Phantom Overheating issue


Asked by Jan 23, 2011 at 03:23 PM about the 1994 Ford Probe GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1994 GT Probe and I'm experiencing phantom overheating. I've had the radiator, intake filter, water pump, the tubing and thermostat replaced like a year ago. Now it's overheating but everything looks fine to my mechanic. Its fine while I'm driving, but if I idle too long the heat spikes. Now since we can't find anything mechanically wrong with it what could it be? Should I try changing the 02 sensor? I'm completely out of ideas. It has fluid of course and there isn't a blockage anywhere we've checked for that too.

14 Answers

Is your electric fan coming on?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Yeah its on. And then after awhile when idling the temp gauge goes way up and the other fan comes on real loud

I was speaking to the radiator fan only. If that is sounding unusually loud it could be the problem. I don't know what you are referring to as the other fan.


It's a dual fan set up on the radiator. Two fans side by side. When the car is fine only one fan is operating, but when it starts to freak out, the other fan starts up.

I'm stumped. Good luck.


possibly the second fan isnt coming on in time to keep the temps low? otherwise maybe your fans arent spinning fast enough? to me it sounds like a fan switch issue or fan motor issue. maybe look into what temp the second one is actually kicking in at and see if the fans are spinning at a good pace


start with a new OEM temperature thermostat. Do yourself a favor and go to the ford dealer and get it- it isnt that much more than that cheap stuff. Then find someone who can hook it up to a scan tool and pay attention to what engine temp the FIRST fan is coming on. ((the second fan is for the air conditioning condenser and it will come on if engine temps get too high.)) should come on at around 190'F. check what temp it comes on at and goes off at too, and use an Infared thermometer to be sure that is the true engine temp on the rad hoses BOTH OF THEM- both should be close in temp once the stat is open and everything is flowing- if the rad hose temps are not close to the temps being read on the scanner then i would replace the cylinder head temperature sensor- this is what tells the ECU to turn on the cooling fan- if its out of range than its faulty. let me know and good luck 11yrs - ASE certs.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

We have had the exact same problem with our 96 probe found out it had a air pocket in the cooling system that was causing all our problems.

Could be as simple as a bad radiator cap, not letting yr thermostat open up properly ,cause yr caps thermo is weak and its letting the preasure seep out, so ur so yr engine thermostat is able to work correctly. Try changing ur radiator cap, cheap fix.

I'm currently having the same problem with my Probe. Condenser Fan is running continuously and sounds really loud. Sounds as if the bearings are going out inside the Condenser Fan Motor. I believe the Engine Cooling Fan is coming on as well, but am looking into this further tomorrow. I do know, once the car gets up to highway speeds 60 to 70 MPH. The temp gauge goes back down to where its suppose to be at between H and L. The car seems to be running hot when idling for a period of time, as well as driving around town.

Try the voltage regulator

Mine (93) just started doing this again. I've had this GT since new, and this is not the first time I've dealt with this. Oil... coolant.... temp. core... then water pump. I have new o2 sensors so thats def. not it. I discovered this morning however my main (upper) radiator hose had small leak that eroded the interior of my hose. Thus.... no coolant whatsoever. Maybe check upper and lower radiator hoses also. GT

It could be something as simple as the radiator cap isn't on completely...such as, 1 side is up a little even though it looks fine. I've had this happen. In the past, I've also had my thermostat changed, radiator changed, radiator cap, water pump...practically everything I can think of. And now it sometimes wants to creep up to the "L" at the normal range. I am so not thrilled. It's a '96 Ford Probe SE. It's been a champ otherwise.

Am having the same problem with my 97 probe GT and it driving me crazy. I praying it's not the head gasket!

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