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On my 99 windstar with 135k miles, it starts and temp. gauge goes immediately to normal reading. Later, after it warms up, it reads either full hot(in warm weather) or full cold(in cold weather below freezing) every time. This produces a CEL and the code is for either overheat or running cold, depending on the ambient temperature. What would produce this sort of indication ??? It is also hard starting and the A/C doesn't come on. Thanks for your help. Best regards, Mark

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Mark/Anne, Sounds to me like the temperature gauge issue is coming from a possible faulty coolant temperature sensor. I would have dye injected in the A/C system to see if there is a freon leak, or you may have a faulty a/c compressor/clutch assembly. To address the hard start issue, I would need more information to go off of to give a firm direction to take. AJ Pierce

Jennifer Frey, Automotive Service Writer and Technician at AskPatty.com Hi Anne and Mark, The first thing I would do is to make sure that your temperature gauge is working properly. When it displays full hot is the engine in fact, overheating? Usually you can tell right off the bat when you pop the hood because it will be way hotter than normal. When it says full cold, is the car running rough? The hard starting and a/c in-operation could be separate issues. Does your a/c not come on at all or does it come on but blow hot air? Giving us this type of information can help narrow it down. You also said you have a check engine light and have already pulled the codes for it. It sounds like you're a do-it-yourself kinda person. If you had access to the Service Manual (not Owner's manual) for your Windstar, you can usually look up the check engine light codes and the manual will give you a series of things to check. All in all, I think the issue will require a bit of investigating before I can give a better diagnosis. Best of luck, Jennifer Frey

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