Ford Explorer cooling fan issue


Asked by Nov 25, 2013 at 09:06 PM about the 2006 Ford Explorer XLT V6 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT which will frequently not kick into gear at low speeds
and the cooling fan will run faster when gas pedal is pressed.  If gas pedal pressed down
hard for a couple seconds the thermostat will go up.  We have already replaced the
transmission, replaced a leaking radiator and updated the PCM(?).  Symptom is still the
same.  Please help!

16 Answers

you know that as the engine speed increases so will the available amperage for the cooling fan...ya? where you seem to think the transmission has anything to do with engine cooling is another subject~ just how fast were you expecting to go based on the foot position? honestly to me sounds like a throttle position sensor if it's not shiftin' when it's supposed to (at higher *kickdown) rpms~

9 people found this helpful.

what else can make the vehicle stop behaving properly? q=2006+Ford+Explorer+XLT+V6+throttle+position+sensor&tbm=shop&sour ce=lnms&sa=X&ei=vQOUUoaCOeHsyQGlhIDoAg&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAw&bi w=1309&bih=709&dpr=1.1

3 people found this helpful.

The transmission guy only dropped the pan and said that I should consider replacing the transmission and not waste my money on a flush. I found out after the fact that he never even heard the symptom I was experiencing. He was the one that told me the cooling fan was running excessively. When it does this the gas pedal will not provide any power to make the vehicle go faster. The cooling fan just gets louder and faster when you press the pedal. Usually within a minute the issue goes away and the vehicle drives and shifts normally. The fact that I spent $1,750 to replace the transmission and never solved the issue we had is a sore subject with me right now.

3 people found this helpful.

What I suggest for everyone out there is find a privately owned tranny shop that is family owned and been in business for a very long time. I was fortunate I attended school (fifty years ago) with a guy whose dad owned his own tranny shop. He continued the business and I have been his customer for over thirty years. I've only had two tranny repairs since I purchased my first new car in 1970. One was a torque converter change and the other was an electronic gizmo fastened to the outside. The 96 explorer has 300K, the 99 has 200K, and the 03 has 110K. So what is my success? I took his suggestion. Every 40K I bring his the car and 85 bucks. He replaces the filter and drains the entire tranny and replaces it with new fluid. He said; Forget the owner's manual 90K BS. Spend 80 bucks or so every 40K or so and you probably will never have an internal problem. It works for me. Additionally, he states he almost never swaps out entire trannys. He adds, it is almost impossible for a normal driver to tear up a tranny so bad it has to be completely replaced. But who am I? What he says worked for me for 44 years.

4 people found this helpful.

sounds to me like the fan clutch is bad keeping the fan engaged. that would cause low power and noise. it puts a lot of load on the engine when engaged.

3 people found this helpful.

Did you ever find out the answer? I think my 2006 Explorer is having the same issue. Thanks!

5 people found this helpful.

My 2010 explorer has the same issue as well. The fan runs at high speed in frequent basis the second I start the car even if it is cold. I could not find a solution yet.

3 people found this helpful.

I had this issue and Apple Valley Ford was able to fix the problem. On the service ticket, the following work is what was performed: "Insp under vehicle found the water pump leaking. Coolant low. Suspect the low coolant causing fan to engage and become louder randomly. Replaced water pump assembly, filled and purged cooling system, retested. No noises." Following this work, the fan no longer caused these problems.

2 people found this helpful.

so will changing the colling fan make the vehicle more power and run normal, when starting to drive and make it shift automatic from first gear to second?

2 people found this helpful.

when I start driving I have to drive upto 35 or 40 and let the peddal loose and then it shifts? after i'm on the highway it runs great, just in the city is when I have problems, what can I do to fix this?

4 people found this helpful.

My 2010 had same problem ford found radiator leak, they are replacing radiator under extended warranty as I am writing this $100 deductible. Hope it works. lmj NGU


FINALLY!!! We figured it out. Bit of a story though. I finally got it to do it at the dealer. The Service Manager, Lead Tech and myself went for a ride. They agreed that the fan clutch was locking up and felt that a simple R&R would fix it. However at the last minute the Service manager decided to call Ford Engineering and he talked to an Engineer who explained that the fan clutch is controlled by the PCM (Module) and that replacing the fan would not solve the issue. He explained that for some reason the PCM thinks the engine is overheating and it is trying to increase air flow through the radiator. Makes sense. However there are no codes showing an overheating problem. Hmmmm…… Upon further investigation it was found that the trans was throwing of an overheat code! I’m not sure why that was not apparent from the beginning. The laptop showed the trans temp at 270!. No way! So up on the lift, and physically check the trans temp and fluid temp. Well, 160 all day long! Turns out that the Thermo Bypass was faulty and was misinforming the PCM that the trans was overheating and the PCM was locking up the fan clutch to pull more air to compensate. Replaced the Thermo bypass and so far problem solved. To do this you must drop the trans pan and remove the valve body as the Thermo Bypass is located in the valve body. Heading up north to Wisconsin camping this weekend, towing my 16’ Aluminum boat so that should be a good test. I think Ford should put out a TSB on this. Problem solved. Dave

10 people found this helpful.

Same issue here, The Explorers have a fail safe cooling feature that is described in a limited fashion on page 293 of the owner manual: "What you should know about fail-safe cooling: if the engine coolant supply is depleted, this feature allows the vehicle to be driven temporarily before incremental component damage is incurred. The "fail-safe" distance depends on ambient temperatures, vehicle load and terrain. If the engine fluids reach even hotter temperatures, fail-safe cooling protects the engine by limiting engine power further and may disable the air conditioning system. The engine will automatically switch to alternating cylinder operation. Each disabled cylinder acts as an air pump and cools the engine. During this mode, the engine will run rough. If continued operation increases the engine temperature to a critical range, the engine will shut down. Steering and braking in effort will increase. Once the engine temp cools, the engine can be restarted. When fail-safe is activated: You have limited engine power." Bill's post is pretty spot on. Not sure if there is a reset, or if the Thermo bypass fault goes bad once engaged. I've filled up and cooling and will monitor, will post again concerning outcome. Scott

5 people found this helpful.

Bill- Do you remember what this cost to fix? Mine is in the shop right now for the same thing? Thank you.


Gentleman; I had gone round and round about this disappearing cooling/fan racing/transmission slipping till I was blue in the face. At first I thought my transmission was slipping, well went under the hood to check the fluid level, ( right ) no dip dipstick, as it is a sealed transmission, ( thanks, Ford ). Then I had the fluid changed and checked out. It was great for a day. Then I had my coolant light went on and saw I was low on fluid and transmission was slipping, filled the coolant to the proper level. After the truck was running cool again then the transmission was not slipping anymore and the fan was not racing anymore. I thought that was great, a cheap fix, even though it didn't make sense. I couldn't get rid of one problem, where is the missing 1/2 gallon of coolant each day, no puddles, no smoke, no apparent leak. Well, after looking on line and hearing about thermostat housing issues, I decided to look closer at that issue. Then I notice fluid standing on the top of the motor, way back there, then I changed the t-stat housing and low and behold, that was it. All this crap about transmission slipping, fan racing and missing coolant it was the t-stat housing all along, what a pisser. I have been doing my repairs on my vehicles since I was 16, and I could not make sense of today's technology on how all these items relate. Hope this helps someone. Mike

2 people found this helpful.

Yes, I have a vehicle with a plastic thermo housing situated on top of the engine. Unless you have gone through the problem before, many do not know the leak will channel the engine to the top of the block under the intake manifold. When the engine is hot, the coolant evaps. and no leak is detectable.

2 people found this helpful.

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