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'88 Aries 2.5 - past 2 days running hotter all of a sudden

Discussion in 'EEK! - Every Extended-K Car' started by tomlct, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    I use it only on weekends, mainly - occasionally weekdays after work. Temp gauge has gone slightly above half then down, when you would hear the fan come on. The past 2 days, I took the car for around 1/2 hour drive, including a stretch of around 5 miles at 60 MPH or a little more. The gauge was fine & the car ran well, when when I left the Interstate and drove slowly the last few miles, the temp gauge went up around 3/4 - it never goes that high, normally. When I was home, I felt the fan motor, and it was hot - I think it has been coming on, but I guess I have not proven that yet. I replaced the original coolant temp sensor (that the computer uses) around 2 years ago, so that should be OK, I think.
    Last year, I replaced what might have been the original t'stat, and drilled a small hole in it first, in case the head gasket is letting a blast of pressure into the cooling system. Earlier this year, original timing belt & water pump replaced, & fresh coolant at that time. Coolant level is consistent in the expansion tank, seems to not lose any.
    So this bump in the temp gauge is a big surprise.
    I checked the engine codes (on-off-on-off-on) and nothing there. My 1st response is that I ordered a new temp gauge sender (Standard #TS-176), to replace what might be the original one. I want to rule that out as a possible reason for the gauge. I will post the results later this week or on the weekend, but if anyone has thoughts, they would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

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    If you have A/C, turn it on and listen for the fan, if it doesn't come on you have a problem. Also unplugging the two lead temperature sensor like you do when setting the timing should bring it on.
     
  3. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    What is the condition of the radiator? If it is corroding the fins might be falling out of it and blocking the airflow.
     
    Bob Lincoln likes this.
  4. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    The radiator was replaced around 10 years ago, but that would be only 2K or 3K miles. When I remove the cap it looks clean & the coolant looks clean in the reservoir. I can hear the fan clicking on with the A/C.
     
  5. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    Where do you live? North or south. Because in the North they use salt on the roads in the winter which will cause the radiator to corrode.

    I have had to replace the radiator twice because the first two turned green from corrosion. The fins were falling out of them blocking the airflow and they were starting to leak.
    [​IMG]
     
    Bob Lincoln likes this.
  6. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    I am in southern CT. The car has not been driven much in winter, but they do use a lot of salt on the roads in winter. Thanks - this weekend, I will look at that. I will likely have the front of the car up on ramps this weekend, to do an oil change.
     
  7. neon98rt

    neon98rt Well-Known Member

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    I removed my car bra " mesh" and the temp went down. The owners manual actually mentions no bra. I would say it blocks 50% of air flow maybe less. It was only noticeable on very hot days but those are the days we need the AC most.
     
  8. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Today I had the afternoon off from work, so that included an oil & filter change, with the front of the car up on ramps. The radiator looked pretty good & intact, I was able to see it from the ground up.
    The new temp gauge sender arrived yesterday & is in. Maybe the temp did not swing as high after a 60 MPH run followed by the red light at the end of the exit ramp. I took it out again tonight, but it is cooler tonight than earlier in the week, and the gauge did not go above 1/2 the entire time, even at the stop light after the 60 MPH run.
    Thanks for the input on this one.
     
  9. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked at your overflow container? If it's dirty on the bottom, your cooling system might have some crud in it that lodged in the radiator. Even though the radiator has very few miles on it, you might take into a shop and have it rodded out. Completely drain and flush the cooling system, including the plug(s) in the engine block, and the heater core.
     
  10. neon98rt

    neon98rt Well-Known Member

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    buy a IR thermometer see what the temp really is.
     
  11. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Would I point it at the radiator, or the overflow reservoir, or something else? I have seen these IR thermometers at work, we checked the temp around equipment in a rack of computer equipment - file servers & other devices.
     
  12. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    I went to Amazon and ordered an IR thermometer - I will try it out next week.
     
  13. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Now I think I get it. When I have the IR thermometer, and take it for a drive, so it's at full temp (maybe the expressway-to-the-stop-light-at-the-end-of-the-ramp), see if the gauge goes up noticeably, and then as soon as I can, point the IR thermometer at the radiator in different areas. If the temp is not consistent in different areas, then there might be blocked passages & so less than full efficiency. This will be interesting.
    That said, I took it for a ride this morning, and it went up & down somewhat at different times, but the temp did not get too hot. Maybe I am worrying too much about every movement on the temp gauge. It never has gone into the red area, or even much above half of the range.
     
  14. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    The new toy (IR thermometer) arrived & I tried it. I drive at around 60 MPH for around 6 miles, it lookeed like it was at operating temp, then I parked in a parking lot under the lights and left it idling for around 10 minutes.
    The temps across the radiator were very close to each other, so I think that means that coolant is flowing approx. evenly through it. The temp was around 190 when I first arrived at the lot, and as it idled, and the fan was not on, I could feel it getting warmer, and the temp read around 215 to 216 degrees, but not higher. Last year, I replaced what might have been the original t'stat with another 195 degree t'stat, and I drilled a small hole in this one.
    The gauge was around 3/4 the way up, so stopped before the red zone.
    Since the reading is about the same with the original gauge sender (might have been original) as with the new one that I installed last week, I think I can believe the gauge. After you are driving again, and/or the fan kicks in, the gauge drops a lot, to below 1/2,
    Does 215 degrees from an IR thermometer reading sound right?
     
  15. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    215 degrees does not sound too bad. Have you replaced the temperature sending unit for the gauge?
     
  16. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Yes, a few weeks ago - the replacement is Standard Motor Products # TS-176. I don't mind replacing 30 year old electrical bits like relays & sending units, to try to stay ahead of things. Last year, I replaced the coolant temp sensor - the one on the t'stat box, that communicates to the computer. I have a fan motor from Rock Auto, but I have not installed it yet.
     
  17. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    New reading this morning - taken around 3 inches down from the top of the radiator. After a full warm-up, I let it sit in a parking lot & idle and the gauge went up. It was between 225 & 230 across the rad. At the very top it was even a bit higher, but with the fan shroud, I can't read the top all the way across, so I am poking through the cutout to where I can make the beam hit the radiator surface.
    The other way would be to remove the grill and scan it from the front, but I have not done that yet.
    Anyway once the fan came on, it dropped down quickly to around 200.
    Maybe the fan is coming on a bit later than I was accustomed to seeing it. Now, not running A/C, so the fan is off until the control unit tells it to activate.
    Any thoughts? Does 225 - 230 sound serious or damaging to the car?
     
  18. neon98rt

    neon98rt Well-Known Member

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    my ir read 195 at thermo housing. Less at radiator.
    230 sound high to me . it will be worse under heavy load like up a hill and if the day is hot. radiaors are cheap. i would get one
    your fan should come on with defrost also even on heat.
     
  19. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    OK thanks. I just might do that. Rock Auto has Spectra Premium & APDI/Pro & OSC. Does anyone have comments on these brands?
     
  20. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Wow - Amazon has the rad - Spectra CU883 for $ 46.76. I could not pass it up at that price,so installing that will be on my calendar for some non-rainy weekend soon.
     

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