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c-pete, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 30
Experience:  Ford, Lincoln, Mercury Technician
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2002 Ford Escape: high speed..the engine has warmed..temperature gauge

Resolved Question:

I have a 2002 Ford Escape 3.0 engine. The problem is that both cooling fans come on at a high speed soon after the engine has warmed to operating temperature and never shut off until the engine is stopped. The temperature gauge indicates normal operating temperature.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  c-pete replied 9 years ago.

Hi, there is several items that can cause this concern. I have a few questions that will help me help you.

Does the heat and a/c work? wil the cooling fans stay on when climate control is off? Is the coolant at the proper level in the reservoir? After the engine is warm and the cooling fans turn on, is the radiator hot or cool (don't burn yourself), does the air from the fan feel hot?



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The heat and a/c both work great...although it's a little hard to tell how well the a/c is working as it is less than 40 degrees outside. The cooling fans continue to run whether or not the climate control is off. The coolant is at the proper level and remaining there. After the fans turn on, I checked the radiator and it feels cold to the touch and the air coming off both cooling fans is cool/cold. The dashboard temperature gauge never goes over the midpoint. The large radiator hose is hot. Additional information: This problem did not become apparent until after I replaced the thermostat this winter to improve the amount of heat coming from the heater. Once the cooling fans turn on, they are on for good until the ignition is turned off. It doesn't matter whether or not you are driving down the freeway in below freezing tempatures or sitting at a stoplight. It does, however, take awhile for the fans to turn on and we have noticed it takes less time for them to start as the outside temperature has slowly risen.
Expert:  c-pete replied 9 years ago.

Hi, it is possible that the new thermostat is opening too late and opening just above the the fan turn on temp. causing the fan to run all the time after the vehicle is warmed up. The engine computer will turn the high fan on around 220' F. If the thermostat is opening at 225' F then the engine will never run cool enough for the fan to turn off. this would still keep the guage in the normal range. What brand thermostat was used? what part number was it? Was the thermostat installed correctly? See if the radiator gets hot after the engine gets a little warmer (engine will heat up quicker if the heat is off). Is there anything blocking the flow of air across the radiator? Where is the temp guage when the fans turn on?

The easy way to diagnose this would be to hook up a scan tool and monitor the coolant temp and fan commands to see if the fans are working per the engine control computer. There may be a concern with the temp sensor or a wire harness issue.

Does the fan start at a low speed at first before the high fan turns on?

Do you have a scan tool? Do you have a digital volt meter?

check to see if you think the t-stat is not opening soon enough. see if the engine will over heat with the heat off.

Let me know what you find at I will get back with you on Monday.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Your request for info has lead me to resolution of this problem. It turned out that the t-stat was defective (from day one) and was not allowing any coolant into the radiator. I replaced the thermostat again this evening with a NAPA brand (spec is 188 degree)and all is now good. The radiator is again heating up and the cooling fans are not running at all...yet. To answer the questions you asked, it was a $5 t-stat from O'Reily Auto Parts and I don't know the p/n and it was installed correctly. The radiator had no air blockage and the cooling fans were coming on with the temp gauge at the midpoint. I was unable to determine if the cooling fans were starting on low and switching to high.

Thank you for your help. How can I pay?
Expert:  c-pete replied 9 years ago.

Great, I thought this was going to be a painful road to a solution. All you have to do is accept the answer.


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