1996 Ford Escort Wagon overheats!

OK. We bought a Ford Escort Wagon 1996, low miles (73000). Car overheats, but not until about 10 min. of driving, and it starts running really rough and sputtering. A

mechanic checked it out. . .needed new head gasket (he said) and new head

gasket bolts, so we got that, also, got a new timing chain and new plug wires. The head itself was ok. Still does it! What do you think the problem could be?

What should we check first? Any advice greatly appreciated!

Did your mechanic replace the:
Water pump?
Check the condition of the radiator?
Did he send the head to a machine shop or just eyeball it?

I agree. For the money involved in just the head gasket, all those things should have also been addressed.

Make sure the electric cooling fan comes on as the temp goes up. Generally, they come on around 220 degrees and will go back off when it cools down to about 205. If you have a/c, turning the a/c on should automatically turn on the cooling fan (some cars have 2 fans, one for the engine & 1 that comes on with the a/c).

Thanks for responding. I don’t know if thermostat was checked. The head was checked at a machine shop. I think radiator was visually checked, no cracks or leaks. Water pump not checked. Which do you think might be most likely culprit?

I mentioned the water pump because it is typical to replace it when changing the timing belt. I would start with the thermostat as that is cheap an easy. If that doesn’t help I would make sure the electric cooling fans are working.