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97 Ford Taurus overheat in idle

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Jun 10, 2014, 5:02 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1124 views)
97 Ford Taurus overheat in idle Sign In

Recently I noticed my temperature gauge rising when I'm in idle or going lower speeds. When I'm going about 40 or more it's at a normal level but sometimes when stopped at a light it will go almost completely to red, stay there for a bit then slowly recede a little.

Any idea what the problem could be?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 10, 2014, 8:59 PM

Post #2 of 4 (1102 views)
Re: 97 Ford Taurus overheat in idle Sign In

First just make sure fans are working as intended. Might be two speeds. Many vehicles don't really need fan power by air speed of 40 MPH at all so you would notice what you notice.

Some (didn't think this car so much) will fluctuate normally at idle and get close to the high side of norms if you trust the car's gauge.

Pay attention as a real overheat will cause problems.

Other outside reasons could include poor radiator, dirty radiator or debris between radiator and condenser. Another could be way too strong on antifreeze if you or anyone has changed or just added pure product too many times as it doesn't transfer heat well if too strong,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 10, 2014, 10:24 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1092 views)
Re: 97 Ford Taurus overheat in idle Sign In

It's pretty much normal for temps to rise somewhat in slow traffic situations due to the way fans are programmed to operate. The question is "how high".
Tom may have a point about a 2 speed fan missing one speed but since you listed no engine size, we have no way to check that.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 11, 2014, 3:45 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1076 views)
Re: 97 Ford Taurus overheat in idle Sign In

Maybe you should have your mechanic inspect the cooling system. They can make sure your hoses, coolant, pump, radiator, and etc. are up to par. They can also check the operation of the fans and monitor coolant temperatures with their scan tool.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

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