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Old 05-13-2015, 02:42 PM   #1
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Mustang Overheating

I have a 2003 v6 mustang that overheats sometimes. I olny overheats on hot days when the ac is on full blast and in stop and go traffic. It happened 5 or so times last summer and did not do it between last october till now. It overheated this past monday. I took it to the dealer and they were not sure what was wrong but they think it might need a new radiator for better flow. Does this sound like a good idea? Also is there any reccomendations on which radiator to buy?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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Is the coolant level at the proper line? Honestly I would just replace the cap before anything too crazy and check the thermostat maybe.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:08 PM   #3
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Is the coolant level at the proper line? Honestly I would just replace the cap before anything too crazy and check the thermostat maybe.

Sorry I forgot to mention I have replaced the thermostat twice now it it still has the same issue. Also the fluid level is always at the proper level with no leaks. I guess I could try just a cap but that seems too easy lol.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:12 PM   #4
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Sorry I forgot to mention I have replaced the thermostat twice now it it still has the same issue. Also the fluid level is always at the proper level with no leaks. I guess I could try just a cap but that seems too easy lol.
Might as well do that before buying a radiator lol, have you used water?
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:15 PM   #5
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Mustang Overheating

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Might as well do that before buying a radiator lol, have you used water?

Yeah I'll give it a shot. And I use the pure coolant and dilute it with water myself.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:17 PM   #6
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Maybe the previous owner used water a lot and got some build up in their causing bad flow? Lol I don't know
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:27 PM   #7
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Oh okay. Well if I do need to get a new radiator is there one you recommend? Or is there a larger one I could buy?
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:48 PM   #8
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Honestly I probably stick with oem. I would check out Rockauto.com
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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Okay thanks.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:42 PM   #10
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Mustang Overheating

This happened to my dodge caravan before too so I'd check the radiator fan as well. It sounds dumb but if you start your car, you turn on the engine turn on the ac, the radiator fan should be on as soon as that ac kicks on
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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Here are some things you could check but might have done already
1. Check the coolant with one of those testers that sucks it up into a tube with colored balls.
2. Look down in the radiator and see if there is corrosion or debris
3. I would suggest replacing the coolant but b4 you do, flush the system out, you will have to take the thermostat off, and the radiator out, then hook a garden hose up to it and flush it out. The blow the water out with compressed air so the water doesn't stay in there. Or you could just take it to a mechanic shop and have them flush it out better.
4. Lastly use distilled water because tap water has minerals that can cause faster corrosion.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:19 PM   #12
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This happened to my dodge caravan before too so I'd check the radiator fan as well. It sounds dumb but if you start your car, you turn on the engine turn on the ac, the radiator fan should be on as soon as that ac kicks on
^ This.
Check the fan for proper operation.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:07 PM   #13
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This happened to my dodge caravan before too so I'd check the radiator fan as well. It sounds dumb but if you start your car, you turn on the engine turn on the ac, the radiator fan should be on as soon as that ac kicks on

The fan works properly unless it is turning off while driving for some reason.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dasan458 View Post
Here are some things you could check but might have done already
1. Check the coolant with one of those testers that sucks it up into a tube with colored balls.
2. Look down in the radiator and see if there is corrosion or debris
3. I would suggest replacing the coolant but b4 you do, flush the system out, you will have to take the thermostat off, and the radiator out, then hook a garden hose up to it and flush it out. The blow the water out with compressed air so the water doesn't stay in there. Or you could just take it to a mechanic shop and have them flush it out better.
4. Lastly use distilled water because tap water has minerals that can cause faster corrosion.

Yeah I thought about doing the flush but didn't want to spend the money if I had to do something else. Thanks I'll probably just do the flush at a shop.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:09 PM   #15
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Pressure check.


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Old 05-13-2015, 08:10 PM   #16
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Pressure check.


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I'm sorry I'm not that mechanically inclined... What do you mean? Don't laugh.. Too hard haha
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #17
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I see no reason to laugh. At one time I didn't know what it meant either. You asked a question, I see no reason to criticize you for that. What I meant is its used for checking leaks on your cooling system by forcing air in the system. This puts stress on the system revealing any leaks on the car. You can also use it to test how well your cooling system circulates. By putting vehicle operating pressure on the system you can see how the radiator hoses feel. Now have you ever heard of stop leak or blue devil?
And another thing is I'd highly recommend having your heads checked. Overheating can easily cause head warping.



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Old 05-13-2015, 08:23 PM   #18
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Try a new cap then.
You may as well start by replacing the least expensive pieces of the cooling system.

When it overheats, does the coolant spit out of the radiator cap?
And is the temperature guage all of the way out of the normal range and into the hot when this occurs?
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:24 PM   #19
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I see no reason to laugh. At one time I didn't know what it meant either. You asked a question, I see no reason to criticize you for that. What I meant is its used for checking leaks on your cooling system by forcing air in the system. This puts stress on the system revealing any leaks on the car. You can also use it to test how well your cooling system circulates. By putting vehicle operating pressure on the system you can see how the radiator hoses feel. Now have you ever heard of stop leak or blue devil?
And another thing is I'd highly recommend having your heads checked. Overheating can easily cause head warping.



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Yes I have heard of stop leak but not blue devil. And I believe my heads are fine but I will have them checked.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:26 PM   #20
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Personally I'd get a second opinion from another auto repair shop before proceeding. This can get expensive quick.


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Old 05-13-2015, 08:27 PM   #21
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Try a new cap then.

You may as well start by replacing the least expensive pieces of the cooling system.



When it overheats, does the coolant spit out of the radiator cap?

And is the temperature guage all of the out of the normal range and into the hot when this occurs?

I don't see it come from the radiator cap but it does lose a little fluid when it overheats but only when it overheats.

When it does overheat it will go
Almost all the way to the red line on the gauge unless I pull over or can manage to drive like down the highway then it cools back down.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:28 PM   #22
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Personally I'd get a second opinion from another auto repair shop before proceeding. This can get expensive quick.


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I'm afraid if it getting expensive. I'll try going to another shop and see what they say.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:30 PM   #23
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I'd also check the cooling fans. What color is the fluid? Is it a clear kinda color or like a mud looking color?


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Old 05-13-2015, 08:31 PM   #24
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That dealership probably performed a pressure test. And they most likely would have notified you if there was any hint of a cylinder head problem.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:31 PM   #25
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I'd also check the cooling fans. What color is the fluid? Is it a clear kinda color or like a mud looking color?


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It is a light green color mostly but the bottom of reservoir does look like there is dirty settled in the bottom maybe but it's hard to really tell.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #26
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Mustang Overheating

How many miles on the car? And have you had the radiator/cooling system serviced before?


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Old 05-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #27
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If you've bought the same thermostats I have, I have replaced 4 in a 96 cavelier and they are all bad.

I'm like the other guys, try the cheapest things first. In the end, losing the thermostat is an option, as long as you don't need heat.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:46 PM   #28
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You mentioned the thermostat had been replaced, who supplied it for you?


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Old 05-13-2015, 08:52 PM   #29
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If you've bought the same thermostats I have, I have replaced 4 in a 96 cavelier and they are all bad.

I'm like the other guys, try the cheapest things first. In the end, losing the thermostat is an option, as long as you don't need heat.
Bit has a good point.
I just replaced a fairly new T-stat that was sticking open much of the time.
I purchased one from Napa and it has worked flawlessly so far.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:02 PM   #30
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How many miles on the car? And have you had the radiator/cooling system serviced before?


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Almost 130,000 miles. I have had it for almost a year and have not done any radiator or cooling service except the thermostat. Both thermostats were fail safe brand I got at autozone.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:06 PM   #31
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Leave atuozone and never go back. Buy from O'rielly's, Carquest, Napa, and Advance Auto. In that order. Never ever ever go to autozone, ever.


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Old 05-13-2015, 09:24 PM   #32
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Try one from Napa.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:29 PM   #33
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Leave atuozone and never go back. Buy from O'rielly's, Carquest, Napa, and Advance Auto. In that order. Never ever ever go to autozone, ever.


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This is probably the biggest reason that I like buying parts from Rockauto. I can choose from a variety of different brands. And they have a lot of Motorcraft parts, which is always my #1 choice!
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:20 PM   #34
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Mustang Overheating

Duralast is good stuff, if you like the people at your AutoZone and you enjoy filing warranty claims and replacing things often.

In all seriousness, I suggest trying the cap and thermostat.

Does the problem go away when you replace the thermostat? Is your radiator fan running?
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:35 AM   #35
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Duralast is good stuff, if you like the people at your AutoZone and you enjoy filing warranty claims and replacing things often.

In all seriousness, I suggest trying the cap and thermostat.

Does the problem go away when you replace the thermostat? Is your radiator fan running?

Ha I had to come read this comment! I was boutta say stay way from dura****, and I even worked at an autozone.


Anyways, after your car as sat for a while, take the cap off and see if you can see the coolant circulating. My friends water pump impeller rusted away so there wasn't any circulation causing it to over heat
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