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Suspect Thermostat issue

Discussion in '200, Avenger/Sebring, Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze' started by captn, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. captn

    captn Active Member

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    2011, 200 Pentastar 3.6... Have had problem since purchasing the vehicle with lack of heat.

    The engine feels cool after a run and the temp gauge takes forever to show a 1/3 and heat from ducts is not nearly as hot as other vehicles I've owned.

    I think I read that a replacement thermostat is 180 degrees and I sure the engine is not getting that hot.
    Using a laser temp indicator where would I measure the temp and what should it read?
    Any suggestions please....
     
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    It's a 195F thermostat, per the Factory Service Manual.
    Are both heater hoses hot when engine is 'warmed up'? They should be.
    Check fault codes with the key dance method (turn key to ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON all within 5 seconds, and leave on. Odometer should display any stored fault codes and then the word "dONe"
     
  3. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I don't know the trim level of the car, but if it's got the display in the center of the cluster, you can scroll through there and it should have an engine temperature reading.
    And I agree with Bob, it's a 195 or so thermostat.
     
  4. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked for diagnostic codes in the PCM (powertrain control module) related to engine coolant temperature? If you have a code P0128, thermostat rationality, that would indicate a thermostat partially stuck open and not maintaining proper coolant temperature. This would affect heater output warmth. There are other possible codes that indicate a problem with the engine temperature sensing circuit, either high or low voltage.

    Next check the output from the heater ducts. Thoroughly warm the engine and check after a few miles of driving. Idle engine. Set HVAC temperature control to full HOT. Set mode to floor outlet. Check temperature at floor outlet.

    Ambient temperature 60 deg F -- minimum floor outlet temperature 130 deg F
    ambient temperature 90 deg F -- minimum floor outlet temperature 136 deg F.

    No specification could be found for floor outlet temperature at lower ambient temperatures but you can extrapolate from data given. At 30 deg F ambient I would expect a floor outlet temperature no less than 124 deg F.

    Do you have dual zone temperature control in the HVAC? If YES do you feel the same temperature for both driver and passenger side? A significant difference would indicate a problem in the zone controls of the HVAC.

    I would suggest you remove the thermostat and check it. Here is a picture of the thermostat situated in its housing. Notice that there are plastic fingers that hold the unit in place. If one of the fingers has broken or deformed due to heat, it may not allow the thermostat to close properly and regulate engine temperature accordingly.

    Thermostat Housing Chrysler 200.gif


    If the thermostat is satisfactory or you have replaced it and you still have the inadequate cabin heating issue, check the inlet and outlet heater hoses at the firewall. The outlet should be warm and just slightly cooler than the inlet. After the engine is thoroughly warmed up and running for an extended period of time, you should NOT be able to touch and hold the inlet and / or outlet heater hoses for more than 1 - 2 seconds. Hoses cool to the touch indicate a flow problem which cold be a plugged heater core that is restricting circulation.

    Final area to check is you may have a HVAC blend door that is not moving properly. At the full HOT position for temperature control, an actuator is allowing some cold outside area to enter the HVAC plenum and bypass the heater core.

    I checked several vendors of replacement thermostats for the 3.6 V6 and it appears OEM standard issue is 203 deg F. Interesting discrepancy but this probably is not the issue at hand.
     
    tomit likes this.
  5. captn

    captn Active Member

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    Thank you AllanC for lots of good info and have ordered the Dorman thermo housing from Amz for $10. I hope I did the right thing, there is a MAHLE housing for $23 which looks identical, but was told it kisses the water as it passes thru.

    Bob's key dance method worked except for after showing a series of numbers (one being P0128) I went into the house to get a pen and now will not show the numbers just after 10 seconds shows dONe, could I have reset it by mistake? ...Reference to Valaint67 I have the display in the center of the cluster, could you please explain how to get to read out the engine stats. Thanks for everyone help.
     
  6. captn

    captn Active Member

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    Please could you explain the procedure to get the engine stats readout on the center display. Many thanks..
     
  7. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If it is available it will be detailed in your owners manual. It’s possible they didn’t offer that in 2011. I didn’t realize the car was that old.
     
  8. captn

    captn Active Member

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    OLD! .... It's the newest car I've owned LOL
     

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