oil and coolant Indicator lights on, no heat


Asked by Dec 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM about the 1998 Ford Expedition 4 Dr XLT 4WD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just bought her 2 weeks ago. Has 145 miles and I already had the starter replaced.
3 days ago check engine light went on and I was told I need a #4 spark plug
replaced. Can't get me in for a couple of days and she hesitates pretty bad.
Yesterday the oil light went on and the coolant indicator went to H. Took into
have oil and coolant checked. Had oil changed, coolant color looked good and
they toped it off. Was told that my serpentine belt was in poor condition, they did
not have the tool to replace yesterday and couldn't have it changed. I do not have
the normal sound of a bad belt but do have other problems. Today I have no warm
air-Coolant indicator was on C then went to H, also oil light and coolant light went
on again.  Could this be because of the bad serpentine belt?

24 Answers

NO the serpentine belt will not cause this,sorry to say ,it sounds like you bought someones elses problems. no special tool needed to replace the belt,just a 1/2 or 9/16 boxed in wrench & 5 min to change it.sounds like it has a blown head gasket or cracked head,block,that someone put block seal in enging.how was it deterimed the # 4 plug was bad.


Thank you for your reply. Have a friend who's son is a ford mechanic and he looked at her last night. Drove it for a few miles and of course the heat worked and the indicator did not move. He did say that the engine was still cool after drive and that the thermostat is stuck. Said the oil and coolant lights are a sensor issue and that he has rarely seen a serpentine belt break on this truck. I will need to replace spark plug and coil? The truck was hooked up to a thing before and read a code for #4. He said none of these are major and that I can drive her. If hesitation occurs to punch it and I wont hurt her. If coolant indicator goes into red to pull over let her rest and start again until thermostat is replaced. Said that the coolant is pink and should be green for this truck. So under his professional recommendation he did not believe there was an issue with head gasket/block after driving her and that it shouldn't be a problem driving her-I did ask several times for fear of break down and being stranded. Until then I will have heat then no heat which is not fun in the MN winter. I am willing to suffer for a bill of $300 including parts. What do you think? Thanks

1 people found this helpful.

think he is half right,on a stuck thermostat it eather sticks open or closed,if your vehicle is overheating it is stuck closed or the water pump is bad,if open it will warm up to operating temp and you would have heat,it is possable the thermo,has been removed,then you would have no heat,I would be causus on long drives,and yes the antifreeze should be green,the red -pink antifr,is for new vehicles,if it has the red-oink the colling system needs to be flushed,also he is right about the belt.


I appreciate your comments. I made it to my first day of work yesterday with some hesitation, so I accelerated and she kept going. Heat indicator was on normal then shot to H. Drove quarter of a mile to find a spot to pull over and then it went back to normal position. On my way home there was again the hesitation but no lights went on and the indicator stood in normal position with heat on. I have 7 miles to go each way and are able to have her fixed on Sunday. It does freak me out when I hear the popping sound when it hesitates and the mechanic told me that was ok for now but should be replaced. I just don't want to cause any damage until Sunday. Thanks again for your suggestion/input.

if the popping is comeing from the throttle body,you could have a timeing issue.I think I would have it checked by another mechanic.


Hello again, had new thermostat put in, plugs/wires, serpentine replaced and 80% of the coolant replaced. (could not do full flush because of the weather. He is ford mechanic who works on the side out of garage at home) When I picked her up he told me that he drove her around/highway etc. No problem. On my way to work yesterday things were great. No hesitation. After around 10 minutes of highway driving the air went cold and the indicator for the coolant went into the red. I pulled over and let her sit. Started up again and she was fine. no lights and I have heat again. I phoned him and asked what this could be and he thinks it could be the water pump. Said he did not think it was a gasket. On my way home we had 5 inches of snow and the car started to over heat, upon my pulling over I ended up in a ditch. Let it sit and every time I started up to get out of the ditch she would over heat and I would wait. A very nice man came along and pulled me out. I made it home without her over heating and had heat but I was also only going 20 miles an hour due to road conditions. Giving the fact that I have no other problems-why do you think it keeps over heating? Thank you


After thought; some co-workers have or had expeditions and said that if my pump needed replacement that the car would over heat all the time and she would be difficult to start etc. Since I don't have that problem they suggested a flush first to see if that is the problem. Since it has not had a flush there maybe stuff floating around. Thanks

no I still say it had a bad problem before you got it,yes a bad WP will make it run hot,but not like you are saying,if it is bad u would be loseing antifreze,when u park it,is their collent under it,front of motor,u can back up a couple of feet,look where it has been sitting,if collent is on the ground,the WP is leaking,BAD WP,if no collent WP is not bad.


Hi, I see what you are saying. I don't see any fluid on the ground. Mechanic said that the coolant is nasty and could have eaten away at the impeller of the water pump. If not I could have a leak but he did not see anything obvious. So, the guys at work said I should do a flush first. They said why put in a pump with bad/old coolant. I don't know what to do now. Is it possible it could be the head gasket? How would that be checked. Don't want to keep putting money into her if it ends up being the head gasket. Bought as is so I am on my own with repairs. I am still not sure why she over heats once, I let her sit for a few minutes and then she works normal. After that I have heat, no over heating and she runs normal. This is frustrating and I haven't been using her because I don't know what to expect next. Thanks


o.k. so, I went for the flush-drove around for about a half hour with full heat-highway and all-perfect. Ran to store and by the time I got home the air turned cold and she over heated again. Let her sit, started again and backed up to see if there was anything on the ground-nothing. Sorry for so many questions but it is frustrating not knowing how to fix and not having a car-any input is appreciated-thanks

1 people found this helpful.

check oil to see if milkey looking on dipstick,if so blown HG.a HG will blow on intake side,letting collent into oil,it will also blow on exhaust side,no indecation in oil,steam out of tail pipe,BUT NOT ALWAYS,the simetions you are haveing lead me to beleave you have a blown HG on exhaust side or a cracked head.sorry for the bad news,I have seen this many times.


I will check what you suggest. If it is a blown hg what do you think this should cost to fix? Had a feeling we were headed in this direction.

depends on who does it,around $600.00+ -.


checked the oil yesterday and it was good/normal. Mechanic suggested the water pump again since the oil was good and there are no leaks on the ground. Now my co-workers said that at the miles I have (145) that it wouldn't hurt to have it replaced anyway, and think this could be the problem. They also said I should start with the pump then recheck the new thermostat and the next thing could be the heating coil. I am confirming with you because I don't know which way to go and don't want to waste money on something I don't need.

first,your coworkers arent mechanics,dont listen to them,from what you saying,no water pump is needed,when they go bad their is a weep hole for it to drop collent out.that is not happening.the heater core ,if it was bad,it would leak collent on passenger side floorboard,carpet would be wet,and your windows would fog up,new T-Stat already in,since oil is clean,i still say the head gasket is blown on exhaust side.you have done everything else and you still got the same problem.

1 people found this helpful.

Hello, waited to get a test done on car before I responded. Wanted to let you know that you were right about the head gaskets. So, thank you for your response-it made me raise the question to him and now we know. Mechanic had a tool that he put into the collent that showed blue fluid in the bottom of this tool and green in the top. While the car was running he showed me how the collent has air flowing through it. He said if the car was a piece of junk he would tell me not to fix but he believes it is worth fixing. Suggested the have the heads pulled for diagnosis to see if they are cracked or warped. He does not want to pull an engine from junk yard because we wont know what is wrong with it. Apparently if the heads are warped they can shave to make straight and if they are cracked I will need new ones. I appreciate he is trying to save me money by doing it himself but I don't have time since I just started a new job and no back up car. If and this is an if-I took it into a shop what would I be looking at for cost. Thank you again.

1 people found this helpful.

you looking at $600.00 +,you always want to have the heads shaved when pulling them,NAPA does a good job on heads.


I'm having the similar problems with my '97 expedition. I had a radiator put on it in August and ever since I haven't had any heat. I've had the tempostat, heater core, heater control valve (which I don't have), temp. control sensor, and just this week a water pump put on it and i still don't have any heat. Though my check engine light is on (been on since I bought it a little over a year ago, was told it was a sensor) I'm not having any running problems. What do you think my problem could be? Any feed back is appreciated, it is to cold to be trying to drive around with no heat.

1 people found this helpful.

Papa on this site had guided me through my issues and he was right on-it was the head gasketts-mechanic was able to do a test and they will be brought in to see if they are cracked or can be saved by shaving-Sorry for the news-hope this helps. Hopefully you will get a response from papa.

First when the rad was put on did they blead the air out of cooling system,what kind of antifreze did they put in hope not the 50-50 pre mix,if so drain and put in pure 100% antifreze,1 gal to 1 gal of disteled water,can get at any grocery store,heater control valve,you have to have that.just make sure the collinging system was blead of any air in it.


Well i spoke with the mechanic and he said that the door that swings open to allow the heat to flow is broken. He said that one minute the air would be hot, but when he was adjusting the temperature switch back and forth the air went cold again. He said that he had put a oxidation sensor on it, but that he feels like that wasn't part of the problem so he's going to take it back off and take it back to the store. Hopefully the door will solve the problem. Please let me know if you think this could be a possibility. (Sometimes it can be the smallest thing causing the problem.)

yes that is true,problem is,the door he is talking about is not the cause of your problem,all it does is move the air from floor to vents to defrost,have him blead the cooling system im sure it has air in it and check the rad cap and heater control.

1 people found this helpful.

I'm really hoping someone will help me plz. I am a single mom I have no extra money i struggle. I bought a 98expedition with every penny I had and the heat didn't work so I changed the thermostat immediately when i started to drive it started jerking hesitation feels like it's missing it drove like A beast before it has the 5.4 moter in it. I know it has something to do with this. When I got it the temp gauge don't work and it don't seem to be overheating but it starts to smell jerk after I get about 20miles real bad up hill. Smoke is pouring out the exhaust and there is a milky substance on the oil cap but it's not on the dip stick just the cap. Now plz keep in mind I'm just an ole country gal that is having to do all of this on my own I can't afford to go anywhere to get this done and I don't really know a lot about cars I've had to research a lot. Also when i changed the thermoustat it had holes drilled in it. If that helps any as well. Plz help!!!

Chang the #4 coil

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