At this point, you are unsure that the car is overheating..... running
"hot", maybe, but we aren't even sure about that. If this car is OBD2
compliant (look for the plug under the dash), you can monitor ECT through a
capable scan tool.... you can get an idea using an IR thermogun aimed at the
In a car this old, with the history of the cooling system unknown, there is
always the possibility that the rad core is slowly losing flow due to
calcification or the water pump impeller *may* suffer from erosion.... or
If the gauge drops when you are cruising above about 25mph or so then suspect
fan clutch. If it stays consistently high the thermostat and/or radiator are
At that age and mileage I would say to start with a thorough cooling system
a new thermostat as it probably needs it just for proper maintenence. While you
the system drained replace the sender for the gauge, it's $10 and cheap
course, check and replace any suspect hoses. If it still runs too warm then look
toward the radiator.
If it were my own car I would do the flush, stat, all hoses,sender, radiator,
OEM fan clutch. Then I would know the cooling system should be trouble free for
time to come, but that's just me. YMMV.
Those 90s CVs are proving to be a very dependable car for a few hundred K
properly maintained. Good used car choice Fred.
simple and cheap!!! ask a used car dealer how he would do it...change
thermostat ($8), then flush radiator with water hose (free), then replace
water pump (pump = $20 at autozone, pay a mechanic after hours at his
house, he does the same job for 1/8 the price!), if all else fails, its a
seal in the headgasket...put it on autotrader.com and move on to the next
Dude, he just bought the car, I'm assuming as a driver. It's got 160K miles on
with, I assume, no maintenence records. Give it some NORNAL maintenence and it
very likely be fine. It doesn't sound like wants to "just move it" like your
beater dealer scenario. Most folks don't want to play car roulette. God, I'd
see what you drive.
wait a minute before you beat on me man...obviously he bought the car
trying to save some money; 12 year old car with 160K on it! He's not
looking to put brand new ANYTHING on it. Most likely he would used
remanufactured parts and try to keep the cost down as little as possible.
If you want to start with the most expensive part first and go cheaper, be
my guest...I'm trying to save the kid some money. Well, you are probably
the jerk mechanic telling this poor kid to give you $350 bucks for a
stupid water pump! (and my car is great, I make a living helping people
like him avoid people like you!)
If he bought the car to be dependable transport to his job, where he makes
support his family, he want's it to get him there every day dependably, right?
does what I would do , as mentioned at the bottom of my post, he won't wind up
stranded and miss a day of work because the engine melted down on the way to
didn't say he needed to do that, just catch up on maintenence. High mileage
cointoss. They take a certain amount of "make up" maintenence that the last
didn't give them before the sale to make them a "good" car .Lack of history just
to the bill. It's still much less than a monthly car payment but there's no free
lunch. BTW, my current car is a 1984 Lincoln Mark VII with 138K miles. I drive
miles per day, every day except Sunday. I maintain it like I suggested to the OP.
As far as being the "jerk mechanic" charging $350 for a water pump, I was a
dealership tech for ~20 years. When I need a WP or starter on the wifes V-6
I'll give you $100 to do it if you think that's fair. I'll even buy the part. I
as hell don't want to do it for that price. Hell, I'll even buy lunch. I'd still
So far, I replaced both the sending unit and thermostats with new NAPA
ones (the more expensive sending unit, the less expensive thermostat).
It appears that the temperature on the gauge is running a little lower,
but mostly in the upper "M" range. I am wondering if this was
so-called normal for these cars, especially for 1994? There is a very
small grille opening above the bumper. The fan appears to blow fine at
idle with the A/C on and engine fully warmed up. Perhaps I will swap
radiators with my 93 Crown Vic, which has the R-12 A/C currently low on
charge (If I were to put R-134A fittings on it, could I just then add
R-134 instead of completely evacuating the system?), so the A/C
compressor only kicks on for a few seconds and barely gets cool. Yes,
it's all about the true cost per mile!
Land O'Lakes Fred
Tom Adkins wrote:
The M is in the middle of the word "Normal." What does that tell you?
To me, that means it is running where it is supposed to, in other words
I think the gauge shows a temperature higher in the range (i.e.., higher on
the word normal) than you are used to, but the engine temperature is fine.
perhaps you are not personally familiar with these particular gauges.
They read N O R M, not N O R M A L. The N is near the C line, and the
M is near the H line.
Has anyone had any experience with any know issues as to how these 94
CV's may either overheat and/or register with the A/C on, a hot day at
highway speeds? Thanks.
Land O'Lakes Fred
I have a '95 with digital dash. Mine usually sits right in the middle.
That said, don't believe everything you see on the regular dash gauges.
Most of them are not designed to do much more than look cool. They often
function as glorified idiot lights and nothing more. If you can drive
normally when the gauge is on "ME" without poor performance or knocking on
mild acceleration, there is probably nothing wrong. The only way to be sure
is to install a mechanical gauge. Go to your local auto joint and spend $10
to $20. Just be sure how you install it. There are two temp sensors, one
for you to see on the dash and one for the car computer.
The advise from Jim and Tom should be carefully considered. They know of
what they speak. If you are seeing no symptoms except the reading on the
dash, it is very likely normal for that particular car.
Hope this helps!
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