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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thermostat Engine Alert

Hi

I set off this morning in my 2002 Concorde LXi with temperature about 21f (-6C). After about a couple of miles the engine warning light came on. I went right to my indy mechanic who checked it out with the diagnostic and it was an engine coolant alert. First time I've even seen one of these on either my 2 Intrepids or the Concorde.

He noticed that despite the car being fully warmed up, the engine temperature gauge was showing temperature just above 1/4. He suggested replacing the thermostat and said it would also make the engine run a bit warmer giving better MPG.

He cancelled the alert and I set off for a 200 mile journey and no more alerts, everything ran absolutely fine..

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this? As we're in cold weather anyway in Nova Scotia, I was thinking of just leaving it for now and seeing if the problem recurs and getting it fixed if it does. Otherwise, I do wonder if it might be worth replacing it anyway just to get the engine running warmer. I spoke to a pal who has an LHS before about running temperature and he says his runs at the same temp as mine so I wonder if that's how its meant to be!

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts?

Thanks..
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 06:42 PM
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1) Some aftermarket thermostats are famous for causing slow warmup and low running temps. in our engines. Use only OEM thermostats from a dealer. There has been evidence that even the OEM brand thermostats (Gates) sold in aftermarket are ones that don't meet the performance/accuracy tolerance specs. of the ones that Chrysler purchases (this is common practice in the automotive industry - there are two tolerance specs. on a single production line - one for OEM, and a second, much looser spec. that get sold off to aftermarket). (This is evidenced by the fact that Gates t-stats in aftermarket have the same Gates logo and even the Chrysler part number stamped into them.) If your t-stat has been replaced, you might suspect this.

2) Your t-stat may be old and has gone bad.


'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Peva

thanks for the insights. I bought the car last June so I have no idea whether the thermostat was replaced. I was looking at ModoRad thermostats which are listed as "Premium" on rockauto.com and are on this link

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=446&jpid=4

Seems perhaps to be a quality replacement.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 08:07 PM
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i get the occasional code on vehicles, especially in the winter, of essentially the coolant not coming up to temp within the time expected, or similar.
if it doesn't return, and your engine temps seem to you on the guage to be right, and your cabin temps from the heater are fine, i'd ignore it unless it does return.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi HRMWRM

thanks for the thoughts on this. It never happened before. Oddly, this morning was 21f (-6C) but on Saturday when I went out at almost exactly the same time and the temperature was -0.4f (-18C) it gave no problem at all. I would have thought the -0.4f would have been more likely to trigger an issue. Just shows, cars are human after all I guess!

I'll leave it for now and see if the problem recurs. Maybe its just a one-off. I read this on the ad I was looking at for a thermostat replacement.

"In overheating situations, the Fail-Safe thermostat automatically locks in the open position, delivering maximum coolant to the engine. When standard thermostats fail, they lock in the closed position, prevent coolant flow and possibly cause serious damage to your engine."

It seems odd that standard thermostats would be designed to kill the engine if they fail. Does anyone know anything about this? If they did, I would most definitely replace it!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 12:28 AM
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it does depend exactly on what your code says. you're not specific, and i went with only one that i have come across. as well as your description of your guage. and you're not talking of an overheating problem.
if it is that code, then it is a warm up problem and poses less of a problem to long term diagnose, if necessary. your engine won't be harmed waiting for the code to return, if it does.
if it returns, it might be a stat to replace then.
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