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Q: just noticed that it is overheating--no water dripping and the temperature gauge is normal. Not sure if it is the thermostat.

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I can smell that it is overheating now. I recently noticed the coolant level was a little low so I added to it to the fill line I thought. But it still smelled like it was overheated a bit but no real evidence of it. Now I can visibly see the smoke coming out of the engine but no liquid pouring down. The temperature gauge was still at normal.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

There are multiple issues that could be causing this overheating problem on your 2003 Windstar. First, you might have a thermostat issue that is not allowing coolant to flow through the motor as it should, second could be the fan is not working or third, you might have a water pump that has failed. The fact that your dashboard temperature gauge is faulty might indicate that the temperature sensor is damaged as well. In order to eliminate a lot of the guess work, contact one of our professional local mechanics to complete an engine is overheating inspection first, before taking it to a shop for repairs.

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