Thermostat, failing head gasket, timing, clogged radiator, water pump, temp
sender, fan operation, radiator cap, low coolant, leaking hose. Start cheap with
a flush 'n fill, pressure test, and a new radiator cap. If that doesn't do it,
look at the more expensive stuff.
Lots of folks dismiss the Aerostar as junk. Through the years though Ive
that they were pretty reliable and troublefree until about 110K then they
falling apart...and falling apart... Lots of oddball stuff after that like rear
control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings etc. Here in Ohio the rust got to
badly after a few years.
Like trainfan said, try a coolant flush, thermostat first. Also replace the
gauge sender while you're there, I've seen many of them cause exactly this
You can doo all of this for about $25-30.
I've enjoyed my two. Sold the first one (1 1989) to a friend with
about 140,000km on it - they put it over 300,000. Two body jobs - no
major mechanical failures (I replaced an accumulator seal on the
tranny while I had it)
Sold it because I was offered my Dad's 1990 with 30,000km on it for a
price I could not refuse. I put it over 240,000Km. Ford put an engine
it it under warranty due to a piston slap. I put a trans front seal in
it, and then a front sprague and input shaft 2 years later. Put U
Joints in it at about 200,000Km. Other than that,mechanically, it got
2 regulators and an alternator (I suspect it was the alternator all
along) and a few sets of brakes. When I put the HD Carbon Metalic pads
on, I didn't need to replace rotors anymore. Only 3 sets of tires, and
I THINK I put a tie rod end on it.
The body got patched twice - the seam on the drivers side was a weak
point - as was the driver's rocker panel.
I replaced the 90 with a 94 Pontiac Trans Sport. 3.8 instead of 3
liter - but absolutely USELESS for trailer towing. MUCH less interior
space, better ride, but harder on gas. Plastic body won't show any
rust untill the underbody falls apart underneath it, but I'd trade it
for a good 97 Aerostar in a heartbeat.
I LOVE my Aerostar though it has over 200,000 (bought for 400 at 181k)
and is sitting driveway waiting for me to get the ambition to replace
front trans seal which only blows fluid when hot.
it has all the usual lower body rust but floor pan is almost rust-free -
That was a dam good van, though ugly as a dogfish.
My floorpan & undercarriage was rust-free too, bought the van in
Indiana, then upstate NY went to work & ruined the body quickly. We
basically had to give it away after a very minor collision totalled
it(kept driving it for a few months after the crash).
1 transmission & 1 steering rack were the only major repairs. Also did
both heater cores, coolant hoses, brakes, other usual stuff but parts
were pretty cheap & easy to come by.
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