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Thread: Car Temperature Rising Past Normal

  1. #9
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Jim,
    it could be related to the extreme cold this past week..
    is the car kept outside?

    the cold could be messing with things, perhaps causing something to stick that wouldn't stick if it wasnt so cold.. and once the car warms up, things return to normal..

    was it doing this before the cold-snap?
    or just during it?

    Scot

  2. #10
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I did fill the resevoir. It is too opaque to see fluid. It is kept in an unheated garage by night and outside for my second shift job. So yeah, it is getting a lot of unavoidable cold. It corresponds with the cold snap or is at least more pronounced. It is definitely a recent phenomenon.

  3. #11
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herenorthere View Post
    I wonder if you'd have to run through a full cold-hot-cold cycle before you'd see any change.
    Upon driving off, after filling the resevoir, the temp rose to the edge of the red zone of the guage.... and then immediately went back down to the midline. Presumbaly, the thermostat just then opened. I went home and turned off the car. A half hour later my wife took me into work and the car behaved normally. She came home and later went out to do some shopping, before picking me up again. The car behaved normally. I took the car to church this morning, now with the outside temps recovering into the mid-20's and the car behaved totally normally. So for the moment, if I wasn't looking for a problem... I wouldn't be perceiving any. It is quite possible that the fluid hadn't circulated long enough to take effect, upon driving off. It is also quite possible that the warmer temps alone solved the thermostat issue. It is also quite possible that the lack of coolant led to this so-called "air pocket" situation and the recent frigid weather contributed / exacerbated the situation. All I have is a lot of variables, correlation, and observances - but little in the way of cause-and-effect. I still wouldn't trust the thermostat as far as I can throw it and as the clerk indicated, the radiator is a closed system... which begs the question as to why the coolant was low in the first place (hole in radiator? loose clamp? cracked hose?) and whether this was a temporary fix.

  4. #12
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    The forecast is for warmer temperatures this week so, to continue this experiment, you'll need to head up around Hudson Bay to get cold enough temperatures for a valid comparison when you start it in the morning. Let us know how it goes.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #13
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Hard to say exactly what the problem is. I doubt that the extreame cold would make the thermostat stick closed. Even in 20 degree weather though it will take a few hours for the engine block to cool down to air temperature and fully close the thermostat. We always used to see sticking thermostats during the Summer months not the Winter. It's quite possible there is nothing wrong with the thermostat and your problems were with low fluid and the waterpump unable to circulate the fluid properly because of it.

    For now I would make sure the fluid stays topped up and keep an eye on things.

    One thing you should have a look at though..
    If you let the car sit and idle for a while does the temperature get higher?
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #14
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    One thing you should have a look at though..
    If you let the car sit and idle for a while does the temperature get higher?
    Oddly enough, never, once the car went through what it was doing, did it ever rise while idling. I though that was strange.

    What about the concept of low fluid leading to an "air pocket"? One thing I'd like to keep an eye on , and it will be obvious if it is parked in snow, is to see if there are green spots. Mind you, we've owned the car for now 4 years and never did anything with the cooling system. Is it possible for the fluid to slowly diminish over time?

    Somewhere between Saturday afternoon, when Lynn took control of the car, and Sunday, when I went to church, the car was declared to be healthy again. And so on Monday, instead of a trip to the repair shop, we took a trip to the laundromat. Withing 2 hours we loaded and unloaded 12 washers and driers and scampered back home so that I could get to work on time.

  7. #15
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    In some cars (definitely the minority) they have higher spots in the system that can hold air. These spots need to be purged... This is typically the thermostat housing (a small screw/bolt on top of it) you just crack it open till only fluid is coming out. Once the fluid goes low air gets to this spot and doesn't purge itself. Why is that a problem? Fluid doesn't allow for compression while air does. so with a completely sealed system as the fluid heats up it builds pressure, this pressure helps prevent the water from boiling. Once the water is boiling it is harder to get it to let go of the heat through the radiator. If there is air in the system as the heat builds instead of building pressure it compresses the air in that air pocket allowing the fluid to boil.
    The fluid can diminish over time, but not in the way of it would not cool your vehicle. Here we barely see freezing temps so most of us don't even use anti-freeze. Or at least much less than recommended. Anti-freeze has no cooling properties, if you filled your car with pure anti-freeze it would over heat. All it does is helps prevent the fluid from freezing. (it may do something for the boiling point too, but I recall that being minimal if at all it's been a few years now since I was a mechanic by profession... now it's just a hobby )

    Andrew

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  8. #16
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    So I may have a real leak? Should I mix a little water in there at some point (obviously before the car is warmed up)? I have experienced a cracked hose and loosened clamp before, so maybe that's happening?

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