I have a '93 Ford Tempo 2.3 liter with a/c …it OVERHEATS … love the car, but when I sit in traffic, the temp needle goes up almost to the redline, I have to shut the car off … it happens all year round … if I’m driving up a hill the temp starts climbing, if I turn the heat OFF the temp climbs, in summer when I put A/C on the temp climbs … I’ve put 3 Thermostats in, a new Water Pump, there are NO leaks in Radiator, I’ve replaced Hoses … no I’m not a mechanic, I’ve brought it to garages … other than the overheating issue it’s a good lil car, uses maybe 1 QT of oil every other month … when I lived in SC had the same car…SAME PROBLEM…had a 1995 Windstar that did the same thing, replaced radiators etc nobody could figure it out, or didn’t want to…what is it with Fords!
There are a number of possibilities including but not limited to a clogged radiator, a malfunctioning cooling fan or its temp sensor, a headgasket leak, and a bad pressure cap. Also, a collapsed hose inner liner.
The radiator should be flow checked, mapped for proper heat dissipation with an infrared thermometer, the cylinders should be pressure leakdown checked for a possible headgasket leak, and the pressure cap should be tested or changed. All of these tests are inexpensive and easy on this car. If you’d like to purchase the test equipment and do them yourself, post back and I’ll provide instructions and tips.
I recall several Tempos with broken head bolts. Replacing the broken bolt ALMOST always corrected the problem. I used a reverse drill bit to get the bolt out without removing the head. As best I can recall the rear bolts were the ones that broke.
It takes a special person to love a 93 Tempo. I hope this works out well for you.
Next time it overheats, pop the hood and see if the radiator cooling fan(s) are spinning. They should be. If not, it should prove fairly simple to fix. Don’t allow the engine to ever overheat in the meantime. If the temp gauge starts to go up, some engine cooling can usually be effected by turning on the passenger compartment heater to max and the heater fan to max.
I know somebody who used to work at a Ford dealer for many years
He said those Tempo engines were known for cracked cylinder heads
Have you ever checked the operation of the cooling fans? A lot of what you said just points to that. Some of it points to a possibility of a head problem. I’ve had quite a few Fords in my day and none of them have done this. I think you might have a little selective observation and overgeneralization going on.