Sportrak overheating and fan stuck on


Hi all,

I known there has been a few posts recently on overheating, but haven't had any luck relating them to my troubles - so hear goes...

My '95 Sportrak (1.6 injection) has developed an overheating problem when traveling on the motorway or at speed. For the last 2 years of ownership the temperature guage has never risen past half way, happy at any speeds. In the last month or so, when travelling over about 60 mph or up motorway inclines the temperature rises right up (altho its fine in traffic round town), and drops again when you slow right down or put the fan on blowing hot air.

It isn't using/loosing oil or water, and fuel consumption seems normal. The only other thing is that when the engine is started, the fan belt squeeks for a couple of seconds and when it stops squeeking the fan is on full speed (makes it sound like I've got a 3 litre engine or something!!). When the viscous fans pack up i thought they stopped spinning, not spin continuously.... and shouldn't it make it less likely to overheat with it being on all the time??!!

Any help gratefully received - it seems to go against all logic to me!!

Thanks in advance,

It's cool for cats

Hi try tightening fan belt to correct tension, could be slipping slightly on water pump pulley, also could drain coolant from system and back flush system with hose pipe, and then refill system again, could be slight blockage some were in cooling system. hope this helps with the problem, regards John

'95 Sportrak

I do not know that model but the story seems less than correct. Pardon my theorising! but:

IF there is a squeaking belt in the engine bay, then a light spray with an aerosol such as RP7 or WD40 could help. But if you hear that squeak only when those hot episodes occur, I'd suspect the water pump is due for replacement. The squeak if worst when making a hot start from standing, seems to indicate water pump distress to me.

Are you sure your engine has viscous fans?? My 1.6L injection Applause has electric, better by far!

Apart from the temperature gauge have you any confirmation that the engine is truly overhearting?? Your "trouble" may be a faulty temperature detector or dashboard instrument!

For noise in the engine bay I just turn up the radio louder!!


Sporty overheating

Thanks for the posts so far. The squeeking happens when the engine is first started and is cold (or not up to operating temp.), but only lasts approx 5 seconds max, and then thats it - it has never squeeked when travelling around or idling.

I am fairly sure it is a viscous fan, it turns slowly/freely when the belt squeeks for the first few seconds, but once the belt 'grips' the fan is 'powered up' (excuse the non-technical terms!!)

I thought about it being a sensor or the temp guage being faulty, but is there any way to check??

The heater in the cab gets hot as normal, so does that suggest the water pump is ok??

I think it may be worth getting the system flushed out anyway.

Thanks for the help,

overheating help

Hi Nat

I think I can help you - exactly the same overheating problem happened to me, only it happened on an Autoroute in France (but that another story (an expensive one).

The problem is your radiator - it is clogged up with limescale and other crap, so operating at a fraction of its cooling capacity.

Try a radiator cleaner solution (from Halfords) first. If you are still having the overheating problem you must get a new radiator. I had to.



Sportak overheating

I had exactly the same problem, I just replaced the thermostat and that cured the fault the old stat was stuck half open so around town and low speeds no problem as soon as I hit 60mph up wemt the temp.

Overheating sporty

Following the purchase of your Sportrak, (minus the informtion about this problem, but thats the fun of 2nd hand cars!!!)I noticed that when you had taken the car off road, you tried cleaning it, but didn`t do a proper job.
After taking the car to Cornwall, I noticed the beginings of this problem. When I looked at the rad you could see from the outside that there was still mud between the fins. I used a hose pipe on a jet nozzle and washed between the outside of the fins. I did it whilst the car was on concrete, and by the time I finished I was there was 1/2 an inch of mud under the car, all from the rad. PROBLEM SOLVED!

As for the noisy belt, simply tighten the adjusting nut on the alternator / water pump frame.

Andy G

Andy G

The viscous fan thing. It mi

The viscous fan thing. It might be your problem? Who knows. But to recognise if you have one. The fan has what looks like a big spring (kind of like an old watch spring) in the center, and is mounted on the front of a aloy body which is covered in radiater fins. If you have one, it will spin all the time due to drag from the waterpump pully wheel (to which it is bolted) and air passing over it. It only spins properly (draging air through the rad at proper speed) when 'locked up'. To see if yours is locking up you need to see if it will stop spining whilst the engine is running (and hot).

Any veiws expresed in this thread by me are purely from my own experience, and (sometimes) falible memory. Hope my comments help, but please don't take them as gospel.