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  #1  
Old 12-07-2010, 05:11 PM
Brock1385 Brock1385 is offline
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Default Overheating - can't find problem

My name is Brock and I'm new to the forum. This is my first post.

I've got a 99 Ford Ranger, 3.0L V6.

The weather has recently gotten cold here, and the other day, I was driving around and turned the heater on. The heater was blowing cold air and would never heat up.

I thought, "Uh OH, this is not good." But I kept driving all day, and my truck never overheated. The next morning I went to add coolant to the radiator, and upon starting the engine, I see antifreeze gushing out of the radiator. Needless to say, I needed a new radiator.

The only problem is, this is the 2nd radiator that I have replaced. I replaced the radiator last year at this exact same time. (thermostat was replaced both times, and one time before that).

After the first time the radiator was replaced, it would still overheat occasionally, but eventually it got better and I drove it for exactly a year (until this point).

After the radiator was replaced yesterday, my truck still overheats. I have heard the excuse "There is probably just air in the line" so many times that it makes me nauseas. Although this is what I heard the other day from the place that replaced the radiator after I told them it was still overheating.

The funny thing is though, it will overheat and I pull over for maybe 10 minutes. Then I start the truck up again, without adding anything to the radiator, and continue driving. The heater starts to blow hot, and it won't overheat for the rest of the night.

I have had people speculate that it has a cracked block or a blown head gasket, but I have had it looked at by a shop that does head work, and they found nothing.

I noticed last night that the bottom hose running to the radiator was collapsed, and so I asked the shop to replace this hose (even though they say they know that this is not a problem). I doubt this is the problem, but it's worth a shot since the hoses have never been replaced.

Sorry if this story seems kind of spastic, but I am willing to provide any information about the situation that is needed to resolve the problem. Please let me know what yall think.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2010, 08:26 PM
bassplyer92517 bassplyer92517 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

There's really a lot of things that could go wrong with this since its so spastic on how it occurs. If I'm reading this right you are on your third radiator now? Has it been the same shop installing the two you have put in? Because if the second radiator went out within a year and they didn't look into what might be causing it to go out before putting a third one in you should definitely take it back to them if this third one goes out and make sure they look at it since its their fault.

Last edited by bassplyer92517; 12-07-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2010, 08:38 PM
Brock1385 Brock1385 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplyer92517 View Post
There's really a lot of things that could go wrong with this since its so spastic on how it occurs. If I'm reading this right you are on your third radiator now? Has it been the same shop installing the two you have put in? Because if the second radiator went out within a year and they didn't look into what might be causing it to go out before putting a third one in you should definitely take it back to them if this third one goes out and make sure they look at it since its their fault.
The radiator was replaced the first time by a friend of the family (and wasn't warrantied). Unfortunately, the radiator was cracked and leaking the other day, and I had no choice but to get a new radiator.

What would be the next step in investigating the problem?

I want to change the bottom radiator hose (which seems to collapse at times).

Is there an explanation as to why the truck would overheat and after a very brief time (5-10 minutes) the temperature becomes normal, heater blows hot, and the car doesn't overheat anymore no matter what. The problem however, seems to reappear after the car becomes cold again.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2010, 08:47 PM
bassplyer92517 bassplyer92517 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

You know I really can't think of much, but one thing I saw is on your first radiator you would turn the heat on and no heat would come out even though the engine was hot. You might want to take a look into your heater core. My grandpa's truck had a problem where his heater core had a bunch of rust inside of it just because of time during summers where coolant and water can sit there. His radiator went out from all the rust coming from the heater core and both had to be replaced. It doesn't really describe all of your symptoms, but may be worth looking into. For good measure you could just try flushing it out. Couldn't hurt and its pretty easy to do.

Last edited by bassplyer92517; 12-07-2010 at 08:58 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2010, 08:03 AM
flyoil flyoil is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

I don't know how long you've had your truck so its hard to know much w/o the history of repairs i.e. water pump replaced; serpentine belt etc.
-
As to your collapsed hose, sometimes a lower radiator hose will collapse under vacuum at high speed and restrict the flow of coolant from the radiator into the engine. This can happen if the reinforcing spring inside the hose is missing or damaged.
-
Belts & hoses - Check belt tension and condition. A loose belt that slips may prevent the water pump from circulating coolant fast enough and/or the fan from turning fast for proper cooling.
-
Water pump - Any wobble in the pump shaft or seepage would call for replacement. In some instances, a pump can cause an engine to overheat if the impeller vanes are badly eroded due to corrosion or if the impeller has come loose from the shaft. The wrong pump may also cause an engine to overheat. Some engines with serpentine drive belts require a special water pump that turns in the opposite direction of those used on the same engine with ordinary V-belts. (I have a 3.0 too and don't know if it's possible to make a mistake and route the serpentine belt so the water pump spins the wrong direction)
-
I doubt this is your problem, but a defective fan clutches are a common and often overlooked cause of overheating. The shear characteristics of the clutch fluid gradually deteriorates over time, with an average loss in drive efficiency of about 200 rpm per year. Eventually slippage reaches the point where effective cooling is no longer possible and overheating results. (On average, the life of a fan clutch is about the same as a water pump. If one needs to be replaced, the other usually does too.)
-
I would imagine you would get a check engine code of some sort if excessive exhaust backpressure - A clogged catalytic converter is usually the culprit here, but don't overlook the possibility of a crushed pipe or a collapsed double wall pipe. Check intake vacuum at idle. If it reads low and continues to drop, inspect the exhaust system.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2010, 08:27 PM
Brock1385 Brock1385 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyoil View Post
I don't know how long you've had your truck so its hard to know much w/o the history of repairs i.e. water pump replaced; serpentine belt etc.
-
As to your collapsed hose, sometimes a lower radiator hose will collapse under vacuum at high speed and restrict the flow of coolant from the radiator into the engine. This can happen if the reinforcing spring inside the hose is missing or damaged.
-
Belts & hoses - Check belt tension and condition. A loose belt that slips may prevent the water pump from circulating coolant fast enough and/or the fan from turning fast for proper cooling.
-
Water pump - Any wobble in the pump shaft or seepage would call for replacement. In some instances, a pump can cause an engine to overheat if the impeller vanes are badly eroded due to corrosion or if the impeller has come loose from the shaft. The wrong pump may also cause an engine to overheat. Some engines with serpentine drive belts require a special water pump that turns in the opposite direction of those used on the same engine with ordinary V-belts. (I have a 3.0 too and don't know if it's possible to make a mistake and route the serpentine belt so the water pump spins the wrong direction)
-
I doubt this is your problem, but a defective fan clutches are a common and often overlooked cause of overheating. The shear characteristics of the clutch fluid gradually deteriorates over time, with an average loss in drive efficiency of about 200 rpm per year. Eventually slippage reaches the point where effective cooling is no longer possible and overheating results. (On average, the life of a fan clutch is about the same as a water pump. If one needs to be replaced, the other usually does too.)
-
I would imagine you would get a check engine code of some sort if excessive exhaust backpressure - A clogged catalytic converter is usually the culprit here, but don't overlook the possibility of a crushed pipe or a collapsed double wall pipe. Check intake vacuum at idle. If it reads low and continues to drop, inspect the exhaust system.
Replaced the lower radiator hose today, and I still have problems. I had the serpentine belt replaced about a 10 months ago, but that was after the second radiator.

I have never replaced the water pump, and wonder if it could be the culprit, but I don't see any signs of water leakage from it, wouldn't I see that if it was going out?


The strangest thing is happening at this point. I start the truck up cold, and get out on to the road. The heater blows cold air at this point, and I travel about a quarter of a mile, and it overheats. I pull over, letting the truck sit for about a minute (I don't add coolant or anything) and start the truck back up. I pull back on to the road, the temperature gauge slowly makes its way back to normal, the heater starts to blow hot. After this, I can drive for many miles without overheating.

However, once I let the truck sit for 30 min to an hour, this process occurs again, exactly the same way.

Any Ideas?
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010, 11:57 PM
bassplyer92517 bassplyer92517 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

O, for some reason I thought it said you had already replaced the water pump. Definitely take a look at that and consider replacing it. At this point I think it would just be best to get your whole cooling system looked at by a mechanic.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:09 AM
flyoil flyoil is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock1385 View Post
Replaced the lower radiator hose today, and I still have problems. I had the serpentine belt replaced about a 10 months ago, but that was after the second radiator.

I have never replaced the water pump, and wonder if it could be the culprit, but I don't see any signs of water leakage from it, wouldn't I see that if it was going out?


The strangest thing is happening at this point. I start the truck up cold, and get out on to the road. The heater blows cold air at this point, and I travel about a quarter of a mile, and it overheats. I pull over, letting the truck sit for about a minute (I don't add coolant or anything) and start the truck back up. I pull back on to the road, the temperature gauge slowly makes its way back to normal, the heater starts to blow hot. After this, I can drive for many miles without overheating.

However, once I let the truck sit for 30 min to an hour, this process occurs again, exactly the same way.

Any Ideas?
I have a '05 Edge 3.0 - so basically the same engine.
-
I noticed you mention a couple of times of "adding antifreeze"; is this something you do everyday? because you shouldn't. I am not sure if you meant adding antifreeze just recently or has it been an everyday thing. If you have been adding antifreeze everyday, and radiator wasn't leaking, and water pump is not leaking, then you may have, at worst, a cracked block. :-( hopefully not! (do you get excessive white smoke out the tailpipe even when engine is at operating temperature?)
-
Mine has a sticker (above hood latch) showing how serpentine belt is routed; if yours has it, compare to see if it was routed correctly.
-
What's your mileage? it is an 11 year old vehicle, correct? try to spin the clutch fan; I believe you shouldn't get ANY revolutions if it is working properly. If it spins; it needs to be replaced.
-
It could be that if coolant wasn't replaced for a long, long time, it could have started to erode water pump's impellers. (it won't leak)
-
First things first. Get your cooling system PRESSURE TESTED. A good system should hold 12 -15 psi for 15 minutes or more with no loss in pressure. If it leaks pressure, then there's most likely an internal coolant leak. If it passes pressure test, then I would start with serpentine belt routing, then fan clutch and then water pump.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:29 PM
Brock1385 Brock1385 is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

************Update************

Replaced the radiator cap. No Luck.

Vehicle is less drive able than it was two days ago.

One interesting thing that I have noticed is, when the vehicle overheats, the top is blown off of the overfill reservoir and I see hot water bubbling in it (it is completely full). However, the radiator cap doesn't even feel hot. There is no evidence spewing around the radiator cap either.

When I first start the vehicle, the heater seems to work. As soon as I have driven the vehicle for about 30 seconds (very low speed), the heater starts to blow cold, and the temperature gauge drops to way below cold. Once I get out on the highway and run about 45mph for about quarter to half a mile, the vehicle overheats. I pull over, turn the vehicle off, and let it sit for about 2 minutes. At this point, I start the vehicle up again, the temperature gauge falls slightly as I accelerate, but overheats again after about a quarter of a mile.

As for the thermostat, I am on my 4th or 5th thermostat. If there is a problem with the thermostat, something seems to be causing it.

I wonder about the heater core, but the passenger floorboard is not wet.

Also, I am curious about the possibility of the water pump not operating properly, but there is no sign of leakage from the water pump (that I can see).

Any ideas?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyoil View Post
I have a '05 Edge 3.0 - so basically the same engine.
-
I noticed you mention a couple of times of "adding antifreeze"; is this something you do everyday? because you shouldn't. I am not sure if you meant adding antifreeze just recently or has it been an everyday thing. If you have been adding antifreeze everyday, and radiator wasn't leaking, and water pump is not leaking, then you may have, at worst, a cracked block. :-( hopefully not! (do you get excessive white smoke out the tailpipe even when engine is at operating temperature?)
-
Mine has a sticker (above hood latch) showing how serpentine belt is routed; if yours has it, compare to see if it was routed correctly.
-
What's your mileage? it is an 11 year old vehicle, correct? try to spin the clutch fan; I believe you shouldn't get ANY revolutions if it is working properly. If it spins; it needs to be replaced.
-
It could be that if coolant wasn't replaced for a long, long time, it could have started to erode water pump's impellers. (it won't leak)
-
First things first. Get your cooling system PRESSURE TESTED. A good system should hold 12 -15 psi for 15 minutes or more with no loss in pressure. If it leaks pressure, then there's most likely an internal coolant leak. If it passes pressure test, then I would start with serpentine belt routing, then fan clutch and then water pump.
I have been told about the possibility of a crack block, and a blown head gasket, but the oil doesn't have a milky, water consistency, and there is no evidence of white smoke.

In fact, a similar problem occurred last year at this time, and I had a mechanic investigate a blown head gasket, and nothing was found.

I'll also check the serpentine belt and fan clutch.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2010, 11:49 AM
flyoil flyoil is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock1385 View Post
************Update************

Replaced the radiator cap. No Luck.

Vehicle is less drive able than it was two days ago.

One interesting thing that I have noticed is, when the vehicle overheats, the top is blown off of the overfill reservoir and I see hot water bubbling in it (it is completely full). However, the radiator cap doesn't even feel hot. There is no evidence spewing around the radiator cap either.

When I first start the vehicle, the heater seems to work. As soon as I have driven the vehicle for about 30 seconds (very low speed), the heater starts to blow cold, and the temperature gauge drops to way below cold. Once I get out on the highway and run about 45mph for about quarter to half a mile, the vehicle overheats. I pull over, turn the vehicle off, and let it sit for about 2 minutes. At this point, I start the vehicle up again, the temperature gauge falls slightly as I accelerate, but overheats again after about a quarter of a mile.

As for the thermostat, I am on my 4th or 5th thermostat. If there is a problem with the thermostat, something seems to be causing it.

I wonder about the heater core, but the passenger floorboard is not wet.

Also, I am curious about the possibility of the water pump not operating properly, but there is no sign of leakage from the water pump (that I can see).

Any ideas?

----------



I have been told about the possibility of a crack block, and a blown head gasket, but the oil doesn't have a milky, water consistency, and there is no evidence of white smoke.

In fact, a similar problem occurred last year at this time, and I had a mechanic investigate a blown head gasket, and nothing was found.

I'll also check the serpentine belt and fan clutch.
get pressure test done. There's a lot of things that could be causing your particular problem.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:36 AM
FordRangerinterestingauto FordRangerinterestingauto is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

I'm having the exact same problem with my Ford Ranger. Its a 2000 flex fuel 3.0 engine. The thing started overheating when the weather got cold.

First the truck acts like it is cold and then the dash temperature gauge shoots up like the coolant is moving or the thermostat opened up. Gets hot and then cools to normal usually drives fine. It made me increasingly nervous though so I had the truck inspected and they shop replaced the thermostat.

That was about a month ago, since then its been behaving basically the same way, except today, instead of working normal after heating up the truck would blow hot air out the vents and then if it stopped or something or just randomly would switch from blowing hot air to blowing cold air. Made me really nervous so after about an hour of this I drove home.

Popped the hood and as expected the overflow tank was gurgling and I could see where some had leaked out. SO I had a glove on and squeezed all the hoses in the engine connected to the heating and cooling system and they were all really tight like they had a lot of pressure in them; except the line between the radiator and the overflow tank which was squeezeable.

Truck ran fine the night before even though its been doing this for over a month now.

I've had one suggestion to remove the cap from the radiator and make sure the radiator has fluid in it going to try this soon.

Also considering draining the antifreeze into a bucket, flushing the system with a hose then putting the old antifreeze back in after filtering it through some sort of screen to remove any garbage in the antifreeze.

In regards to the antifreeze, currently my antifreeze is orange. Is that the right color antifreeze for this truck. We flushed the radiator last year this time to try and get the orange out and put green antifreeze in; the guy I was working with on this project caused me alot of mechanical problems on my truck unrelated to this so I don't work with him anymore and the shop I was working with said they always use the orange mix with any color antifreeze so thats what is in there now.

Well I see that there is alot of information here so hopefully one of you'all can give me some advice. Thank you
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2012, 07:27 AM
i love fords i love fords is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

Replaced the radiator cap. No Luck.

Vehicle is less drive able than it was two days ago.

One interesting thing that I have noticed is, when the vehicle overheats, the top is blown off of the overfill reservoir and I see hot water bubbling in it (it is completely full). However, the radiator cap doesn't even feel hot. There is no evidence spewing around the radiator cap either.


does the overflow resivor have what looks like air bubbles coming through it?
if so that is probably head gaskets the bubbles would be caused by exhaust getting into the cooling system and if thats the case i would deffinitallly replace the water pump and check into the heater core as well

----------

also if some one has put radiator stop leak into the cooling system any number of places could be completely plugged so i would check all your hoses expesially the ones to the heater core
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2012, 08:28 AM
flyoil flyoil is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

I should hace thought of this a while back..... Bypass your heater at the firewall and see what happens. Just wondering if your heater core is "mostly" not working properly.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:08 PM
brtlgdy brtlgdy is offline
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

I had the same problem with my 2000 ranger 3.0 . the overflow would do the same and next came the engine miss , after a compression test the miss was a burnt valve . I got new heads from Odessa cylinder head co. for around $300. and when i tore down the engine the head gaskets were shot . the bubbling in the overflow is exhaust getting into the coolant. it has been two years now and about 30,000 miles and the 3.0 runs great
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Overheating - can't find problem

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