2003 ford explorer sport overheating

Asked by Jan 29, 2013 at 03:09 PM about the 2003 Ford Explorer XLT Sport V6

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my explorer started to overheat recently so I replaced the thermostat and washed the front of the
radiator of bugs and filled it back up with the proper amount of antifreeze and water and it looks like it
is leaking somewhere near the engine area. What is it?

11 Answers


Catch your new antifreeze, refill with water and find the leak. Either it was leaking before you changed the T-stat or you did something that started the leak. Look in the area where you were working.


Where exactly is the leak at? Picture maybe?


Why does Roger say "and it looks like it is leaking somewhere near the engine area." A worn impeller doesn't look like a leak.

I still would toss a fresh waterpump at it...sorry, I misinterpreted this posting-

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

twist in your STANT pressure tester and see where it's squirtin'...easy.


My 2003 had a antifreeze leak that I too could not find. Crawling under the car I found a small drip in the area of the tranny. Knowing no antifreeze is anywhere around the tranny I began to pull the front of the engine apart and found a small leak around the waterpump (top) which ran down the engine and backward. If you change the pump, spend the additional 40 bucks or so and change the fan clutch. The pulley has to come off to change the pump so you might as well change the clutch on the ten year old car.

Was there a problem with your fan clutch? the waterpump is a given, but if savin' money is a consideration, I could live with a noisy fan. It's purpose in life is to slow down the rpms on the fan so it doesn't sound like a jet engine....


It sounds to me as though either the thermostat housing/gasket is not tightened properly, or the housing is warped or cracked. While you were at it, did you change the by-pass hose? It is a bit of a bear to do, but can certainly made a big difference.


Bob: Saving money is certainly a consideration. I'm also concerned with doing the same job (basically) over again down the road on a ten year old vehicle. When I changed the waterpump I changed the thermostat, fan clutch, and I also changed the powersteering pump. Yes, I did spend about a hundred bucks more (powersteering pump and fan clutch) extra during the process. But I look at it this way. The Fan and clutch has to come off in the first place. If the power steeering pump goes out in a year or two the clutch has to come off again. I got ten or so years service out of all three. If it is a part that wears and it has to come off to get to a part out of commission, if not expensive, I will replace it. I will save about four hours time (eventually) doing it all at one time. As for the fan clutch. The main reason for the clutch is to keep the engine at the proper operating temperature. To hot, or not hot enough and you have idle problems or efficiency problems.


Mike: The guy next door is a retired Ford Mechanic. He informed me the bypass hoses for Ford engines are made a little long as one will fit most engines. I was cursing up a storm trying to get the bypass hose on so he came over to see what the fuss was about. Laughting, he said "hand it to me". He then walked over to my work bench, took a pair of snips, and cut about one half inch off the side connected to the pump. Then he told me to go inside and boil a pot of water and let it cook about ten minutes. When I returned, it was a lot softer and slid right on.

OJ, braided stainless steel aircraft fuel line is a dandy way to put something there that will last thru the ages without changing, seasonally-

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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