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My '02 intrepid heats up very slowly and usually doesn't reach normal operating temperatures before I get to where I am going. I am assuming that the half way point on the temperature gauge is the normal temperature that the thermostat tries to maintain since that's how it is on all other cars I've driven. Besides the thermostat being stuck open is there anything else that could cause this?

I've read a lot about water pump failures on this engine so I am worried, but I don't think the water pump would cause this... I am able to get hot air through the vents at idle, even after a cold start...
 

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Most all of our vehicles operate close to the 3/8 mark on the gauge, and may fluctuate up to the 1/2 mark when driving in town or idling. Fans usually kick in at the 1/2 mark. It usually takes about 7-10 minutes for my car to get up to operating temp when I'm driving to class (in city driving). It is fairly common for the thermostats in our cars to end up sticking open, but at the moment my main question is how far are you driving from one place to another and how long does it take for you to make the trip?
 

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Thanks for the response, I am only driving about 20 minutes at a time daily, which is when I noticed this. My other car reaches the half way point on the temp gauge after about 8-10 minutes of driving on my way to work, the Intrepid is only about to the 1/4 - 3/8 mark when I arrive at work after about 20 minutes... I guess that's about normal for these cars then?
 

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mine has always ran midway. except for when the tstat failed open. then it was about 1/4 to 3/8 on a warm day. when it got cool outside it barely went higher than the low mark.
 

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Still better cold than the alternative. It's easier to replace a thermostat than a car that burned to the ground because it overheated.
 
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