Weird problem. Belt, radiator? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Weird problem. Belt, radiator?


November 17, 2011
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I was driving to work one morning and as I parked I noticed the A/C went out. Fan blew but it wasn't cold. Didn't think much of it but on the way home the AC went out and it started to overheat.

This indicated a belt problem to me so I changed it the next day. After changing the belt it was the same problem only the power steering went out as well. Still thinking it was a belt problem I replaced the tensioner. Same problems still.

I ended up giving in and bringing it to a shop. I have a minor coolant leak and their theory was that the coolant was hitting the belt and causing slipping as I drove. Not so sure about this.

Has this happened to anyone else? I plan on replacing the radiator but I don't want to replace it immediately if it's something else.

Any thoughts on the situation?

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did anyone check to see if the A/C was still charged to make sure you haven't lost your system and are burning up the compressor?

may have something dragging the belt and having antifreeze sprayed on it won't help either.

I don't know if they checked that. Would it really cause the overheating and power steering problems?

Any way for me to check?

No, it wouldn't cause overheat and steering issues at the same time. A plugged condensor could cause an overheat problem, but not the steering problem.

Ahh. I see.

By the way, I am new to the forums and will likely be posting here a bit.

Thanks for all the help so for.

With a new tensioner and belt, I cant imagine the belt is slipping.

Are you getting hard starts?

if you have a bad pully, it's putting drag on the engine, could make starting difficult or impossible depending on how bad the pully is seized

Not difficult to start at all. I don't think it's ever taken more than one try.

Shop also said they tested my pulleys and couldn't find anything wrong. When installing my belt I didn't notice anything either.

Are you seeing any coolant on the belt?
If the belt was slipping that badly, I'm sure you would hear the whine of the slipping.

With the motor running (Air conditioning off), and you looking under the hood, are all pulleys turning (You wont see the whole A/C compressor turning, just the pulley)?

If they are, try turning on the air conditioning. When the compressor clutch turns on you will see the whole front of the compressor start to turn, along with a click of the compressor clutch. See if that loads the belt too much and slipping starts.

Do you smell coolant?

Jon wins, that's where I was going... :)

I don't know about that. My crank pulley seems perfectly fine. I also had no belt squeaking at all. I don't really fit any of those symptoms. Everything looked really smooth on the belt.

I'll check it more thoroughly in the morning but if that's not it I'm just going to replace the radiator since it's cracked anyway.