Car overheating

ford
taurus
radiators

#1

We have a 2003 Ford Taurus wagon. It recently started overheating.

Fluid levels are good, and last time we had this issue (About a year ago) I replaced the thermostat and all was good.

So I went to the auto parts store and got a new thermostat and replaced it. Yes. the thermostat is in correctly.(I double checked when car overheated on a test drive)



Anything I can look at before I go to a mechanic?


#2

When the car gets up to (and apparently above) normal operating temperature, see if the upper radiator is hot. If it is, that means coolant is flowing and the thermostat is working like it should.

Does it overheat only when idling, only when moving, only at highway speeds, more than one of these? Can you hear the fan running when it gets hot? Perhaps the fan isn’t coming on. Another random thought is a partially restricted radiator. Do the cooling fins on the radiator look bent, or clogged up with bug carcasses?


#3

Also does it overheat while waiting in line for a burger or all the time? If while waiting for a burger give a squeeze on the upper radiator hose, if it is not firm you have a bad radiator cap or coolant system leak. Also the fan should be running. If the fan is not running it could be a sensor or fan clutch issue.