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  #1  
Old 01-26-2004, 01:48 PM
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Question 1995 Ford Van overheating but blowing cold air!?!

My dad has a 1995 Ford Van with a 3.8 L V6. It's a Ford van but not an Aerostar. It's the other one that's not based on a truck platform!

Anyways, he was driving down the road the other day and noticed that it was not blowing hot air, let alone warm air. He looked at his temperature gauge and it was reading hot. This was just as he was pulling into his driveway. He parked it and has not since drove it.

We haven't looked at it yet but are trying to figure out the problem before we tear into it. If it was the thermostat stuck closed would it not blow hot air? Let me know if you have any ideas.

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Old 01-26-2004, 04:58 PM
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Two things come to mind. I see that you are living in Canada and assume that the ambient temperature was real low.

1. Not enough anti-freeze and radiator froze up. When this happens you don't have any coolant flow through the engine and it will overheat. Solution - use a higher concentration of anti-freeze.
2. Water pump not pumping. Solution - change water pump.
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Old 01-26-2004, 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by kioolt
Two things come to mind. I see that you are living in Canada and assume that the ambient temperature was real low.

1. Not enough anti-freeze and radiator froze up. When this happens you don't have any coolant flow through the engine and it will overheat. Solution - use a higher concentration of anti-freeze.
2. Water pump not pumping. Solution - change water pump.
Ya...it's pretty frigging cold up here! I usually check my mom's van over for her and a week ago all the levels were up to full including rad coolant. Now, there has been a leak somewhere because she says for the last 2 or 3 months she has been smelling anti-freeze but it is always full. Maybe down a spec. I haven't really looked at it for her but could the weep hole be leaking? Which means that the water pump is gone? Which means that the engine is overheating? If the waterpump is shot will it leak coolant for a while then eventually not even pump it through the engine? Thanks!

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Old 01-26-2004, 07:04 PM
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I think you missed my point on the anti-freeze. I'm not talking about the fullness of your radiator but the anti-freeze to water ratio. If you don't have enough anit-freeze to water in cold cold cold weather your radiator will freeze. When this happens you will blow cold air out the heater and show an overheating engine at the same time. My guess is that is what happened. As far as your question about the pump not pumping after weeping for awhile I really don't know. I've only replaced one water pump in the last 32 years.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:11 PM
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I believe the water to coolant ratio is perfect. I think my dad checked it before winter to make sure it was good. I will double check to make sure. Keep the help coming.

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Old 01-26-2004, 07:20 PM
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I don't know the specifics of your van's heating system, but along with the possible problems already listed you may have a switch problem. I've had a problem with my truck heat not warming up when the switch to let engine water through the heater core doesn't open up.

If your van has a switch (vacuum or electrically controlled) to let water circulate through the heater core make sure it's working properly along with the other things already mentioned.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:25 PM
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ok u guys talking about like a heater control valve or switch.
think i got the same kind of problem, heat not up to where it should be. works fine in town but when i hit the highway it gets cold. that is if i stay under 55 its fine but 60 and above temp gauge drops like sticking theromostat, so replaced twice still had same problem.
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Old 01-31-2004, 01:00 AM
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A 1995 Ford van that's not an Aerostar and has a 3.8L engine in it, with the problems you have, probably needs new head gaskets.
It's a very common problem
The head gaskets leak, air gets into the cooling system, the engine overheats but there is air in the heater so you get no heat out of it.
The car that your van is based on also has the same problems regularly.
How many km's on the van? Ford extended the warranty on the head gaskets on these but I'm not sure what the coverage is. You might want to check with your dealer and see if they can do anything for you.
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:32 AM
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Well, I think I narrowed it down. The rad coolant was full and not frozen. I started the van and let it run for 15 minutes. It was throwing out a lot of heat. The heater core hoses were hot. The engine to rad hoses didn't even get warm. So I am thinking thermostat. After the van was running for 10 minutes I slowly STARTED to open the rad cap and anti-freeze started spewing out. SO that means my water pump is good because coolant is circulating right? I think the water pump is shot though because I have a leak on the passengers' side of the engine and it looks like it's coming from the A/C compressor but I think it's the waterpump leaking fromt the weep hole and running down.

Any other ideas or recommendations? Let me know.
Should I just do to Ford to get a thermostat? I get a discount there.

-Matt
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:03 PM
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Well, the problem has been away for 2 weeks or so. But it's back. It did the same thing as I mentioned in my first post. I checked the coolant and it is good for -40*C so that's not the problem. This is really weird. Any more help?

-Matt
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Old 02-22-2004, 06:43 PM
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Well, my dad and I are going to change the waterpump tomorrow. I think that may be the problem. I also think it is leaking anyways. I am also going to change the thermostat as well. Anything else anyone recommend's that I do at the same time? Or anything I should look out for? Thanks

-Matt
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Old 02-22-2004, 08:34 PM
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Sounds like you are on the right track.
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:47 PM
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Well, the problem is BACK! My parents haven't been driving the van all winter because it started doing it at the beginning of the winter. Van gets hot (on temp gauge) and there is no heat coming out of vents.

Last winter a shop changed the water pump, thermostat and timing chain (just because they were in there). My parents drove the van all summer with no problems then it got cold and they started again.

So, what should we look for? What else would be the symptons of a bad headgasket? Coolant in oil? I am pretty sure there isn't any. Anything else? Ideas?

-Matt
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Old 03-10-2006, 08:57 PM
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With the engine running, turn on the heater, you may or may not be able to hear the water start to circulate through the heater core, if you can, great, if not, do the hoses that go to and from the heater warm up?
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:39 AM
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Matt, it almost sounds like the impeller in the water pump in not properly attached to the shaft. when it is cold, it works properly, but as the engine heats up, the impeller expands, and then is no longer attached to the pump shaft, and no longer pumps water.
i know this is a long shot, and i have never seen it on a ford pump. but i have seen it on 4 or 5 Chevy pumps, and they were all rebuilt pumps.
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