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I have an 08 Ford Focus. The engine light is on. I had it…

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I have an 08 Ford...
I have an 08 Ford Focus. The engine light is on. I had it put on the thing at Auto Zone and it said its one of 3 things. Low coolant, thermostat bad or a sensor for temp. Coolant level is good. Car is not overheating. What it does is when it warms up the gauge goes to normal temp. But when I turn on heat or defrost the temp gauge drops to below cold. It still has heat but not as good as when before temp drops on gauge
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
1/16/2016
Ford Mechanic: James, Ford Technician replied 2 years ago
James
James, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3,634
Experience: Ford Senior Master Tech, Ford gas and diesel expert, ASE Certified
Verified

Hello, It sounds like your thermostat is opening to soon. This happens a lot on Ford where the engine is operating at 170 degrees instead of 190. This is enough to set a code or codes for thermostat or incorrect engine temperature.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I need to change thermostat not a sensor?
Ford Mechanic: James, Ford Technician replied 2 years ago

It's rare the temp sensors go out. 99% of the time it's the thermostat.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
It just seems like if it was a stuck thermostat it wouldn't warm up at all, and only drops down when I use the heat.
Ford Mechanic: James, Ford Technician replied 2 years ago

Thermostats can fail in different ways. They can stick closed and cause the vehicle to over heat. They can stick open so the vehicle won't warm up. Newer vehicle the spring weakens and the thermostat open soon than it should. When this happens you can still have heat but doesn't mean the vehicle is operating at optimal temperature. That is why a code sets because it can affect engine performance.

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Ford Mechanic: James, Ford Technician replied 2 years ago

Hello, am I still able to offer you assistance.

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