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2000 Ford Focus Overheat?

I’ve come to you to help. I know little about cars. I was driving my 2000 Ford focus on Saturday from NY to Philly and started to see that the Temperature Gague was showing temps. close to the Red Zone while idling in stop and go traffic… When I get off the highway, the temp returns near normal… Reservoir is MAX for coolant…

Any ideas?

Did you hear the radiator fan turn on when the engine got hot? If not, that’s one (of many) possibilities.
Have the coolant drained, the radiator flushed with plain water (with the bottom radiator hose disconnected), and fresh coolant put in. If there are still problems, an independent repair shop would be your best bet.

first check that your radiator is clear of obstructions. it may sound like a dumb thought, but if a plastic grocery bag has gotten caught in the air intake grill you will get the exact same cooling problem.

leaves, and other natural blowing things can get caught in there too.

As the temperature gague approached the red zone, the Focus’s fail safe cooling took effect, where the engine power is reduced and pistons are used as air pumps to cool off the engine… This is obvious a temporary fix…