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Thread: Ford KA Duratec overheating

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3

    Default Ford KA Duratec overheating

    Hi All
    My wifes Ford Ka 1.3 is overheating after driving about half an hour. The temp light comes on the dash and steam comes out of the cap of the top up tank.
    The fan seems to come on fairly early after starting from cold (about 15-20 mins) but doesnt seem to do anything as it overheats after a further 10 mins.
    Ive looked on other forums which suggest that it may be thermostat, or worse still head gasket.
    The car drives perfectly from cold. It goes into the garage on tuesday, but I would be grateful if anyone out there could advise, so I know what im talking about to the mechanic!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    7,925

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    Start it from cold, bonnet open. Feel the top hose to the radiator. Does this pipe get hot when the gauge reads normal?
    If this pipe gets hot and the radiator too plus the fan runs, but it still overheats, suspect the water pump or a blockage or at worst a head gasket. If the heater in the car always gets hot when you select hot then its unlikely to be the head gasket - but keep an open mind!
    If this pipe and/or the radiator remain cool then suspect the thermostat or water pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3

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    thanks for the advice.
    This problem seams to be a little strange.
    Ive ran the car now for over an hour and everything seams to be cooling ok. The fan came on, the waterpump seams ok, dont think its the head gasket.
    Heaters are blowing hot when required. Bled the system and no air locks present (water present as soon as drainpipe was turned). But over the last month the temp warning light has come on twice, the last time it overheated as previously described. Have you ever come across an intermittent problem like this before?
    Is there any chance the thermostat could work 9 times out of ten and stick shut for the other one ? Ive took itto my mechenic and again it didnt overheat when left running and therefore he couldnt cure the problem!
    Be grateful for any expert advice!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    You don't bleed it by opening the 'drain pipe'(?). You remove the expansion tank cap and run it up to temp from cold at idle speed. Once the thermostat has opened you can refit the cap.
    Thermostats can stick. As they are a relatively cheap item and they don't last forever, I'd be inclined to change it anyway. You could remove it altogether temporarily and see if the fault goes away.
    When he left it running, did your mechanic keep the revs up at around 2,500 for a good 10 mins? This would tend to show an overheating fault.
    Is the expansion tank cap okay? Is there a seal inside it? A faulty cap could cause the problem too.
    If everything checks out okay it may be the pump is partly damaged and just not circulating the coolant fast enough - impeller loose on shaft, or broken blades on the impeller.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middlesex
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    8,509

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    I can see no mention of age or mileage, so I would also check the radiator is not blocked. This could cause overheating whilst driving, but not at tickover.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

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    age is 2003 mikage is 50k. Took it out again tonight and temp light on again. Lifted the bonnet and pipe to top of rad v hot. Pipe in and out of top up tank v hot. Rad warmish. Fan came on early doors but when i pulled over it wasnt on. Let it cool for half hour then drove home perfect. Any thoughts before i start running up bills replacing parts that might be ok?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    The radiator should be hot not warm. Perhaps a blockage here? Before you start throwing away good money at it, what about a radiator flush using a bottle of rad cleaner? You can get this at any Halfords or motor shop/petrol station. Follow the instructions exactly and drain it out when it says. Should only cost you a few pounds. And remember to add antifreeze when you fill up again.

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