I have a 1994 Ford Taurus GL Sedan 3.8L. What is the normal operating
temperature for this car? I live in the mountains and the temperature gauge
has gone up to M while driving in the city. On the highway it will drop
either between N-O or O-R and somtimes even below the N. Is there anything
wrong? Or is this ok?
C.......N O R M A L.......H
x------x (in town driving)
x-------x (highway driving)
Normal Range = N O R M A L, at least according to Ford.
If your coolant level doesn't start dropping fast or the needle getting to the
HOT, not much to worry about; coolant 50/50 mix, belt tight, no water pump weep
or noise, thermostat OK, and condenser in front of radiator clean, it should be
OK. If still concerned, flush cooling system, change thermostat, and have the
fan draw (amps) checked. A car will often run hotter in town because the
electric cooling fan only pulls air equal to maybe 30 mph forward speed. At 65
mph, there is a massive amount of cooling air being forced thru the radiator.
On my 96' 3.8 mustang, N through R appears to be normal depending on
outside temp. My fan switch must be set very well as I don't see much
difference when driving in slow traffic.
Once temp needle picks a operating temp for current outside temp, it
stays there pretty much until outside temp changes drastically.
IF I accelerate to get on the interstate ( after warming up on 35 mph
streets) , the temp gauge moving quickly two letters higher is an
indication I have some air trapped in the block. This is a problem
with the 3.8 on mustangs,, don't know about other cars or other years.
16ounces of air, or less, will cause temp gauge to jump up to R or M
RAPIDLY under heavy acceleration but will stay at N or O during 35
- 45 city driving if you're easy on the gas pedal..
There is a labeled coolant bleed bolt on the top of my intake, right
behind the thermostat housing.
As rapidly as I've seen the gauge move, the difference between N and L
must not be more than 20F.
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