over heating | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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over heating


Active Member
July 30, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
lagrange indiana
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 xlt
Hey again everyone, I am having an issue with my baby over heating. After driving about 5 miles my temp gauge goes past red and when I pop the Hood I can hear it boiling. I am running straight water for now, blows out real hot air still.. What can be going on? No leaks either

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head gasket is the most likely culprit.

I'm not having any leaks or anything

I'd say you 've got a small hole near the top of your radiator which prevents the system from pressurizing (which raises the boiling point of coolant), but doesn't piss coolant. Since you're running straight water, your boiling point is 212F.

Pressure test your system.

Agreed, pressure test the system and pull your spark plugs to see if any of them are cleaner than the others (indicates failed head gasket on that cylinder).

Thermostat is likely stuck closed. Buy new thermostat.

I suggest a Stant Superstat. 195 degree model.

Be sure to do the proper air purge procedure after refilling the system with coolant.

Re-attach the radiator cap, but only to the first click. Start engine and run at idle until it goes past the middle (the RM in NORMAL) and goes back down. Let the engine cool (2-5 hours or overnight). Top off the radiator (an inch or two below the top so it doesn't spill over) and overflow reservoir (to full line only) and again attach cap to first click only, start engine, idle until it needle goes past middle of gauge and drops, then let engine cool again, top off radiator and reservoir, close cap to second click, drive and check for proper operation.

If you're lucky, the heads won't have cracked and you won't have a blown head gasket from the overheating.

Don't ever let the engine go into the red. When it starts climbling past the L in NORMAL and keeps going...shut it down. Turn off the engine even if you have to pull over in traffic to do so.

Thank you everyone! I will keep you posted!

let me add to what was said- running straight water is never a good idea. It will always boil a little in the cyl heads because that is the hottest area. one some boiling happens then you loose cooling capacity and your heat will increase exponentially.


Just wanted to let everyone know, I got her fixed :) it was a bad thermostat! :)

Always try the cheap and easy stuff first. ;) That way, if it wasn't it, it probaby doesn't hurt to replace it at this age anyway. Glad to hear it's working now!