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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4708
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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Hi, my Ford Y56 Reg Zetec 1.4L has kept overheating on minimum

Customer Question

Hi, my Ford Y56 Reg Zetec 1.4L has kept overheating on minimum half to one hour motorway driving, particularly in warm weather. The temp gauge hits the highest temp and starts bleeping. The warranty checks/garages charged me a lot of money for major work saying they cannot find the problem and sent me away. I am really suffering the problem and it is really getting me down. I have to keep the heating on high and then the temp goes down to norm. Please please come to my rescue! I am bitterly disappointed that no garages have been able to resolve the problem and I am one step away from writing to BBC Watchdog.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.



Hopefully I can help..


Can you tell me if possible exactly what parts / testing / checks has been done upto now on the car to try and resolve this problem?


Is the car actually loosing any coolant?


Any signs of excess smoke from the exhaust?


Do you hear the main fan kicking in when this overheating occurs?



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

On checking the coolant several times, there is no loss - also had friends to help me check and all felt the same.

No signs of excess smoke from the exhaust.

No, I do not recall hearing the main fan kicking in when overheating occurs.

Please note the car is not from 1956 - it was new and registered in Sept 2006.

Parts/testing/checks upto now:

A/C not working since 2/10/ 2010.

18/10/2010 Water pump and cambelt changed, water pump repair kit, bolt, v-belt, drive belts

30/7/2010 no faults experienced but coolant temp sensor replaced.

27/5/2010 Cooling system checked, pressure tested, thermostat and cooling fan operation all OK and not faults present.

26/3/2010 Thermostat seal and housing replaced.

28/9/2011 Water header tank fitted.

7/6/2012 New clutch kit and front brake pads.


Hope this helps - I have kept all my paper records in date order and have provided this information from all my file paperwork.




Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.
Hi..there thanks for your reply..

If your turning your heater onto high/hot setting and the temp comes down then that should be an indication as to any garage why this is maybe occurring..since as and when the heater is set to hot then the hot coolant circulates through the matrix and thus could be acting like a sort of secondary rad to aid cooling - the fan not coming on at all when it reaches this temp maybe the key area to have checked .ie:- does the fan still turn by hand and hasn't actually seized up or a wiring fault / when running engine sitting at idle bring it up to temp and see if you can hear it coming on - if it does then that can be ruled out and the temperature control side is working - the fan is controlled by the ecu using various temp sensors on the engine - If this
overheating occurs only on motorway driving then you either have partial
blockage somewhere usually in most cases the radiator itself or the
thermostat isn't opening or has become stuck or the water pump impeller is
spinning on it shaft and not forcing the coolant around quick enough to cope
with the increased engine speed and heat generated to keep the engine cool or at
it desired temperature..the fan should also compensate for that too but if your
not hearing that coming on all then that would certainly be one of the areas
that should of been investigated anyway - maybe also check for any coolant hoses that maybe causing a restriction in regards to collapsing and restricting flow..maybe something to look at.seeing as your not loosing coolant / no cross contamination or steam building up etc then im not so sure it will be headgasket related.but there maybe a small chance it could a small hairline crack in the cylinder other thing is to ensure or measure the engine is actually overheating and not due to a fault guage.. I do hope this helps..If you need to ask anything else further then just continue
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I will print your suggestions off and ask the garage to check on all your suggestions - don't worry, I will only print off the advice bit and not your details and I really keep my fingers crossed that the car can be sorted out as soon as possible and that your suggestions will lead to a solution of the problem as it is so annoying.

Expert:  Robert replied 4 years ago.

hi..thats fine..

like I say before if they have infrared thermometer that would confirm whether the engine is actually overheating and the gauge isn't giving a false reading..

If you need to ask anything else then just continue..