I recently purchased a cheap commuter car and I am coming across a weird issue and after watching your videos I am seeking your advice.
A little background about the car. It’s a 2000 Ford Contour 2.0 equipped with bi fuel, 123,000 miles and it was owned by the state of N.J. for about 16 years. The previous owner purchased the car at auction for $1,300 and had it for a little over a year. I bought the car from her for a measly $230 at the end of February.
When I drove it for the first time the check engine was on and flashing so I knew right away to change the spark plugs, wires and coil pack. That solved the misfire. Another issue I had, which is common for ford vehicles was the temperature gauge not working. I replaced the thermostat, upper radiator hose (it was slightly swollen) and both engine coolant temperature sensors. One is for the fan and the other is for the gauge in the dash. Temp started to work correctly. But here’s where it gets tricky. I was installing an aftermarket radio last night after work and I had the car idling for about 30 minutes so I wouldn’t kill the battery and I noticed the temp gauge rising to about the middle. normally It is at a little less than half way. I shut off the car and then when I finished with the radio I drove home. The needle went past the half way line and it seemed hot. btw the heat has not worked since I bought the car
This morning I opened the coolant reservoir cap and idled the motor for about 15 minutes. Held the rpms at about 2k for a minute here and there. Car temp gauge seemed to be consistent. I then went on a drive and it seemed to be fine as well. I pulled into Dunkin’ Donuts and while I was waiting in the drive thru the gauge went a little past the midway point. I cranked up the heat and at first I did get warm air but then it became cool. I drove it back home. Temp gauge stayed consistent somewhere around the midway point. The fan doesn’t sound like it’s kicking on. The fan only turns on when I put on the ac.
What’s my next course of action? Coolant seems clean. Maybe I didn’t bleed it correctly? My worst fear, after owning a Cadillac with a north star engine is a head gasket. Can you help to guide me in the right direction ?