strange overheating problem

Hello,
My US Ford Focus ZX3 2000 with 60k miles is overheating when idling. The cooling fans (yes, there are two fans) are not coming on, but if I turn
on the A/C they work and the car doesn't overheat.
I checked the manual and seems like there are two fan circuits - with or without A/C. I checked both fuses and relays and they are ok (F2, F3, R15 and R16 in the power distribution box in the engine compartment).
At that point I'm baffled - the fans themselves are ok as they work with the a/c on; the fuses and the relays are ok; the thermal sensor is ok as the gauge shows ok and this is the only sensor from the radiator.
My search found that several people reported similar problems, but unfortunately there was no follow up on what was wrong.
What can possibly be wrong ? Any suggestions before I go to the dealership ?
Regards, Stanjo
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Stanjo wrote:

My 2001 ZX3 does the same thing (last night in traffic, actually). The fans won't kick in until the temperature gauge is nearly to or touching the red zone way at the high end of the scale. Next time let it go and see if that's what happens. If they don't work then, the worst that will happen is you will boil coolant out.
Ron
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I had the same problem back in 2001, 6 months after I purchased the car and it was diagnosed by the dealer as a defective AC Resistor Assy. They replaced the assembly. The part number was # F5RZ*8L603*AC. I have found out that this is another common problem with the 2000-2002 Focus.
Ford Quality is Job ZERO - Fords answer to the YUGO.
I now have a file over 2 inches thick on all the repairs that have been made to this car. Unfortunately the resale value on these Focus cars is so low, its not worth selling it, its " keep to the thing till wheels drop off".
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Henri wrote:

I've had my Focus for more than 6 years, and 78K miles. Apart from a couple of trivial problems sorted out by the dealer in the first year the only failure has been the vehicle speed sensor. I changed this myself in 45 minutes at a cost of about 25UKP.
Maybe I have been exceptionally lucky and you have been very unlucky, but the statistics on Focus reliability show my experience to be the most typical.
Chris
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European Focus cars are better made than North American ones. This is a north American focus. Why that is who knows.
Oh! but wait a minute, I am sure that Dave Gower person will have an opinion. He is a Troll.
Henri wrote:

I've had my Focus for more than 6 years, and 78K miles. Apart from a couple of trivial problems sorted out by the dealer in the first year the only failure has been the vehicle speed sensor. I changed this myself in 45 minutes at a cost of about 25UKP.
Maybe I have been exceptionally lucky and you have been very unlucky, but the statistics on Focus reliability show my experience to be the most typical.
Chris
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<Top posting corrected>

Henri wrote:

Perhaps you should have made that clearer before your rant?

Isn't everything in Europe better made than the equivalent in NA :-)

If that were true, at least he could stop being a Troll if he wanted. You, on the other hand, will always be a 'Merkin.
HTH
Chris
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That's not what all the rating agencies say

The depreciation has in fact improved now that the early bugs have been resolved, and is now about the same as equivalent cars.
You know, Henri, if you weren't so addicted to self-pity you might get the facts and stop making yourself look so silly.
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How's the TROLL business! Haven't heard from you for a while.
wrote

That's not what all the rating agencies say

The depreciation has in fact improved now that the early bugs have been resolved, and is now about the same as equivalent cars.
You know, Henri, if you weren't so addicted to self-pity you might get the facts and stop making yourself look so silly.
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If you have no reply, change the subject.
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Hanri,
Thanks for the info. The Resistor Assembly checked out ok. At this point I'm afraid it's the ECU or a driver in the ECU. I'll be testing it during the weekend.
Regards, Stanjo

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Well no, the worst that can happen is the head will warp, allowing water to get into the oil which will ruin the engine bearing!
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In my (UK) manual there are 3 fuses...
F65 30Amp/Green Engine Cooling Fan F29 30Amp/Green Engine Cooling Fan (Air Conditioning) F6 30Amp/Green Engine Cooling Fan (Air conditioning)
All fuses in the engine compartment fuse box.
The Engine cooling fan is controlled by the Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor (CHT) via the Engine Electronic Control Module(ECU).
The CHT is probably the next place to look after checking the fuses.
Check out the news archives at <http://groups.google.com/
for 'Ford Focus CHT'
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Alan
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