car overheats and fan does not kick in
Check coolant level while cold,warm engine, LOOK at the radiator cap for leaks (do not open while its hot), you could replace this since its cheap. Next test the radiator fan like I said above, its not hard to test or replace. if all is good you can replace the thermostat, easy and cheap. if you have 80k plus miles the water pump could be going out. Replace it and the timing belt and tensioner along with the thermostat since you are right there. You can buy the kit cheap on ebay. You could also do the valve cover gasket and spark plug tube gaskets while you are there. I also pulled my injectors and cleaned them when I did all this. Car runs like a top. I did the full energy suspension kit which put all new bushing underneath and it rides better than new, and they last longer than the factory rubber bushings. Also while I was doing the timing belt I broke the high pressure switch on the AC compressor (down by the lower radiator) this is where you will see what appears to be steam come out when the radiator fan high speed is out, pressure builds (and heat) be careful when doing the timing belt or yours will break too, cheap to fix but a pain since you cant see the snap ring to get special pliers in the holes. I recommend unplugging the connection until ALL work is done and the car is back together and running and the timing is correct which can be tricky with the 2.4 PT motor, miss the cam wheel gears by one tooth and it wont run right. IMO you should mark the gears to the belt (different color for both sides) then do it again on the crankshaft/ timing belt.. Then transfer the marks from the old belt to the new one, then install new belt going from the crank, up the right side to water pump, cams and then zip tie the new belt down tight on each gear, then it wont slip as you work it around the tensioner. So check coolant, radiator cap and fan. Then its either water pump OR head gasket (bent valves? Google-compression test, easy, both require you to get in there. You can pick up a used head at any salvage place (or have yours cleanedup) and order the head gasket on ebay. Good luck.
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Kelly Little Ashford