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Thread: Temp Gauge

  1. #1
    Regular Member Carl83's Avatar
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    Default Temp Gauge

    Morning,

    I have noticed that the needle on the temperature gauge takes a while to move.

    When it does it doesnt always go up to the middle and if it does and I am then on the motorway, I can still it drop to about quarter of the way.

    Silly question, but is that because the amount of air going through all the vents cooling it down?

    The car drives fine and doesnt given any indication of overheating...I just dont want yet another thing to be wrong!!

    Thanks

    Carl

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    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Sounds about normal.

    The needle will take a while to move on the gauge, as the gauge only shows temperature from about 60C upwards -with the engine cold, the coolant will be around 18C at this time of year.

    Normal operating temperature for most internal combustion engines is between 80C and 100C - this is the temperature range at which engine oil lubricates best. So the cooling system is designed to try to keep the block and cylinder head in this range.

    Vauxhalls and the Vectra C in particular is quite unusual in that the temperature gauge isn't massively damped, so it does move about more than in most other makes. Generally manufacturers just want the gauge to rise to halfway and sit there unless there's a problem so people don't worry about it moving about all the time.

    So you actually get to see that when you're moving slowly, less air goes through the radiator and the engine heats up (though the fans should come on and keep it below 100C). And yes, when you're on the motorway lots of air goes through the radiator, so lots of heat gets transferred from the coolant to the air and the temperature goes down (the thermostat shuts preventing any coolant going into the radiator before it gets down to 80C).

    As long as the gauge is between 80 and 100, there's nothing to worry about.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl83 View Post
    Morning,

    I have noticed that the needle on the temperature gauge takes a while to move.

    When it does it doesnt always go up to the middle and if it does and I am then on the motorway, I can still it drop to about quarter of the way.

    Silly question, but is that because the amount of air going through all the vents cooling it down?

    The car drives fine and doesnt given any indication of overheating...I just dont want yet another thing to be wrong!!

    Thanks

    Carl
    Once up to normal operating temperature, the temperature gauge should not move from this position when driving at speeds of about 30mph and above. Anything below approx 30mph and depending on outside temperatue you may see it creep up slightly by 1 or 2 degress.
    There should not be any difference whether you are driving at 30mph or 70mph, however. If there is you need to change your thermostat.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Carl83's Avatar
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    Thank you, that has really helped answer my question. )

    Carl

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    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    The 1.8 certainly does move a bit depending on conditions. Mine does this (new thermostat fitted in March), as does my friend's Astra with the same engine. It does generally settle back down to 85-90C if you're doing more than 30mph though. Just rises to 95 when you're stuck in traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich r View Post
    The 1.8 certainly does move a bit depending on conditions. Mine does this (new thermostat fitted in March), as does my friend's Astra with the same engine. It does generally settle back down to 85-90C if you're doing more than 30mph though. Just rises to 95 when you're stuck in traffic.
    Obviously the temperature will move up if there is not sufficient airflow. For normal driving and once your engine has reached normal operating temperature it should not move. If it does the thermostat is faulty. If there is no / very low airflow through the radiator then the fan should kick in at about 90 degrees.
    Last edited by dae36; 5th August 2011 at 14:40.

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    Regular Member felixx's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by rich r View Post
    Sounds about normal.

    The needle will take a while to move on the gauge, as the gauge only shows temperature from about 60C upwards -with the engine cold, the coolant will be around 18C at this time of year.

    Normal operating temperature for most internal combustion engines is between 80C and 100C - this is the temperature range at which engine oil lubricates best. So the cooling system is designed to try to keep the block and cylinder head in this range.

    Vauxhalls and the Vectra C in particular is quite unusual in that the temperature gauge isn't massively damped, so it does move about more than in most other makes. Generally manufacturers just want the gauge to rise to halfway and sit there unless there's a problem so people don't worry about it moving about all the time.

    So you actually get to see that when you're moving slowly, less air goes through the radiator and the engine heats up (though the fans should come on and keep it below 100C). And yes, when you're on the motorway lots of air goes through the radiator, so lots of heat gets transferred from the coolant to the air and the temperature goes down (the thermostat shuts preventing any coolant going into the radiator before it gets down to 80C).

    As long as the gauge is between 80 and 100, there's nothing to worry about.
    What a splendidly simple way of explaining a potentially somewhat complex process.A lot of drivers don't realise the damage that can be caused by ignoring temp variations.FELIXX.

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