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#3127832 - 09/17/13 05:49 PM Temp issues again
ram_man Offline


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 2675
Loc: southern mo
So I replaced the thermostat in the saturn sl2. It's a 188 thermostat.
Today about 70 degrees the car was running down the highway 70-75 mph and the scanner is reading between 172-183. Then pulling into the store the car was at 172

As soon as I parked i grabbed both hoses. The lower hose (hose with the thermostat) was warm but the top hose was so hot you couldn't hold it. A pretty noticeable temp difference between the two hoses.
The car sitting quickly went up to 190 and the lower hose started to get Warmer. It seems like running down the road it isn't warming up enough to open the stat.
What gives? I don't understand an over cooling position. I mean how can it be cooler than the t stats opening temp range. Any ideas?
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#3127837 - 09/17/13 05:54 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 9782
Loc: Saskatoon canada
T-stat in backwards?
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#3127850 - 09/17/13 06:09 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Offline


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 2675
Loc: southern mo
You can't put these in backwards .
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#3127852 - 09/17/13 06:10 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
Warstud Online   content


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 3915
Loc: MIchigan
The upper rad hose will be hotter than the lower rad hose. The heat transfers from the engine to the coolant thru the upper hose to the radiator. Once in the radiator the coolant transfers heat to the fins and exits out the lower hose.

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#3127864 - 09/17/13 06:19 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
spasm3 Online   content


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 6128
Loc: out there
177-183, I don't think you have a problem. Thermostats do not regulate temperature that precisely. If its within 10 degress, i'd be okay with it. Running down the road, its a small engine , aluminum block and cools easily.
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#3127886 - 09/17/13 06:41 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1794
Loc: Pennsylvania
That temp difference is why upper hoses often fail long before the lower hose.
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#3127894 - 09/17/13 06:49 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2380
Loc: California
I've had new stats that didn't work well.
Is 188 the recommended stat?

Also keep in mind the coolant needs enough time in the radiator to cool. I've seen folks remove the stat and it worked out well, while some had the coolant pass through the radiator to fast and caused problems. Water pump impeller condition, rad core etc.
It needs flow but also need time in the rad to cool too.
Many will buy & use OEM stats to try and avoid problems.
I also like to replace the rad cap (and clean the fill neck) when I do a stat job.


Edited by Errtt (09/17/13 06:57 PM)

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#3127906 - 09/17/13 07:01 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: spasm3]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 37780
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: spasm3
177-183, I don't think you have a problem. Thermostats do not regulate temperature that precisely. If its within 10 degress, i'd be okay with it. Running down the road, its a small engine , aluminum block and cools easily.


I'd say this is probably the right point. IIRC the OBD reading on our "cooler" cars is 182-ish in the heat of the summertime. So 177 is probably within the realm of correct.

Ive heard many times that folks should test a t-stat in a pot of water first to ensure it opens at the right temp and correctly. Apparently there are many duds. Its only because good due dilligence is being done here that we are even talking about it.

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#3127985 - 09/17/13 08:06 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
MONKEYMAN Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 1656
Loc: St. Louis
Where is your temp gauge after thermostat replacement? Should be 1/8 inch or so to right of the quarter mark. Two OEM and one Stant in my Saturn put temp gauge in that general area when engine was warm.
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#3128072 - 09/17/13 09:07 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Offline


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 2675
Loc: southern mo
It's always right above the 1/4 mark by maybe one needle thickness. Sometimes it's almost on the 1/4 mark.

Call me crazy but how can 172 be ok? That's Almost 20 degrees off. Another thing I noticed is the long term fuel trim are around -4 they used to be -16 - -18

My gas mileage is averaging. 29 and it used to avg 33 or so.
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#3128073 - 09/17/13 09:09 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
TechnoLoGs Offline


Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 2606
Loc: Call it NNJ
Originally Posted By: ram_man
So I replaced the thermostat in the saturn sl2. It's a 188 thermostat.
Today about 70 degrees the car was running down the highway 70-75 mph and the scanner is reading between 172-183. Then pulling into the store the car was at 172

As soon as I parked i grabbed both hoses. The lower hose (hose with the thermostat) was warm but the top hose was so hot you couldn't hold it. A pretty noticeable temp difference between the two hoses.
The car sitting quickly went up to 190 and the lower hose started to get Warmer. It seems like running down the road it isn't warming up enough to open the stat.
What gives? I don't understand an over cooling position. I mean how can it be cooler than the t stats opening temp range. Any ideas?


Head gasket?

I'm serious.. any signs other than temp difference? (Can say a lot)
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#3128081 - 09/17/13 09:13 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Offline


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 2675
Loc: southern mo
Nope the car is rock solid. Honesty I'm wondering kind of a stretch but maybe the radiator and water pump both are newer are improved over the originals and offer better flowing characteristics. My honda does not fluctuate more than 4 degrees the Saturn is 10-12 degree swings. It's weird.
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1995 Dodge ram 1500 5.9l
2003 chrysler pt cruiser



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#3128137 - 09/17/13 10:16 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 4613
Loc: Iowa
Did you use an OE stat?
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#3128162 - 09/17/13 10:57 PM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
ram_man Offline


Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 2675
Loc: southern mo
Used a napa the local gm dealer couldn't get the gm stat for it.
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#3128279 - 09/18/13 06:27 AM Re: Temp issues again [Re: ram_man]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 2911
Loc: Southeast
ever tested a stat? they are supposed to be fully open at the rated temp. they start to crack open before.

being that the cold hose was still cold, it sounds like it was just cracked open, letting small flow through.

i think this is ok. if you had a bigger load on the engine, the temps would creep up some more.

also, as stated above, I would totally understand being off by a few degrees, too. these systems are not "precision."
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