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2016 Explorer XLT Cooling and AC issues


Haze2255

New Member
Joined
August 13, 2020
Messages
3
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0
City, State
Las Vegas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explore XLT
Hello Everyone,

New to the explorer here. I've tried searching for issues pertaining to my current situation but couldn't find exactly what I needed, and that's why I'm making this post. I recently bought a 2016 explorer XLT FWD for my wife last month with 46k on the clock. We bought the vehicle with plans to drive it to Las Vegas since the vehicle selection was a lot better in south Florida. We had absolutely no issues driving it in Florida, then the problems started arising once we got into Utah. I had the cluster set to distance to empty most of the drive and doing that wasn't showing the temp gauge. I then switched it over and noticed the temp was climbing higher when I was doing most of up hill driving. Nothing alarming at the time then all of the sudden we were on a decent incline I was going about 65 and the hot coolant light came on. I pulled over and the engine was hot, but nothing looked or smelled alarming. I've overheated vehicles previously and have noticed the bays felt a lot hotter or steam would be coming out of the oil cap or overflow tanks. I let it sit for a few minutes then flipped it back on with the AC and it cooled the motor right off. For the rest of the drive it was always great during down hill or flat level driving but every time we'd go up hill the temp would keep climbing and climbing until i'd back off on the power. Now we're in Vegas and I haven't seen any issues except the temp occasionally fluctuating up when climbing up high way roads. New issues arising were that the AC would randomly start blowing hot air when the vehicle would sit still at idle. This has only happened twice, to my wife but she didn't know how to check for the AC clutch engaging and I haven't seen it myself. The radiator fans have been working on both low and high settings, the engine pressurizes normally as I can see movement in the coolant tank when it gets up to temperature. The today we were having battery issues (got that swapped out no more issues there). Is there a correlation between whats going on with my AC and the temp? How accurate are the digital temp gauges on these vehicles? I'm bringing the vehicle into the shop tomorrow to get the AC checked and explain whats going on, the only common I can see between the two is that maybe the compressor is causing both issues? Any insight would be amazing, this is only my second ford I've ever owned. Thank you!
 


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runningonfords

Active Member
Joined
September 22, 2018
Messages
110
Reaction score
16
City, State
Detroit, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer XLT RRM
Hello Everyone,

New to the explorer here. I've tried searching for issues pertaining to my current situation but couldn't find exactly what I needed, and that's why I'm making this post. I recently bought a 2016 explorer XLT FWD for my wife last month with 46k on the clock. We bought the vehicle with plans to drive it to Las Vegas since the vehicle selection was a lot better in south Florida. We had absolutely no issues driving it in Florida, then the problems started arising once we got into Utah. I had the cluster set to distance to empty most of the drive and doing that wasn't showing the temp gauge. I then switched it over and noticed the temp was climbing higher when I was doing most of up hill driving. Nothing alarming at the time then all of the sudden we were on a decent incline I was going about 65 and the hot coolant light came on. I pulled over and the engine was hot, but nothing looked or smelled alarming. I've overheated vehicles previously and have noticed the bays felt a lot hotter or steam would be coming out of the oil cap or overflow tanks. I let it sit for a few minutes then flipped it back on with the AC and it cooled the motor right off. For the rest of the drive it was always great during down hill or flat level driving but every time we'd go up hill the temp would keep climbing and climbing until i'd back off on the power. Now we're in Vegas and I haven't seen any issues except the temp occasionally fluctuating up when climbing up high way roads. New issues arising were that the AC would randomly start blowing hot air when the vehicle would sit still at idle. This has only happened twice, to my wife but she didn't know how to check for the AC clutch engaging and I haven't seen it myself. The radiator fans have been working on both low and high settings, the engine pressurizes normally as I can see movement in the coolant tank when it gets up to temperature. The today we were having battery issues (got that swapped out no more issues there). Is there a correlation between whats going on with my AC and the temp? How accurate are the digital temp gauges on these vehicles? I'm bringing the vehicle into the shop tomorrow to get the AC checked and explain whats going on, the only common I can see between the two is that maybe the compressor is causing both issues? Any insight would be amazing, this is only my second ford I've ever owned. Thank you!
I think your water pump is dead/dying, or your thermostat valve is busted and stuck half-closed. Some aspect of the cooling system isn't working. Or, electrical nonsense detecting an issue that doesn't actually exist in reality at all, but still needs to be rectified. The A/C system troubleshooting should be done independently of your cooling system malfunction. When you do use the a/c, the engine works a lot harder, more heat is generated, and your failing cooling system fails to remove heat, engine temp goes way up.

On my 2014 XLT the A/C works best at sustained engine RPM of 1500 or greater. If you're idling or cruising in a gear where the RPM is at or below 1000, the cold air ouput temp can go higher, but never be HOT. There are some blend door actuator malfunctions that cause this condition I've read on here. Expensive to fix too.

Troubleshoot your engine coolant system malfunctioning FIRST!!! You won't get the a/c running on a system that is throwing high/overheat codes!!! Can't stress this enough. Don't even take it in to the A/C people unless they are gonna be your coolant system techs as well. Sometimes its worth it to take it into Ford and pay the $120 to get a firm diagnostic (things unfamiliar shops may have never seen/heard of). Especially for overheating engine, YIKES!
 




Haze2255

New Member
Joined
August 13, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
City, State
Las Vegas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explore XLT
I think your water pump is dead/dying, or your thermostat valve is busted and stuck half-closed. Some aspect of the cooling system isn't working. Or, electrical nonsense detecting an issue that doesn't actually exist in reality at all, but still needs to be rectified. The A/C system troubleshooting should be done independently of your cooling system malfunction. When you do use the a/c, the engine works a lot harder, more heat is generated, and your failing cooling system fails to remove heat, engine temp goes way up.

On my 2014 XLT the A/C works best at sustained engine RPM of 1500 or greater. If you're idling or cruising in a gear where the RPM is at or below 1000, the cold air ouput temp can go higher, but never be HOT. There are some blend door actuator malfunctions that cause this condition I've read on here. Expensive to fix too.

Troubleshoot your engine coolant system malfunctioning FIRST!!! You won't get the a/c running on a system that is throwing high/overheat codes!!! Can't stress this enough. Don't even take it in to the A/C people unless they are gonna be your coolant system techs as well. Sometimes its worth it to take it into Ford and pay the $120 to get a firm diagnostic (things unfamiliar shops may have never seen/heard of). Especially for overheating engine, YIKES!
Thanks for the reply running, after I posted this I found a thread on the grille shutters. Turns out mine were stuck closed. I did a temp fix by zip tying them to the open position and took the car for a test drive today. Now that I got sufficient airflow it appears that was causing the problem. Took her up over 100 and climbed some pretty steep inclines, and the temp gauge stayed under half the whole time even in the 110+ Vegas heat with ice cold AC blowing in the car. I'm sure the actuator arm is busted as I didn't get any kind of check engine light. I think I'm just going to delete it off the vehicle as it's pretty ridiculous this coulda caused way more damage. I was very lucky the only thing I had to replace was my battery from that getting too hot. Is there a guide on how to properly delete the shutter assembly off the vehicle?
 




peterk9

Staff member
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Elite Explorer
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Haze2255

New Member
Joined
August 13, 2020
Messages
3
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City, State
Las Vegas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explore XLT




runningonfords

Active Member
Joined
September 22, 2018
Messages
110
Reaction score
16
City, State
Detroit, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer XLT RRM
well, there ya go, i'd never even heard of active grille shutters. came about in 2016. srsly, grille shutters? lol, wtf?
 
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