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Engine temp. gage needle floats up and down.

(1999 Ford Ranger)
in Vermillion, KS on November 20, 2014
The temp gets to normal (never overheats)and then will start floating up and down from normal to just above cold but doesn't just drop off and does not bottom out. Doesn't act as though the wire to temp bulb is loose or something of that nature? At times when the heater fan is set from low to high the temp will drop off some than recover.
Displaying 2 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
on November 20, 2014
Replace thermostat first thing!
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on November 20, 2014
I don't know? If it were the thermostat, it seems that the engine at some time would overheat? I will surely give your suggestion a try and thanks for replying. Charlie
on November 20, 2014
Agree with pushrod. Sounds as the thermostat is failing in one direction but not the other. The thermo will go full open but can't retract as much as it should to maintain operating temp. That's why it isn't overheating. It is not failing in the mostly closed position. Another possibility is a faulty engine coolant temp. sensor.
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on November 21, 2014
Thanks for adding your comments. I feel that your both probably right. Changing the thermostat on this engine (4cyl) is a real pain. Problem is, I don't have my own garage so will have to find someone that doesn't charge an arm and leg to do the work. Thanks again.
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