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Ford Ka, 1.6 L Zetec Rocam, manufactured in Brazil

the engine overheats after driving in 2nd gear and after the engine has reached its running temperature. So you can be driving normally along a highway and then enter a car park (where you will use 2nd gear a lot). When you turn off the engine it boils over. If however you pull over at the side of the road and only use 2nd gear to slow down then that is ok.

A very small amount of white smoke is seen over the engine between the engine and the bulkhead after overheating.

If you keep the engine running after you stop it is ok but at low idle it will still boil over. In heavy traffic that stops and starts it will boil over while on the road (assuming running temperature has been reached). If you coast that prevents it from happening. The fan is running when the car is stopped and can run at high and low speed.

Adding anti-freeze makes a difference but it will still happen. The radiator was replaced. Only a small amount of water is lost when driving and it was not too bad before the radiator was replaced. Other attempts were made to try and fix it. I noticed a new thermostat left in the car so I assume that was tried too. The temperature gauge does not work.

The Rocam feature produces more torque so I would expect more cooling problems as well but these has become worse over the years. It happens as much during the winter as during the summer.
 

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You need a pressure test on cooling system to locate leak and repair same . Also carry out a block test if needed for white smoke . Check temp transmitter switch for gauge fault .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Recently after a short drive I parked the car and lifted the bonnet (hood) to check if the fan was running (which it was). I could hear a noticeable tapping sound coming from the engine. (This was a sound I could not hear from inside the car.)

I decided to look into this and discovered it had something to do with the valve clearances. I then got the manual for the engine and discovered it has hydraulic tappets. The tapping sound usually means one of the hydraulic tappets needs to be cleaned or replaced.

It was recommended to me to have all the tappets replaced which I have had done. There is still a tapping sound (from the no 4 cylinder) which is hardly surprising given how long the problem has gone on for. Is the only solution to have the cylinder head replaced?

The tapping sound is heard when you start the engine and continues like that. After a few minutes and over the space of a few seconds the sound becomes noticeably louder. It also gets duller in tone. Does this indicate anything?

Is it worth while to use a synthetic oil? I drive about 4000 km a year. Less than half the trips are to the supermarket about 1 km away. The remainder are round trips of at least 100 km. I live in northern Mexico where the temperature does not fall below 15 ªC normally any time the car is driven. The mileage on the car is 89,000 km (56,000 miles).

I should add that the engine does not overheat anymore.

It is worth noting that the engine I have is called a Duratec-8 Valve (Rocam) in Europe.

For those who are interested a tapping sound can be caused by a valve clearance that is too great. The clearance should be correct for the valve to open fully. If it is an exhaust valve that is not opening fully then not all of the hot exhaust is expelled from that cylinder during the upstroke of the piston. This could lead to an overheating engine. The tapping sound in my case meant one of the hydraulic tappets was not functioning properly so it was not taking up the valve clearance. The tappets have tiny oilways which can get clogged with dirt. The dirt usually comes from combustion products in the cylinder head which get past the piston rings. The oil might be ok - it is what it contains that is the problem. So if your engine has hydraulic tappets it is more important than usual to change your oil when it should be changed. It is also important to keep the oil topped up.
 

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Could also be camshaft wear causing noise or timing chain . In 2000, Ford of Brazil developed a cheaper version of zetec-s engine. Single cam,8 valves driven by a chain. As a result, this engine exhibits rougher behaviour, producing more vibration and noise.
 
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