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Fluctuating temp gauge

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Vinnie P, December 24, 2004.

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    1. Vinnie P

      Vinnie P New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      95 XLT
      I changed the t-stat in our 95 x because of low heat. Kept the motor at 2000 rpm for 5 min with the cap off to purge for air and topped off. Checked the level for a couple of days and topped off as needed. The heat works great now but the gauge fluctuates from half to quarter after it warms up. I've searched here and found a similar thread that was solved with a new rad cap. After replacing the cap the problem still remains. I also checked the gauge by disconnecting the sending unit and grounding it. With KOEO and no connection the gauge read full low. With connection wire grounded, it read full hot. Is there a way to test the sending unit?
       
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    3. hank19-1

      hank19-1 New Member

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      This is yet another small "annoying" thing that the Explorer will do. I too have a 95 and had the thermostat and radiator cap replaced and my gauge still does the same thing. That was 3 years ago. My advice? Don't worry about it. As long as your heater is working everything is fine. The Ford Explorer is a nice vehicle but has many "small" problems. This is just one of them. I don't know if you have figured it out but the gauges on the Explorer are not "real" gauges. All they are is idiot lights that "look" like a gauge. Ever wonder why your oil pressure gauge never moves? I have owned my 95 Explorer since 97 and it's always having little "things" going wrong with it. What upset's me with it is Ford knew there were problems with it but doesn't do anything about them. Why do both of my front windows have very noticable "scratches" in them that start at the top of the window all the way down to the bottom of the window? I'll bet most of you have the same scratches. My cruise control pod on the right side just broke off one day and found out this was a common problem also. Both "back" door handles broke off(the ones that never get used)and they wanted $175 to fix just "one" of them. I don't use the rear doors so I never got them fixed. Minor stuff so far. Major stuff? Transmission gone at 70,000 miles. Air cond compressor gone at 72,000 miles. Didn't fix it,just bought the smaller belt and bypassed the compressor. This was one good idea that Ford had. Last 6 months the fronts wheel bearings went out. These needed to be fixed but at $450 a pop,that hurt. Final verdict? I have too much money into this Explorer to sell. It's been 6 months since I've had a problem,keeping my fingers crossed. I have 25,000 miles on my $1700 transmission rebuild,that will probably be next. Other than that,and the "lack" of support from Ford,will I buy another Explorer? 3 weeks ago I bought a GMC Envoy. Really it's not the Explorer that makes me mad,it's the attitude of FOMOCO that "upset's me. All of this happened with less than 80,000 miles on the Explorer. That's not very good.
       
    4. svande8952

      svande8952 Active Member

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      My ex does the same thing, I have a new radiator, fan clutch and radiator cap. I am going to replace the t-stat next just for good measure. I also am planning on installing an aftermarket water temp gage so I can see if the factory one is just screwed.

      I replaced my radiator because it was spraying out fluid from the bottom one day, the fan clutch never worked, so I replaced that and the cap was leaking before the rad so that was the first thing. This is getting pretty old.
       
    5. JLaudio184

      JLaudio184 New Member

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      the temp guage fluctuates becasue the water pump isnt pumping all that well, its a sign that its about to go. I replaced my water pump and it fixed the problem. The pump is like a 60 dollar unit.
       
    6. Vinnie P

      Vinnie P New Member

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      Thanks for your responses. This web site is the best! I was begining to think it was a head gasket problem. What a relief.
       
    7. hank19-1

      hank19-1 New Member

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      Oh! I forgot one more thing!

      One cold day I went out to start my Explorer and let it warm up. After 2 minutes I'm looking at the Explorer and there is antifreeze pouring out of the bottom of the radiator. Took it to my local mechanic and he say's he see's this quite a bit with Explorers. It seems that the plastic tanks that are on the side of the radiator have a o ring around them and until it get's warm it might leak antifreeze. He told me it might help if he takes the radiator out and "crimps" the plastic bottle to the radiator. That worked for 1 year until it started doing it again. So the thing that I do is carry a gallon of antifreeze with me. It will leak until it get's warmed up so all I have to do is check the coolant level and when it's down I'll add more coolant. Have owned many,many cars and trucks over the years and have never had this problem. The Explorer does have comfortable seats though....
       
    8. F14CRAZY

      F14CRAZY To the flo...

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      My Explorers do the same, even with new thermostats. Note: Explorer "gauges" are lights except for the temperature gauge.
       
    9. Vinnie P

      Vinnie P New Member

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      Again, thankyou all and have a great Christmas!
       
    10. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Your temp gauge should fluctuate. It should move up and down as the thermostat opens and closes. The only gauge that is just a glorified light is the oil pressure.
       
    11. Vinnie P

      Vinnie P New Member

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      But it costantly fluctuates after the car warms up.
       
    12. hank19-1

      hank19-1 New Member

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      Gauge Problem

      Vinnie, Don't worry about it. I use my Explorer on a mailroute(100 miles)and I watch it do this all day. Also isn't it nice to know that the "gauges" that are on the Explorer,really aren't real gauges?
       
    13. F14CRAZY

      F14CRAZY To the flo...

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      As said by me and Mbrooks, the temperature gauge IS a moving gauge. The ammeter and the oil pressure gauge are the "lights"
       
    14. Vinnie P

      Vinnie P New Member

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      Well I guess that begs the question is the gauge moving because of fluctuating coolant temp and why?
       
    15. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      The only gauge that isn't real is the oil pressure guage. They did this after too many idiots couldn't understand that ol pressure changes with rpm, and oil temp. The ammeter is a real gauge, because I have made it fluctuate before with the stereo.
       
    16. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      It flutuates because the coolant is constantly changing temp due to varying load, rpm, and speed.
       
    17. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      The oil pressure sending unit is just an on/off switch. If the oil pressure is okay, the guage goes to normal (light off in an idiot light vehicle). If the oil pressure is low, the guage goes to low (light on in an idiot light vehicle).
       
    18. svande8952

      svande8952 Active Member

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      The 1st gens actually have volt meters, not ammeters.
       

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