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2002 Mazda MPV too hot!

I’ve noticed this summer when we turn the a/c and engine off the fan under the hood is still running for a few minutes. My husband and brother said this is normal.

Then one day about two weeks ago we sat with the van idling for about ten minutes and started driving and noticed the gauge was in the H. We stopped right away. We replaced the thermostat and thought all was well, but then after a few days we noticed whenever the van sat running the needle would head toward the H.

So, our van is getting hot. We’ve been told by a friend it could be many things, any suggestions?

Summary: van getting too hot, needle is halfway between Cold and Hot after 5 minutes of driving with no a/c running. If we’ve been driving a few minutes with a/c running it is in the Hot within 15 minutes.

Forgot to mention, if we sit with the van idling it starts to get too hot, needle goes to the H, if we then start driving again it starts to cool back off, but is still a little above the middle mark between Hot and Cold.

I assume the fans are running when it overheats. Could be the temp sensor or gauge is bad. The temp can be measured at the radiator outlet by an IR thermometer.

Your friend was right. There are many possibilities.

You have two cooling fans. One always operates when the AC is on. The other when the engine gets hot. The latter may not be working. It could be the fan or the temp sensor.

You could be low on coolant. Have you checked?

Your radiator could be internally partially plugged or coated. This can be checked by looking for hotspots with a pyrometer, but the results aren’t always conclusive unless there’s a dramatic hotspot.

If it’s high mileage the impellars could be eroded in the water pump.

The thermostat could be sticking partially closed. T-stats cost about $15.

Whatever it is, you need to get it looked at and fixed. An overheated engine could end up costing you thousands in damages.