Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2016 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Ford Explorer Ranger Repair - Troubleshooting - Modifications & Detailing Forums > 2002 - 2005 Explorer Mountaineer 3rd Generation > Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers

Notices

Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 2002 - 2005 Explorers and Mountaineers. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications. Sport Trac and Sport use the 1995-2001 forum.

'04 Ford Explorer Overheating issues...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-20-2010, 10:46 PM   #1
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Unhappy '04 Ford Explorer Overheating issues...

Hi.

I have an '04 Ford Explorer. On Monday I was on a long trip, and it overheated/steam/boiling/shut itself down just as I pulled off the highway. I have a Garmin Nuvi w/ ecoRoute HD and right as it was shutting down, the temp registered at 330 degrees (it had shot up from around 198 pretty suddenly). It took over an hour and about 8 bottles of water before it would start again. A mechanic pulled over to look at it and told me to add the water and let it sit for a while, so that's what I did. Anyway, got to my destination with no problems, and took it to the mechanic on Tuesday (since it was after closing time when it happened).

Took it in to the shop, and they flushed the radiator/changed the oil/said it should be good. Drove it for the rest of the day on Tuesday and it was fine. Wednesday night, I ran to the grocery store, and on the way back (at about 7 minutes drive time), it shot from 140 up to about 270. I pulled over, and it dropped back to 198.

Thursday, the same thing happened. At about 7 minutes drive time, it shot from 140 to 270 and then dropped to 198. No matter how long I drive it for after that, it sits at 195-205 degrees.

Any ideas? I've stopped driving it for the time being and I'm taking it in again on Monday and would like an idea of what I'm looking at.

Thanks.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

For only $20 per year you can become an Elite Explorer member. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 08-21-2010, 01:11 AM   #2
xlt03
Bay Point, CA
2003 XLT 4.6 4X4
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 283

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Bad thermostat or temperature sensor would be my guess. If they flushed radiator and changed oil, why didn't they change the thermostat.
xlt03 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
eeprete
NY
2003 Explorer Limited 4.6
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 88

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From the sounds of it, it does sound like you have a bad thermostat. But also if you've needed that much coolant and have overheated twice, I'd keep an eye on the overflow bottle and see if its using any coolant also.
eeprete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
muzzymaniac
Kent, NY
04 Explorer XLT 4.0L
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 442

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Definitely start with the thermostat if it hasn't been done.
muzzymaniac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #5
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
They apparently "took a quick look at it" this morning, and said the engine needs to be replaced?

I don't know if I believe them, since it doesn't seem to be handling any differently, etc. the only thing that happens is the sudden rise/fall of the temp, which everything I can find points to the Thermostat... even though they won't just replace the thermostat.

I think it's time to take it to a 2nd place and get another opinion?

Thanks!
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
eeprete
NY
2003 Explorer Limited 4.6
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 88

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Find out exactly where the failure point was and ask why the entire engine needs to be replaced. Replacing the engine is sometimes easier than repairing the failed parts and that may be why, however ask them to put it all on paper. But a second opinion can help.

Let me ask you these questions though:

- which engine is this
- did the engine ever go into Reduced Power Mode
- How many times has the engine overheated
eeprete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeprete View Post
Find out exactly where the failure point was and ask why the entire engine needs to be replaced. Replacing the engine is sometimes easier than repairing the failed parts and that may be why, however ask them to put it all on paper. But a second opinion can help.

Let me ask you these questions though:

- which engine is this
- did the engine ever go into Reduced Power Mode
- How many times has the engine overheated
The V6 flex fuel engine.

Yes it went into Reduced Power Mode before it shut down the first time. And it only overheated and shut down the 1 time (which I thought was supposed to prevent it from having major problems?)

It has supposedly overheated (but dropped back to normal within 10 seconds/never shut down/etc.) approximately 4 times since then.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #8
eeprete
NY
2003 Explorer Limited 4.6
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 88

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Where are you getting the exact temperature readings from?

For an engine to spike to 330 degrees, I'd think it would take more than 10 seconds to come down over 100 degrees to operating temperature.

First thing I'd do is get it running and have your technician check with a temp gun the temp at thermostat housing both behind and in front of where the thermostat is at.

You can also pull the thermostat and use the old school method of a pot of boiling water to check whether it is opening correctly at the correct temperature to rule that out.
eeprete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeprete View Post
Where are you getting the exact temperature readings from?

For an engine to spike to 330 degrees, I'd think it would take more than 10 seconds to come down over 100 degrees to operating temperature.

First thing I'd do is get it running and have your technician check with a temp gun the temp at thermostat housing both behind and in front of where the thermostat is at.

You can also pull the thermostat and use the old school method of a pot of boiling water to check whether it is opening correctly at the correct temperature to rule that out.
I have a Garmin ecoRoute HD... It's a bluetooth sensor hooked up to the OBD port that sends operating data to my garmin GPS which displays all the information. Coolant temp is one of the displays.

The initial event that caused this whole thing to go happen was the 330 degree overheat/power loss. At that time, it boiled off most of the coolant and took close to an hour and a lot of water to bring back to the point where it would run again. Since then it's showing a spike of 270 degrees about 7 minutes into the engine runtime, which immediately then drops down (within 10 seconds) to 195 degrees (and then it runs at a steady 195-207 no matter how long thereafter that you run it).

I don't think they even considered the thermostat, even though I suggested they start there based on what I have read.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
Hitchhikingmike
Dallas, Texas
'02 XLS
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,532

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Does your water temperature gauge needle move at all when your temperature spikes like this?




__________________
-Mike
Hitchhikingmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchhikingmike View Post
Does your water temperature gauge needle move at all when your temperature spikes like this?
Yeah, I get the check gauge light and the needle jumps to just below the red zone.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #12
jrford
Birmingham, MI
'10 Sport Trac
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,520

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you are right the PCM should go into FMEM mode to save the engine from disaster. If you shut it down right away. . .i'd expect it to be ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schroerj View Post
They apparently "took a quick look at it" this morning, and said the engine needs to be replaced?
with that diagnosis i'd take a 'quick' hike out of there. . . .did they supply any good reason other than how thick you wallet is??

To replace an engine there needs to be a very good reason with concrete evidence, like it doesn't turn over - hydro-locked, there is a piston sticking out the side of the block, no oil left. . .as some examples. . .a compression test will tell you roughly what condition the block is in.

But if there is major problem that's causing the over heating, blown oil pump, sluge(d) engine (oil turns to jelly and not a fluid), a better second opinion would be best in this case.

Like others suggested, make sure its running at normal temp. Then I'd check/replace the thermostat first its a classic symptom of it sticking, another idea is the water pump maybe on the way out?

Short version of the story, My sister-in-law on her way back home 2hour trip lost all the coolant, the sharp whip that she is figured she could make it home 45mins away. . .15-20mins later she had to pull over as it slowly lost speed. She pulls up to a gas station, well of course there is a hole in the Rad, which they replaced $400. But it started right up no problems, however with the Chrylser the trans is cooled by the radiator fluid (Not the Explorers the transmission has its own separate cooler) but since there was no fluid in hers it overheated and burned itself up, trans estimate was way more than its worth, so long story short the trans guy bought it off her and drove it another two years.




__________________
Jim
2010 Mercury Mountaineer Premier, V8 AWD, 15k
2010 Sport Trac Limited, V8 4WD, 55k
2004 EB Quad Buckets V8 AWD, 105k
jrford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 03:21 PM   #13
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
OK, so here's the new information... Went and picked it up. They said they tested the coolant and it had emissions gases in it (which they didn't tell me over the phone) and the ONLY way to fix it would be to completely replace the engine. I took it anyway, and dropped it off at a different shop on the way home (one that I spent some time researching, instead of randomly pulling the name out of the phonebook). I'll know tomorrow for sure what's wrong with it, since I can already tell there's a night and day difference between the shops (I told the new shop what happened and the diagnosis that the other shop gave, and was told it was probably a head gasket issue, not a total engine problem, and at 84k miles it should be a fairly easy repair).

Thanks for the info, everyone! I'll try to update this once I know for sure what the situation is.

Coincidentally, on the drive between the 2 shops, I didn't have the temp spike issue... but the only real thing that the shop did (other than the coolant test) was rotate the tires... and I don't think that had anything to do with the overheating problem.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2010, 03:27 PM   #14
eeprete
NY
2003 Explorer Limited 4.6
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 88

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
emissions gases can be due to a head gasket. Oil should be drained from the crankcase and sent for an analysis to see if there is coolant present in the crankcase. If not, I'd safely bet its a head gasket. Not exactly easy but not a total disaster. I'd imagine its an easier job on the 4.0 than the 4.6.
eeprete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 11:04 PM   #15
schroerj
Minneapolis, MN
2004
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Got the verdict back today... the heads were warped well beyond where they should have been. They couldn't believe that it had only overheated that badly one time. As a result, we went ahead and told them to put a new engine in. I'm not thrilled about the whole situation, but if it runs better than it did before this whole thing happened, I guess I'll live with it.

I asked them to make sure it was a flex fuel engine that they were putting in since that's what was in it before.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

They're replacing the thermostat and all the radiator hoses at the same time.
schroerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Suggest this thread to friends:



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:26 AM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2014 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.