess is it is the water pump and I am wondering if the funky heater was some sort of prior indication.
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Let us know how you make out. This may just be a minor problem but it is best to have it checked out.

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Blue on Blue Prem. STILL WAITING Ordered in Jan. 7of12
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond
Got Vin. 109293
 
I've consistently smelled something after existing the car but have never had the needle move on me. Not sure if it break or engine smell.

Checked under the hood and saw some brake fluid had soiled the outside of the housing -- not much.

I'm keeping an eye (and a nose) on the smell. Hope all works out well and is nothing more than a pump problem.

RT2ESQ
 
Dang, hate to hear that. I've a 4 hour trip to Charlotte for a basketball tournament coming up next weekend, and the 8 hour trip to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl at New Year's approaching. Don't need any glitches!!
 
jodrod; what are your last four of your vin? When was your bird produced, was it one of the ones that had their fans changed, or did it get out of the plant before? I have had my bird since 7/26/01, built early 7, was shipped out BEFORE overheat problem was caught, actually just as it happened. I'm concerned as I only have 1017 miles on it, but I have had no problem to date. My last four of my vin are 1039. Keep us posted. Soory to hear of your problem
 
Panz,

2532, my car was bucked when the hold took place and the fan module should have been taken care of, had an ETA of 8/27 but did not recieve the car until 9/28.

First word from the dealer (10AM this morning) is that it is the fan module that was causing the overheating but I am still waiting to find out if it can be fixed or has to be replaced.

I don't have my owners manual/warranty info with me, it is in the car at the dealership. Does anyone know for sure that if they have to keep the car overnight if I will get a loaner? I did not purchase the car from this dealer and do not have an extened warranty (yet).

They are also going to check out the heater problem. On Saturday night we were coming home late (midnight) with the top down and at 70mph it was nippy. I turned off the automatic mode, turned on the vents and shut off the A/C (comes on automatically when vent is selected out of auto mode), cranked the heat up and got nothing but unconditioned air, no heat, no cool just outside air. I know in the past I have been able to get heated air in the above mentioned mode. I sure hope the two problems are related and not two seperate problems, this would not bode well.
 
Jodrod: -- Unless you purchased the extra warranty, there is no car guaranteed. However, you might plead to their better senses ....... good luck.
 
I should hope that with only 4484 miles on a $40K car that they would supply a loaner. With the number of people I talk to per day about the Bird, it would be in Ford's best interest to keep me happy.
 
Well, it was the fan motor and it has been replaced, they are checking the new one now. Interesting, they were able to find or had a fan motor available.
 
This is an instance where sharing parts comes in handy - this is the same fan module used in the Lincoln LS' so I'm sure that the dealer would have at least 1 on hand.
 
Sure glad it wasn't serious. Did your car have the retrofit back before it was delivered? My car had a piece of paper on the floor that said "return to lot 'D' after pump change. That gives me the piece of mind that my car actually was refitted.
 
They replaced the fan module and said the hearter problem I was having was related. Heads up folks, if your heater acts up, keep an eye on the temp guage.

Had the oil and filter changed also for $13.17, tire rotation was $12.95.
 
Joe,

Glad to hear you'll be rolling again. Sounds like the dealership took pretty good care of you. Keep us posted on the fix and your heating/defrost situation too.

Have a great holiday.

KB
 
jodrod, glad to here everything is OK for now.Maybe it's not TOOO bad being futher down on the list for some of us.

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Blue on Blue Prem. STILL WAITING Ordered in Jan. 7of12
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond
Got Vin. 109293
 
What was the change from past LS engines
that started the overheating problem. Been so
many topics ago.

Did Ford go back to what was on the 2000's
or is a entirely redesigned unit being
installed on 2002.
 
TbirdTim,

And I'm curious why the 2002 Thunderbird has a hydraulic cooling fan instead of an electric cooling fan. Electric cooling fans have proven extremely reliable in millions of vehicles from all manufacturers over the years. What can the hydraulic fan do for our Birds other than be a potential source of headaches over the years, well past the time our extended warranties have expired
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There must be a very good reason why Ford is going to an electric fan on the Thunderbird and Lincoln LS next year, and I'm betting reliability is the major factor.
 
To quote the online sourcebook
Hydraulic cooling fan system is quieter than an electric fan, with less drain on the electrical system, while better matching engine cooling needs through the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
In retrospect, it looks like it may demand higher tolerances, which raises reliability questions.
 
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