TSB Information - in general and specifically #98166

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  #1  
Old 04-26-07, 07:33 AM
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TSB Information - in general and specifically #98166

I have a 1997 Ford Contour, V6 which runs hot (according to the temp gauge - see my other recent posts about fixing this). In general, the temp gauge shows very hot before the stat opens or the fans come on. Looking on the NHTSA's web site I saw TBS #98166 (NHTSA ID #609735) about the gauge reading high. However, when I try to get details I am told that the gov't. won't give me details unless I pay $38/hour for "research". When I called the dealler about this TSB, they said that reading in the high range was "normal" ("high" being at 8/9 in a 1-10 scale BEFORE the stat opens or fans come on, but still in the "Normal" range).

First, where can I get FREE details about TSB's? If this is information the gov't has, shouldn't I be able to get it for free from someone? I am sure everyone would like free information on TSB's - where can we go to get it and why isn't it easily available?

Secondly, Does anyone have any information about TSB #98166, NHTSA ID #609735 for a 1997 Ford Contour, V6?

Third, does anyone have further info about my high reading gauge?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-26-07, 02:28 PM
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TSB's are vague. They usually tell you nothing.

You need to have a OBDII scanner hooked up and see what temp the coolant actually is if you haven't done so already. The temp gauge is not calibrated and usually is not a indicator of what temp the coolant actually is.

I have not read your other thread in it's entirety, but have you replaced the temp sender?

It is common for Contours, especially the SVT's to read high temp.

Where on the NORMAL does the needle point at?

You may also have bad fan resistors not allowing the HIGH speed function. Your radiator fans maybe working on LOW but not on HIGH.
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-07, 05:49 AM
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Thanks.

I did replace the sendor. As for where the needle is, the gauge has the word NORMAL on it, with overheating directly to the right of the L. It seems the thermostat does not open unitl the needle is between the A and L and the fans don't come on until the needle is on the L. Again, overheating is directly to the right of the L - and I do mean directly to the right (no space after the L). I know the dealer said these cars always ran hot, but I don't believe them. Should I just live with this? Is the head cracked or the head gasket blown?

As for the TSB's, so there is no way to get this information without paying? No library has it? I can't believe I could download full length movies that haven't even opened in the theaters yet (not that I would), but that this information the government has can't be gotten without paying.

How about this - what is the web site that provides the most information for the cheapest amount, if I do go and pay for this. One thing, I have a lot of junk (oops, I mean inexpensive) cars and I work of a lot of firends' cars, so I would need to access data on a lot of cars, not just data on one car.
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-07, 09:59 AM
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test

Can you do a cooling system pessure check? That will tell you about head gasket condition. Also how is the radiatior cap? You might want to just replace it as it is a cheap item and it might and might not solve the problem but it would be one less thing.
 
  #5  
Old 09-20-07, 03:40 PM
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Unhappy did you ever figure it out

Did you ever figure out the problem? I called Ford and gave them the TSB #98166 and they said it doesn't exist. It's not one of their numbers. I've heard both stories also. It's typical of contours and there is a easy fix by installing a resistor and also no that's untrue get it pressure tested, change the thermostat, change the sensors, I mean it seems like either there's a simple fix and it's out there or there isn't, or there is and they know but have the opportunity to get deep into our pockets.

So any help on this before I though away my kids college fund for a used car?
 
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Old 09-20-07, 04:04 PM
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What year is your car?

Do you have A/C? If so have you made sure that the condensor fan or radiator fan fins just behind it are not clogged with bugs, grass, etc.?

Does your car have a conventional radiator cap on the radiator itself to where you can unscrew it and actually see if the coolant level is up to the tippy-top of the radiator?; it should be, if all is well. And I mean right up to the very top where the overflow tube intersects. If yes, that is one indicator that your system is sealed and does not have a head gasket leak.

What does YOUR car do?

Does it climb to the "L" when driving down the freeway or any highway at 60 mph with no stop and go? (Even if your fan(s) were not working, the engine should still run cool on the highway)

Or does it only go up by the "L" when you are in stop and go traffic?

Are you losing any engine coolant?

When the fan(s) come on, check to feel that you have uniformally warm air blowing through the fan around the entire perimeter of it. You should not feel large cool areas with only one warm spot for example. (That is what I had when my radiator was plugged,with lime, over 50%. And that is why I only mix with distilled water now!). Albeit if one's thermostat was not opening you can have same effect. But I had mine out, so I knew that was not it!
 
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Old 09-20-07, 05:13 PM
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Though this is an old post, I have to add (like Hot mentioned), that one has to determine if it is in fact an overly high operating temperature first by determining the actual operating temperature

In no way would I rely strictly on the dash gauge and assume an "L" reading means the engine is overly hot

The actual operating temperature can be determined a number of ways, my preferred way (in an OBDII engine) would be hooking up a scanner to read off the sensors at operating temperature
 
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Old 09-20-07, 05:30 PM
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contour info

Ok let's see it is a 1998 4 cylinder gl sport. It stays just over normal temp on the highway but stop and go traffic or too many lights or stop signs and it climbs sometimes past the L I can tell when the fan comes on cause the engine labors a little but it doesn't stay on very long it appears but when i got home today and let it idle it stayed on. Air seemed to be even from both fans. I saw somewhere about high and low fan settings don't know anything about that just on or not. No real radiator cap just the resovior bottle i took the cap off and heard the sound of the seal being released. I guess one thing that gets me is when turning it off after having been run for say a half hour I checked the oil first thing home and i have never before seen not even in winter a dipstick smoking as i pulled it out. Just for a moment or two but very obvious no chance of being mistaken. and the dipstick gets so hot you can' hold it without shifting positions for more than maybe 10 to 15 seconds and no i do not have thin skinned wuss hands.
 
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Old 09-20-07, 06:02 PM
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I am not used to these new radiator systems. I had this woman I work around sometimes, who knows I know something about cars. She asked my opionion of her nice Buick overheating.

I checked the coolant level in her reservoir where she too did not have a separate radiator cap. It says on the reservoir the warning about not unscrewing the cap when hot. We let it cool down and unscrewed it. Didn't hear any noise when doing so.

It looked to me like the coolant level was up inside. It was badly discolored though. She was using this orange color coolant, but the color in the reservoir was a murky, gooey off-color. My opinion to her was she really needed a flush job and then see what happens.

She took it to her mechanic. After lunch she came back and said they fixed it. No more overheating (and she has also confirmed this at later dates when I asked her). I asked her what they did. She said ALL they did was add coolant. I said, "What?!" I continued on and told her that the coolant level looked up there in the reservoir, just down a few inches. She said, "I don't know. All I know is all they did is add coolant".

All I could say was, "Huh".

There must be something about those reservoirs that can be deceiving.
 
  #10  
Old 09-20-07, 06:07 PM
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true i've had trouble with those stupid bottles in the past. the level sure seems good. Now I have experienced two blown head gaskets so i know what happens tempurature races up even at high speed on the highway but this isn't doing that so am I safe in assuming it's not the head gasket? So before it does become that Maybe a good radiator flush and refill might do the trick? Maybe drop in a thermostat too? Help a mechanically challenged guy out with some nuggets of wisdom please
 
  #11  
Old 09-20-07, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bassolow View Post
It stays just over normal temp on the highway but stop and go traffic or too many lights or stop signs and it climbs sometimes past the L... am I safe in assuming it's not the head gasket?
No
But you have a point inasmuch as it's more likely a water pump or low fan issue
Could be old or low coolant also
 
  #12  
Old 09-20-07, 06:18 PM
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thanks guys guess it's time to just take it to the shop and have them figure it out too many maybes for me to waste what little time i have on besides i have no way to properly dispose of antifreeze
 
  #13  
Old 09-22-07, 02:38 PM
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Ok here's what I tried. I overfilled the pressure bottle by about an inch. And low and behold it generally stays where it is supposed to on the highway stop and go traffic it still goes up but usually only to the a rarely the l.

Did find out that it was traded in to a ford deaslership and they sent my the service record and it had had a water pump replaced last december so that might explain why when it runs hot or running in the rain i smell hot anti freeze.
 
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Old 09-22-07, 02:49 PM
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Have you got the actual temp read by a scanner tool like we suggested awhile back?

Like I said at the beginning of the post, it's normal for some Contours to read high on the temp gauge. I'm normally not supposed to redirect people to another website, but if you do a google search for "Contour forums", they have discussed the same situation you are in, in length.
 
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Old 09-22-07, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bassolow View Post
...when it runs hot or running in the rain i smell hot anti freeze.
A new revelation.

In the cabin? You should never smell it in there.

Was your coolant level down some? Keep an eye on that is you maybe could have a small leak somewhere. Perhaps in your heater core or elsewhere where the fresh air intake ventilation, or an open window (that will create a vacuum you know, when driving down the road, and draw outside fumes in) is carrying it into the cabin. It may be only leaking a little and burning off on hot metal (causing that distinct smelling vapor) and therefore not dripping on the ground.
 
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