Engine overheating on '93 ford tempo

I have a 1993 Ford Tempo 2.3 Liter (4 cyl) engine - I am frustrated with my issue of the engine OVERHEATING - I have had a new fan put in and that seemed to work for awhile when I keep the air condioner running controlling the fan switch from inside the car - just yesterday I was sitting at a traffic lite & the dang thing started getting hot going up to the red line…I pulled over & let it cool down for about 1/2 hour, started it up, ran the a/c & drove home with no problem. just now I came back from the grocery store which is maybe 1/4 mile from my house & it started overheating AGAIN! I am sooo frustrated. and part of the reason I am so frustrated is this…I had a 1995 Ford Windstar van that had the same problem and NOBODY could figure it out … the engine FINALLY blew after several attempts at getting it repaired & I loved that van…it looks like my Tempo is going the same way of the Windstar. Has anyone out there had the same problem and if so, were you able to get it repaired SUCCESSFULLY???

I would start by replacing the water pump, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses. Make sure there is no water in the oil and that the radiator is not clogged. The latter may need that this one be taken out and flushed at a radiator shop.

I have a Windstar which was overheating and that is what I had to do to it.

If the pump is belt driven check the belt and tension too! Coolant flush any time in the last 15 years? A compression test to assure no head gasket leak and if all above fails a new radiator and cap. Are you experienceing any coolant loss?

The radiator fan in your vehicle functions under two modes.

The primary mode is when the coolant temp reaches a certain point the fan is turned on from a coolant temp sensor and relay. This prevents the engine from overheating when driving slowly or at a stop.

The secondary mode is when the AC is turned on. This causes the radiator fan to operate to remove the heat from the condensor for the AC system no matter what the coolant temp is, and it operates all the time.

So if you can prevent the engine from overheating by operating the AC system, it means that fan isn’t operating when the AC is turned off. For this the first two things to have checked out are, a faulty coolant temp sensor for the radiator fan, or a faulty radiator fan relay.


As usual, Tester is right on the money. I formerly owned and maintained a '93 Tempo and experienced the same problem. In my case, the relay was the problem. On the Tempo, this fan relay was included in the CCRM (constant control relay module). I replaced the whole module with a used part, but I’ve heard that you can take the module apart (drill out the rivets and replace with screws) and replace the individual relays in the module. Depends on just how cheap you are and how much time you have on your hands.