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IowaCowboy
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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[Photos] Is this running too hot

This is my temp gauge on my 2001 Dodge Stratus. It's about 82 degrees out, and was after driving on the highway for about a 1/2 hour.

Is it running too hot?




hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
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join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
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Well I would say the red line is the too hot point. I think you are ok.


03667810
Premium
join:2008-12-18
Grand Rapids, MI

3 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy
Is this your first vehicle?


Mospaw
My socks don't match.
Hawaiian Jellyfish
join:2001-01-08
Mile-High
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1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
I'd say right on the money if a tiny bit cool. My cars (Fords) typically have the gauge planted firmly in the center.


IowaCowboy
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reply to 03667810
said by 03667810:

Is this your first vehicle?

No, it's my third. My previous vehicle it would run in the lower quarter of the gauge. Same with my first.

I am just a little nervous since I just sunk $2000 into this ride after spending six month taking the bus. And one of my relatives paid to have it fixed since I could not afford to fix it on my own.

I just don't want to incur a costly repair be because overheating can destroy the engine.

It's running pretty good but I'm thinking a tune-up is in the cards.
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Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Mullica Hill, NJ
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reply to IowaCowboy
until you are nearing the redline its not a big deal, in summer I have seen many cars hang around the half way point. On my car half way is not even 212F And since car cooling systems are pressurized 212 is not even boiling.
--
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LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to IowaCowboy
Agreed with the others - you're fine...

The middle 1/3 is generally where you want to be - too cool isn't good; but neither is too hot...

When you get close the 'short' red line - it's time to start actively taking steps to cool the engine... Before that, you're all good.

TheMG
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Canada
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reply to IowaCowboy
Anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 is usually normal. Above 2/3 and nearing the red is when you need to start to worry.

Or if the gauge stays in the the cold and never rises very much, that could be a sign of a stuck thermostat.

Every make/model of vehicle is slightly different. In my '06 Mazda 3 the temp gauge just sits at 1/2 and doesn't budge once the engine is fully warmed up, since it's a computer-driven gauge so it will indicate 1/2 for a range of temperatures.


EGeezer
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reply to IowaCowboy
Assuming the gauge is reasonably accurate, it looks OK. I can't speak to how accurate they are, or how different thermostats might act beyond one experience I had with a Ford dealer.

When my Aerostar was new, I had a problem with the temp bouncing around. I took it to the dealer who insisted that was the way it was supposed to work. None of my other vehicles had done that, so I contested the assertion.

They supposedly removed the thermostat and tested it by putting it in hot water. However, that is nothing like putting it in a cooling system under pressure and mounted in a housing. When I asked them why they didn't just swap it with a different one to see if it resolved the problem, they said they "don't condemn parts" unless they can conclusively prove the part is bad.

So, I decided to do it myself. I bought a Motorcraft thermostat at (as I recall, Advance Auto Parts) and replaced it. The problem went away.

I did get the satisfaction of calling and telling them I found the problem and fixed it, but declined to tell them what I did. After all, they had wasted my time on two service visits by insisting the thermostat was good, and wasted more time, money and work to get out of replacing the part than they would have by simply swapping it out to see if it solved the problem.
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Kearnstd
Space Elf
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join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
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you would think they might even keep a stash of "known good" thermostats for a situation like this.

I mean many computer repair people keep stashes of parts they know are good so if someone brings in a problem they can troubleshoot and use their known good parts and if the issue goes away they know the customer had a bad part.
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Network Guy
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reply to EGeezer
said by EGeezer:

When my Aerostar was new, I had a problem with the temp bouncing around. I took it to the dealer who insisted that was the way it was supposed to work.

Yeah... That was BS. My '98 Honda Civic was doing the same thing sometime ago, mainly during the summer only. I had it replaced. The part only cost $12.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to IowaCowboy
get yourself a scantool that pulls live data like a scanguage ii, ive found my grand prix guage often reads about 80c and the scanguage shows 100c, i no longer trust the guage


Vamp
5c077
Premium
join:2003-01-28
MD
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reply to IowaCowboy
With an idiot gauge it's hard to really tell if it is is above or below tstat temp... But most gauges the center is 210F, so in this picture it looks to be in the 180-195 range, so I would say its normal.
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Phoneman63

join:2001-02-22
Hauppauge, NY
reply to IowaCowboy
Why don't you get yourself an antifreeze tester like this »prestone.com/products/print/387? ··· ?popup=1 and make sure the AF is up to snuff.
--
"Leave the gun, take the cannoli"


Anonymous_
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4 edits
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

This is my temp gauge on my 2001 Dodge Stratus. It's about 82 degrees out, and was after driving on the highway for about a 1/2 hour.

Is it running too hot?

[att=1]

failed thermostat

it's in FAIL safe mode.

i.e stuck open. (This is the mode you want it to fail in, only harm it will do is waste more gas trying to keep the engine warm & the heater may not work)

Most cars will be in the middle (aka 100C or 212F ) My car always stays in the middle (slighty higher if the A/C is running)once fully warmed up in about 2 miles.

Even if it's 20F(-6.6C) outside it will get to 90-100C after 2 miles so I assume the is the normal operating temp for the car

Did the heater work in the winter?