A little hot under pressure

Discussion in 'Checkout My Rig !' started by Rickspald, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Rickspald

    Rickspald New Member

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    So last month we took our rig out for its 4th adventure. Being an early spring the temps were getting up to the 70s and 80s. in GA. The tow vehicle is a 2000 Ford F150 extend cab 5 speed manual transmission. The truck is rated to tow 3,500 lbs. The trailer empty is 2,500 lbs. During our travels the temperature gauge kept rising especially when we were towing up hills. Believe me south GA along the "Fall Line" has pretty good hills. Even towing on the interstate with my foot heavy on the accelerator the gauge would rise to hot. If I back off the accelerator then the temp would go down. But then of course I would only be traveling at 55 mph. I'd like to be able to tow at 65 mph without any issue. I don't know if the thermostat is going bad or if I need one with a different temp rating?
     

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  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    You don't need a thermostat with a different rating, but you do need one that is working correctly. Replace it with the same rating would be the first step.
    Next step would be air flow thru the radiator. Have the fan clutch checked and the radiator condition.
     
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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    My gmc had a sensor problem. It happened when towing and not towing. Depending on whats on your pup weight wise it could be overheating. Check the fluids and make sure the radiator cap is on tight.
     
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Your thermostat is not the problem. The purpose of the thermostat is to maintain a minimum temperature. It has nothing to do with the maximum temperature. The most common cause of the symptoms you are experiencing is a clogged radiator. You can try spraying water through the radiator from the engine side. Maybe the fins are clogged with debris. There are other things you can try depending on the tools you have and your mechanical ability, or you could take it to a radiator shop for diagnosis.
     
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  5. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I think a flush of the radiator internals would be more effective than hosing off the fins.
     
  6. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Ever been to Florida when the Love Bugs are out? Bugs at night can be thick and the big ones can bend fins, decreasing a radiators efficiency. Why not do a simple cleanliness check before doing a flush? A flush can cause leaks, depending on the condition of the system, since a flush uses some pretty harsh chemicals.
     
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  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Here is another suggestion.. just drive at 55.. unless you have higher rated trailer tires, majority are only rated around 55 to 60 mph anyways..
     
  8. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    when on the interstate and not towing is the temp gage stable? If yes, then maybe its not the thermostat


    Fyi - temp gage in our 2008 jeep liberty 6-speed manual is rock solid at dead center, towing or not. Best vehicle we have ever owned in that regard
     
  9. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    OP could try this, but normally if a radiator gets internally clogged, water pressure is not enough to clean it. In the old days we would take the ends off of the radiator and run a rod down each tube, but you can't do that with a modern plastic/aluminum radiator.
     
  10. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    With a 20 yr old truck and assuming higher miles a new thermostat and coolant flush would be a wise move.
    If it has a clutch fan...That should be checked as well.
    Radiators are not that expensive in case you have one that needs replacing after 20 yrs of use.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    1380ken and xxxapache like this.
  11. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I would echo this. The few times I have had temp rising issues were due to a poorly maintained cooling system. System needed flushed, bad thermostat, bad fan unit, gasket leaks, etc.
     
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