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Discussion Starter #1
Well, summer is right around the corner, and I'm having a bit of a problem that started last year. The temp. gauge on my car seems to always be right in the middle between Hot and Cold (at normal driving conditions), even when driving on the highway. Normal position for the gauge used to be lower. The problem is that as soon as I exit the highway, or encounter traffic, the gauge shoots way up, and I need to turn on the heater to get the gauge to come back down. Last year I got stuck in traffic on the highway and had to roll down my window and turn on the heater... that was fun. It sucked, but it worked, my engine temp. did come down.
I had the thermostat replaced last year, and that hasn't seemed to fix the problem. I took my car back to the place that changed the thermostat, and they ran it, and said that there is nothing wrong with my car.
Here's what I know...
Thermostat replaced (new one may only be partially opening, may have to replace again, God I hope not!!!)
Coolant lvl is ok
fans are running
no leaks...

I do get heat out of my vents, so It seems that my thermostat is opening. Or could this just be a Trep Trait?

Can anyone think of anything else I might need to look at? Nothing scares me more than a car that overheats. I hear that overheating is worse for your car than anything else.
 

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Few things here. First before the thermostat are you 100% sure that BOTH fans are running? Also, are they both running in the High and Low speed? Now the thermostat. The factory puts then in a certain way but they should be replaced the opposite way. As in, the hat was facing one way from the factory but it should be instaled with the hat the opposite way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First the fan idea. You might be on to something there, I'll check that out tomorrow, after I get it hot. I can hear a fan going and it is quite loud in the car, so I just assumed both were running on high. I thought about needing it bled, but the place I took it to for the thermostat replacement is a rad specialty place that I've been going to for years, so I just assumed it was done right. I may have to look into that as well. Also, I asked another shop about that and they said that the air should have worked itself out by now, but I'm no expert on that (that's why I ask here, real people driving the same car as me can help with real solutions.) :)
I took it to the shop because it was more cost effective. It only cost me $130 (CDN), for a thermostat, rad flush and oil change, and after seeing where that thermostat was located on my 3.5, and not being able to fill the rad directly after flushing, I decided to let them do it.
I never heard of putting the thermostat back in the reverse order though, that's interesting...

Thanks for the quick replies!
 

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If you've already been driving the car for some time now. It's bleed. Hot to cold cycles naturally bleeds the system.

Without a temperature number. Why are you so sure it's overheating.

A gauge that is rock steady on the highway and creeps up a bit when you stop is totally normal.
Then the fan should come on and pull it back down.

Normal day to day driving should rarely kick the fan into high speed. Low speed is enough to usually pull the temp from the fan on setting to fan back off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
After checking everything again, I decided to try adding some coolant to the reservoir, and it seems to be helping. Perhaps just being a tad low affects it more than I thought is would. The reservoir seemed to be at the same lvl after I added some coolant and ran it for a bit, as it was before I added it. Maybe I just need to keep adding a bit, then checking the lvl periodically.
Maybe "overheating" was too strong a term. Perhaps "running a bit hot" would have been a better tag, although once it got hot enough for the warning light to come on and chime...
*sigh* I miss the radiators that had rad caps, lol. Not that you'd be able to see it on a Trep. :)
P.S. Evey time I checked the coolant level, it was within the proper marking lines on the bottle, making it SEEM as though the levels were correct. Between the min. and max. line with the engine cold.
 

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Check the fans if you havent already done so, as mentioned above.

One little quick test...get the car warmed up to operating temp, then turn your heat all the way up. Sit in a parking spot for 3-5 minutes. See if the heat gets cold, or noticeably cooler. If so, your water pump is bad. A bad/leaky water pump that has not gone to heck yet will cause temperature gauge/cooling issues.
 

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Check the fans if you havent already done so, as mentioned above.

One little quick test...get the car warmed up to operating temp, then turn your heat all the way up. Sit in a parking spot for 3-5 minutes. See if the heat gets cold, or noticeably cooler. If so, your water pump is bad. A bad/leaky water pump that has not gone to heck yet will cause temperature gauge/cooling issues.
If all the above mentioned components are functioning normal, Water Wetter can give as much as -10* on the temp gauge.
 

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People used to use water wetter in liquid cooling loops on pcs, but have stopped mostly because it eats the HELL out of a lot of copper/aluminum parts and causes corrosion on aluminum for some reason.
 

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It's been in my Ram for 10+ years with no leaks or corrosion, ever. I also used it every drag car I owned, with no issues. Just improved heat transfer.
 

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CHECK YOUR RADIATOR CAP!!!!

I've had the same exact symptoms for 2 years running...it's been a faulty pressure leak with the radiator cap both years!!!!! I replaced the therm, rewired the fans, replaced the hoses...and the problem remained because of the old radiator cap...check the spring on your cap to make sure it's putting out those "pounds!"
 
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