92 Ford Taurus 3.8 V6 overheating problem

I have a 92 Taurus that seems to be overheating. The Temp gauge will get up near the high end Hot. It seems to be intermitent. Sometimes it runs cool and sometimes hot. I have tried replacing the thermostat and running some radiator cleaner through the system. The coolant that I drained had lots of rusty orange in it. I had the head gaskets replaced about 2 years ago. The car has about 89000 miles on it.

Are these symtoms from a blocked radiator. What are my options? Is it hard to take the radiator out on this car and have it flow tested? Can these radiators be rodded out?

Thanks, Paul

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On 1 Aug 2003 09:19:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (paul) wrote:

Is the radiator fan operating on when it should? Under what circumstances does it overheat?

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in message (paul) wrote:

The fan comes on when it should. I thought the problem happened only when I was in stop and go traffic but it happens when I am driving at about 35 mph also.

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paul wrote:

i got a 93 3.0 taurus, no you dont have a plastic impeller in the water pump like another poster suggested so you can forget that.. if you have rusty water in the radiator then you probably have water in the system and not coolant... that would make it run hot as the plain water boils over at 212 F whereas the 50/50 mix of coolant to water will go about 260 deg. before it boils over.. if you are interested in a new radiator they cost about $115 at www.radiators.com and alot of local places that sell wholesale radiators. they are not worth trying to fix the plastic radiators.. they wanted $75 to work on mine.. a few dollars more and you get a new one... with a 92 taurus its about time for new hoses both upper and lower radiator hoses.... its four bolts to get the old radiator out and the two connections from the auto/trans cooler lines to the radiator and how about a new rad. cap just in case it blows its pressure before the 16 lbs. that it is suppose to hold,, mine would blow it at 4 lbs. of pressure ( found this out with a test)....

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if you have

Plain water has the best thermal conductivity and therefore cooling. Coolant helps: stops rust and lowers freeze point due to the alcohol (presuming its a glycol-mix).

It the pressure cooling systems run that raises boiling point. This is a function of the radiator cap and air-tightness of hoses etc.

A normal thermostat runs well below 212f or 100c. Any car (with the exception of some earlier models) which is running at or near 212f has a problem.

Jason

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Basic rule the higher the pressure the higher the boiling point. The lower the pressure the lower the boiling point. Yes it does matter. The higher the pressure the more heat a fluid can adsorb.

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Thomas Moats wrote:

Absolutely right. Some newer cars CANNOT function without a pressurized cooling system because the normal "hot spot" temperatures in the cooling system are above the boiling point of a water/coolant mix at atmospheric pressure. The higher temps help fuel efficiency and lower emissions, but pretty much rule out the old option of "limping home" with the radiator cap off if you blow a hose and have to wrap it with duct-tape...

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Jason James wrote:

Not the only reason:

http://dl.clackamas.cc.or.us/ch105-03/boiling.htm http://epa.gov/pesticides/kids/hometour/products/coolant.htm http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system3.htm

BOB

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Coolant

its

The point was, you were impying his problem may have been due to not running coolant. This is not so. Any car which is relying on the higher boiling point of a coolant mix (beyond that of water at atmospheric pressure) to not boil, has a systemic fault in its cooling apparatus.

High boiling points of coolant only afford protection when a car is operating at an extreme condition where its coolant had progressed well past the normal operating temp of the engine (as set by the thermostat) by a dangerous margin.

The original posters problem is separate to which coolant he is operating.

Jason

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What about trying to flush the radiator out. Would that be enough to unplug the radiator? Any additives that would help? I have tried Prestones flush additive.

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It's a 92 for God's sake. Replace it.

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Andrew Paule wrote:

no the 92 taurus dont have plastic impellers in the water pumps.. its all metal....

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i have a 93 taurus with 3.8 they do have bad water pumps there around $30.00 to replace (DO NOT LET THAT CAR GET TO HOT) 3.8 will blow a head gasket in a heart beat

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The fan seems to work fine. I wonder if the radiator is plugged. Has anyone replace one of these? Would backflushing help?

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I am not loosing any water. No oil in the water or water in the oil. The fan runs when it gets hot.

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paul wrote:

Define what "Hot" means? Is it in the red, or just hotter than normal? Another thought. Your cat could be partially clogged causing the motor to run hotter than normal. I think ford recalled our 90 at one time and put one on for free.

Just a note: Careful if you buy a new radiator. I bought a dual core for my 93 thinking for a few bucks more its the way to go. I could barely get the dam fan back on with the extra space it took. If i did it again, i think i would have just got the stock one. Everything went fine until i tried to shoe horn the fan back on the radiator.

BOB

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A plugged cat will not cause the engine to run hotter. The simple reason is with a plugged exhaust less air can be drawn into the engine.

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Try cleaning the outside of the rad with a high pressure wand at a car wash. Spray in between the condenser and the rad. Just wash the rad really good and see what happens.

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