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Engine temp gauge question

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Brem95, December 3, 2019.

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  1. Brem95

    Brem95 Elite Explorer

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    Hey guys, got off work early today so I dumped my coolant, swapped out the t stat flushed cooling system, added coolant then burped the system.

    my issue is still here, the gauge shows approx 1/3 temp when warmed up (sometimes slightly higher) as of right now. I was hoping thermostat would fix this but it hasn’t. Should I be concerned and change the sensor or is this fairly normal? Like I said sometimes it’s a bit closer to half but I want to ensure it’s accurate and I don’t overheat the engine

    thanks and sorry for the long winded question.

    forgot to mention I put the Tstat in the same way and the little breather hole upwards.

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: December 3, 2019
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  3. rasouth

    rasouth Elite Explorer

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    My temp gauge very rarely gets above the half way mark, even in summer, and I live in Southern California! I think it is pretty normal for the gauge to be about 1/3 to 1/2.
     
  4. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds right for the OHV. There are a bunch of minor issues with the temp gauge. There was even a special hose at one time. Monitor the ECT pid if you are worried. There are separate sensors.
     
  5. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Your temp gauge looks normal
    That's where mine is at 188-190f
    And I did use forscan to look
     
  6. Brem95

    Brem95 Elite Explorer

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    Thanks everyone just wanted to check to be sure. Either way I’m sure it benefited from a coolant flush and new t stat. Appreciate the reassurance haha.
     
  7. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Your temp gauge reading looks perfectly normal to me. My understanding of the temp gauge's operation is that is a bit like the oil pressure gauge, just slightly smarter in that if your coolant temp is say between 167F and 205F degrees the needle reads right about where your needle is (a little less than 1/2). If the coolant temp is below 167 degrees the needle read at or near COLD. If the coolant temp is over 205F degrees the needle shots up to HOT and the "CHECK GAGE" illuminates. The temperatures I'm using in my example might not be accurate, but the temp gauge's operation is buffered to not alarm driver's when there's not really any issue.

    If you're not familiar with how the Explorer's oil pressure gauge works, it's not a gauge at all. It's an idiot light with a needle rather than a bulb. As long as you have 5 PSI of oil pressure the needle reads smack-dab in the center of the gauge.
     
  8. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    It sucks we can't have real gauges because MY GENERATION can't don't know how to read them and understand them ahhhhhh ok rant over
     
  9. 1998Exp

    1998Exp Well-Known Member

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    It is a real gauge, and Koda is assigning way too much intelligence to this gadget. There are no "steps" or anything like that. The thermistor (sensor) that drives it does not have a linear response, so don't expect the needle to move in a way that's proportional to temperature like in a real thermometer - that would have probably cost a few extra $$$ in the early 90's when those things were designed. Moreover, it would not be terribly useful, because the average driver doesn't need (or want) to know the exact temperature, only have a rough idea if it's cold, OK, or too hot. A couple months ago my heater valve broke and coolant spilled out. I knew what was happening, and just watched that needle, hoping to find a good place to pull over. It climbed slowly but surely, no "steps".
     
  10. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    You may be right. When I had severe fuel economy issues with my then newly acquired '00 Mountaineer AWD (13 MPG hwy) and my temp indicator was acting strangely (barely moving off COLD) what I stated is what I was told by someone on the forum, in that the temp gauge's operation was "stepped". Seemed to make sense based on the oil pressure gauge's operation. The strange thing was I was still getting good heat. The CEL eventually came on and I pulled a code telling me that the engine was not entering "closed loop" mode. Changing the t-stat brought my hwy MPG up about 10 MPG and my temp gauge started acting normally.

    As for the temp gauge being a real gauge... Real gauges have numbers on them. I've owned 6 Explores and Mountaineers over the past 8 years and none of their temp gauges ever read smack-dab in the center of the gauge. Every one of them displayed just below center (like the resent pic posted by @Zeromarine) even after replacing their t-stat's with the recommended Motorcraft t-stat. When my '01 Sport Trac blew a head gasket last year my temp gauge went from reading "normal" to max HOT almost instantly. Not a gradual increase of coolant temp.
     
    Last edited: December 6, 2019 at 8:52 AM
  11. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Mine sits even lower than that most of the time. It only goes higher if the outside temperature is warm. So that makes me think the thermostat is stuck open. I get relatively great gas mileage for a 2000 Explorer so I haven’t changed it.

    This was me at the drive thru today. The temp outside is 74 degrees. Way too low I know. It only goes halfway in the summer when it’s 95 out.
    29686C1A-F224-460F-82A1-AA28B2EF9A85.jpeg
     
  12. 1998Exp

    1998Exp Well-Known Member

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    Just about any scanner will tell you the actual temperature (assuming that the sensor connected to the PCM is good).
     
  13. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    That's what my gauge looked like when my thermostat stuck open buy a stant
    I'm running a superstat now
     
  14. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If you don't have a scanner, or something like ForScan, a pyrometer get's you pretty close to your actual engine temp and they're inexpensive.
     
  15. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I have a blue driver reader and the pcm temperature sensor matches the gauge. So it’s gotta be a stuck thermostat. I have a stant and a new housing ready. Hopefully I can do it soon.
     
  16. poker4me007

    poker4me007 Elite Explorer

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    This last summer I put in a Gates Premium 180° thermostat and the temp doesn't go as high as it used too.Usually stays about at the mark I made on Brem95's picture.I like it, stays a little cooler in summer and i'm still getting plenty of heat up to now. MPG hasn't changed at all.
    image1.jpg
     
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  17. Mr Nelson

    Mr Nelson New Member

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    I too was worried about my low gauge, it was showing at the white mark on the above picture, so I hooked up my MT-2500 and I found that the unit would go into closed loop fuel mode at 130F which was surprising and idling it was at 182F with a 192F thermostat so I just think the gauge sender on these units are wonky, if the EEC-V is showing good numbers then nothing to worry about.
     
  18. Zeromarine

    Zeromarine Member

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    Mine was doing that. I replaced it with a oem one from ford and it’s in the middle now and works perfect.
     
  19. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Would the coolant still reach 16 psi with a cooler temperature? I’m wondering if my radiator cap isn’t opening much since the coolant rarely reaches 190F. Seems like air is getting trapped in the system.
     
  20. 239

    239 Active Member

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    What part number did you use?
     
  21. Zeromarine

    Zeromarine Member

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    not sure I just had my buddy from the dealer order it from my vin. Just go to the dealer and get one only $25 bucks and get the gasket also.
     

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