The average engine temperature of a vehicle depends on how efficiently heat is removed from the engine and dissipated through the metal fins of the radiator. A fault on any of the systems involved in the heat transfer and dissipation will lead to higher engine temperatures and in some cases, overheating. Below are some factors that affect a vehicle’s engine temperature, applicable also to an EcoSport.
- Heat from the engine is dissipated through the radiator. A dirty radiator with its metal fins covered with dirt or oxidation will not dissipate heat as effectively as a radiator with clean radiator fins. Radiators need cleaning as soon as you notice an increase in the average operating temperature of your vehicle (87 °C on a brand new EcoSport).
- If there is no air flowing through the radiator (e.g., when the vehicle is stopped on traffic or idling in a parking lot), the engine temperature rises due to minimal heat transfer to the atmosphere. To force air through the radiator and keep the engine temperature to about 100 °C or lower, the auxiliary fan spins.
- Heat from the engine is transferred to the radiator by circulating a liquid (called coolant) through the engine, letting the coolant absorb the heat, then transfer the heat to the radiator where it will be dissipated. A coolant that has passed through the radiator then becomes cooler, and the cycle continues as the coolant is pumped back to the engine to absorb heat. The coolant must be maintained at the proper level (volume) and have the proper water-additive ratio to effectively absorb heat.
- A failure in the pump that circulates the coolant result’s to heat not being transferred to the radiator, thus, leading to rising engine temperatures. Failure is usually caused by broken pump mechanism, or a snapped drive belt that spins the pumping mechanism.
- The coolant reservoir, hoses, and all connected parts must be checked for possible leaks. When a leak occurs, there will be no coolant to absorb and transfer the heat from the engine to the radiator.
- Based on our EcoSport, the average engine operating temperature is around 84 °C to 87 °C when at cruising speeds, and up to 100 °C when idling and stopped. The auxiliary fan spins at 100 °C to bring the temperature back to 87 °C. Overheating of the engine begins when the temperature goes beyond 129 °C.
- To minimize heat generation through friction and prevent premature engine damage, proper oil lubrication is essential. Check the oil level regularly. Ford recommends changing the oil every 10,000 km.
- Active monitoring of the engine temperature is essential. Consider installing a tool that displays the vehicle’s engine temperature such as an HUD.
To prevent issues related to overheating, perform regular maintenance checks and never ignore any temperature-related alert or warning.
EcoSport’s Hidden Temperature Gauge
Adding Water to the Orange Coolant
EcoSport Warning Lights
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)