How do you check the fan clutch and water pump output on an 02 ford explorer?


Asked by May 13, 2013 at 07:06 AM about the 2002 Ford Explorer XLT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

How do you check the fan clutch and water pump output on an 02 ford explorer?

13 Answers


JUst replaced both on my son's 02 v6. If relacement is necessary make sure you have the proper tools, as it will be a monster without them. You will need the proper size open end wrench to remove the fan clutch from the pulley operating the water pump. You will also need a special wrench to place in the mounting holes for the fan blades to keep the pump shaft from turning while you turn the wrench to unscrew the fan clutch. As for checking: With the engine cold try turning the fan blaces by hand. There should be a little resistance and the blade should turn freely. If the blade does not turn it could be the clutch or pump shaft. If the blade spins excessively and no resistance the clutch is bad. Here's a recommendation. When I changed the clutch on my son's car I spent the extra 70 bucks and replaced the water pump which wasn't bad. Why? The biggest chore in replacing the pump is removing the fan and clutch. And with a vehicle fourteen years old and having 100K miles I didn't want to do the job twice, having a 14 year old pump go out a month or so after replacing the clutch.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Check your other post for checking the pump. Note: Vehicles do not operate very well on water alone in the radiator. Same is true for pure coolant. Make sure you have the proper concentration, usually 50/50 during this time of year. If you are not loosing coolant, there could be a blockage in the radiator, expecially if plain water has been used for a long time.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Also make sure the radiator is holding pressure. When at operating temperature there should be a sound of the release of pressure when the cap is removed on the plastic reservior.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

thanks OJ. Fan clutch and pressure cap and coolant all ok. System has been maintained well and clean. Guess i need to check radiator flow

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Is there any reason you suspect something within the cooling system is in need of repair? If you want to "check the flow" wait until the vehicle is up to driving temp and feel the upper radiator hose. It should be hot and somewhat hard, meaning coolant is flowing. If the plastic recovery bottle is maintaining level coolant, there are no leaks. If the heater blows hot when set, that end of the system is flowing. If your coolant is a funky color, it may indicate it is in need of changing. If you change it and it turns a funky color again, it may indicate you have a head gasket leak.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Is there a " temperature sensor" somewhere that can control the heat range through the computer or is there only a "sending unit" that reports to the heat gauge? Thanks for all your comments. I have checked all you've mentioned so far, except for the radiator blockage, and all seems good. This is really puzzling as the cooling system has always been maintained.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Be extremely careful with this. If you break it, it is expensive. Make sure the engine is cool. On the V6 trace the upper radiator hose back to the top of the engine and you will see where it connects to the thermostat housing. It's right there in front. The thermostat housing is made of plastic. It is black in color. And the housing connects to the intake manifold with three bolts directly behind the where the hose connects. The only thing keeping it from leaking is a small gasket/oring which sits inside the bottom of the thermostat housing where it seats onto the manifold. The sending unit you speak of is on the top of the housing behind the connection point where radiator hose connects. You'll see two wires protruding from the unit. The unit is attached to the housing via a clip. IT DOES NOT SCREW IN. Pulling the clip with a pair of needle nose pliers sideways will remove it, or using a screwdriver, carefully pry it out. The place you pryon should be on the right and it should pry to the right. If you break anything of the plastic components you will have to replace the entire housing. It's not difficult, just expensive. The sending unit cost about twentyfive bucks. The housing itself is about 95 bucks. Another note. They make two different sending units. They are not interchangeable. If you want to change the unit, remove it and bring it to the parts store making sure you get the same one. Another note. What keeps the unit from leaking is a small O ring on the bottom of the unit. It seals when you shove it in. New ones normally do not go in easily, you need a little pressure to hold it down while re inserting the clip.. A little spuire of wd 40 may make it easier, but don't overdo it as you will not be able to push down hard enough to make the seal. Good Luck


Please tell me which sensor is the one that might tell the computer how to control the heat. And, can it be checked to see if that's the problem? It has Not thrown a code to help ID the problem. By the way, that's a great description on how to remove the sensors. Thanks...Ski


The part I described earlier is the ETC sensor (engine temperature coolant) sensor. The only thing the sensor does is make the idiot light flash on the dash when you are overheating (if you have a light) or make the the little needle move from the cool to hot indication. Nothing else. Your particular vehicle has a radiator fan that is turned by the operation of the fan clutch and the serpentine belt, nothing else. Some types of vehicles have electrical radiator fan motors which come on and go off as needed to cool the engine. It is not uncommon for the fan to shut off during engine operation. Your vehicle was not built this way. On your vehicle, thankfully, there is no electric servo or computer operated anything that opens and valve or places more water through the engine to cool it. It is totally mechanical with just the thermostat opening and closing restricting flow. Can you explain what problem you are having? Is the vehicle overheating? Is the engine operating properly?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Engine operates properly except ; when stuck in traffic, the idle starts to increase, sometimes as high as 1200 rpm. sometimes not much at all. but I feel it. That:s when I know she's getting too hot. the temp needle might be a hair over the midway point. Its really hard to tell. (Under Normal driving conditions, the needle stays at midpoint.) When I see the heat starting to come up from there, I nose my way off the highway and cool it down. I am taking the veh. back to the shop on Tuesday and have the hydrocarbon test done to the coolant, just on the outside chance there could be an intermittent head gasket problem. So, There's just one sensor on this engine and it reports only to the temp. gauge? That narrows it down to mechanical. Thank OJ, all my other posts pertain to this vehicle problem.


Here is my two cents for what it is worth. I have a 2003 v6 explorer. It's one of four I have owned with the other three now in possession of my grown children on a donation basis. Meaning I am also responsible for the parts and labor. (Children never really leave). However. In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with your cooling system. It appears to be operating as it should. Note when you start the car in the morning after it sits all night. The engine will run for maybe five minutes on high idle. It will slow down all on it's own. The purpose of high idle is to bring the engine up to operating temperature. If you are stuck in traffic on a hot day the needle beginning to creap a hair over middle is nothing to worry about. If you still have the owners manuel, it will state the needle being somewhere in the middle is where it belongs. Slightly over is not unusual. If the engine does begin to run a little hot, it will idle a little faster in an attempt to cool itself off. Use your eyes and nose for the carbon test. You can smell it and the color of the coolant will be off (if the coolant is changed on a regular basis). Let me know what the mechanic says. I'm interested.


Let me also add. I was in law enforcement for decades driving crown vics exclusively. These engines are built for severe duty with higher than capacity radiators. Living way down south I can tell you these fords would idle for more than an idle at times with the ac going full blast. When the engine got hot, it would automatically idle faster for a while, then slow down all on its own.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Hell if I know. Take her to the shop, spend some money, get her done right the first time. Stop piss'n in the wind, it will blow back in your face.

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