thermostats

Is it true if you have heat in the inside of your car, your thermostat is working?
I have a 98 ford escort, and an 86 ford escort (diesel) and I'm in
Alaska, so It's just started to warm up, and if I drive with the heat off they are both overheating. Also if the inside heat was off during the winter time they would overheat as well.
Any suggestions?
thanks
Mike
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What do you mean both overheating?

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mike opined in

Heat in the cabin only means you have some coolant and that the Thermostat isnt stuck open.. the heater takeoff is on the engine side of the thermostat.
I'm not a REAL cold weather denizen, but there's a good possibility that one or both are stuck shut if the cars both overheated in subzero weather and heater off

In very cold weather the cabin heater may cool the engine below the thermostat rating.
But bear in mind that you ALSO may have a gunked up cooling system
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (mike) wrote in

What do you mean "overheating?" Overheating is water temps in excess of 230 (i.e. hot light is on.)
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No, it isn't true. The coolant can get through the heater core at all times, but the radiator is thermostatically controlled.
Check here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system2.htm
for a diagram that kind of shows this.
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It depends on the system. Some heater cores draw from the radiator side.

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I've had a thermostat actually come apart inside the housing. I'm sure it was trying to work, but the crimp had failed and there was nothing for the active part to push itself against, causing the plate to stay closed 100% of the time. I had plenty of heat, and the water was boiling inside the block. You could hear and feel the big bubbles doing their thing. Thermostat was replaced after making sure all of the old unit was accounted for. Thankfully, no damage was done.

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since he is talking about a car that is in Alaska, it is possible that the coolant is freezing or gelling in the radiator, thus blocking flow .

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Engine still produces heat while running, thermostat still tries to function. Could be either.
What are the ambient temps up there in AK?

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Well
the 98 ford escort had a hose disconnected-fixed now
the 86 ford escort- fan doesn't go on.
Looks like the thermostats are fine!

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