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Old 01-11-2017, 01:00 AM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
Ford Ranger Driver
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,900
Default Re: Do I really need a new radiator?

Originally Posted by Harbor_Handed View Post
Today at the Mazda dealership, I was telling them about how my temperature gauge is quite sluggish and never goes up past about 1/4 of the way up the gauge - even after installing a new Coolant Temp Sender Unit. The guy at the desk echoed some things I've read online and says his Ranger does the same thing - takes forever for the needle to move up and then basically stays around 1/4 up. So I thought, Great it's normal.
Gauge on your dash is just an idiot gauge and at best would serve to set a baseline reading and if it deviates from that, the driver gets to figure out/guess why. No actual numbers are on it; if you want to know what your engine temp is you can a) use a scan tool such as Torque and pull reliable data b) install a real temperature gauge or c) use an IR thermometer.

Originally Posted by Harbor_Handed View Post
But then the master technician came in and told me that it's doing that because I have a clog in my radiator and I need a new one. He had me come out there and feel both sides. The passenger side of the radiator was hot but the driver's side of the radiator was just warm.

Do you think he's right, is that indicative of something wrong with the radiator? Or is that normal and he's just trying to upsell?
He's very full of rancid poop and IMO either trying to scam you or he's just another incompetent boob. The reason is, your radiator is crossflow meaning coolant passes from one side to the other. During the course of doing this, heat is rejected from the coolant. So naturally it will will be warmer on the side where the engine is pumping coolant into it than it will be on the side that the (now lower in temp) coolant is returning to the engine.

Based on what you said and I read about your experience with this master mechanic, he's a disgrace to the honest and trustworthy guys that work hard to earn peoples trust and make a living, not to mention him degrading the reputation of his employer. What a jerk.

Originally Posted by Harbor_Handed View Post

I would like my temperature gauge to stay at just just below the half-way mark, which is where the needle is supposed to rest. But it seems like a lot of Rangers do not. Not sure how to proceed on this. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
Focus on the correct engine temp and not the needle position on an idiot gauge, although by design it probably should land midrange. And FWIW, if your engine temp was wayyy out of range, you'd surely have that check engine light glowing.

*Odds are, you have a thermostat problem. How to confirm was noted above.
2004 Ranger FX4 Level II, 5R55E, Sonic Blue Pearl

Proudly JAP/RICE free since March 2000

Last edited by cowboybilly9mile; 01-11-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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