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Old 12-27-2014, 06:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Now that I'm at a computer ...

If there's any sort of load (driving, etc), it'll warm up to 180F and maintain 180F. In the summer it will run a bit warmer, but it never runs below it. I don't think the thermostat is bad ... but the car is relatively efficient. If it's -10F out and the car is just idling, I don't think it uses enough fuel to make heat. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I have hit the radiator hoses with an iR thermometer along with shooting the coolant in the radiator with an iR thermometer - nothing was flowing into the radiator. I've toyed around with the idea of replacing it with a 190F thermostat out of a late model Ranger (it will interchange) ... but I can't figure out where the fan is programmed to turn on and what's ideal operating temperature.

On my Cherokee, I know the ideal temperature is 210 ... so that's what I shoot for in the winter. Even though the hottest thermostat I can get is 190.

On top of the labor involved, it's a thermostat housing / sensor / thermostat all - in - one. One can try to replace just the thermostat, but that often doesn't go well as you have to cut them apart and mold them back together.

On topic ...

I think a lot of older people are just programmed to idle the car. When my parents started driving, it was all carburetor vehicles with SAE30 and SAE40 oil in them. Mayyyyyyyyyyyybe a "light" 10w-40.

Carbureted cars, especially with thick oil, don't like to run in the cold. I can imagine the frustration of cranking your car for 3 days straight, pumping the pedal 30,000,000 times - having it finally start running on 1 or 2 cylinders, just to drop it into gear and have it stall. Back at square 1.

Takes a while before SAE30 will start flowing well. Also takes a while before a carbureted engine will actually drive a transmission without stalling.

I usually run 0w-20 in the Focus in the winter. It flows instantly. It has EFI, so it starts instantly; no cranking for an hour while I pump a gas pedal and hope and pray it might start sometime this year. I usually wait until it idles below 2500RPM and I take off.

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Old 12-27-2014, 09:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I think Miller88 that is a lot of eco cars. I had a 06 scion xa and worked at a trucking company. To avoid traffic and snow I would arrive at work early and either idle out front with the heater on and frequently circle the block til they open. The reason I circle the block is that the water temp dropped like a rock to 127 degrees from a 180 in a matter of minutes.

Now days most TBI and throttles have coolant that circulates through them. Back in the day that wasnt the case either.
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
To avoid traffic and snow I would arrive at work early and either idle out front with the heater on and frequently circle the block til they open. The reason I circle the block is that the water temp dropped like a rock to 127 degrees from a 180 in a matter of minutes.
Bet you could have saved enough gas money to afford a decent winter coat :-)

Seriously, I can't understand people who dress too lightly for the weather because they think they'll be in a warm - possibly pre-warmed - vehicle. What do they think is going to happen when the car breaks down, or the snow piles up faster than the plows can handle, and they're stranded? I not only dress for the weather, if I'm going anywhere out of easy walking distance of a warm place, I'll throw my winter-weight sleeping bag in the car, too.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller88 View Post
My focus can idle all day in the cold and it will never come up to temperature. ..
Is that with the blower running?

Even if it's 0degF, with the blower off on my car, it will keep warming up until the radiator fan comes on. Even after warmed up, if I put my blower on full speed, I can drive the coolant temp down into the 130s at idle
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Bet you could have saved enough gas money to afford a decent winter coat :-)

Seriously, I can't understand people who dress too lightly for the weather because they think they'll be in a warm - possibly pre-warmed - vehicle. What do they think is going to happen when the car breaks down, or the snow piles up faster than the plows can handle, and they're stranded? I not only dress for the weather, if I'm going anywhere out of easy walking distance of a warm place, I'll throw my winter-weight sleeping bag in the car, too.
That's why I carry a sleeping bag, heavy winter jacket and gloves/socks with me - in addition to being properly dressed to begin with.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:25 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I had a curious observation about a month ago, I was idling the car so my son would stay asleep while my wife was shopping. Anyway, the heat was on low and the radiator fans didn't come on once in a half an hour of idling. I was watching the fuel usage on Torque and it was using .225 - .250 gph, I imagine if I had turned the heat up it would have overcooled the engine.

In contrast, the intrepid had a smaller engine and used about .450 gph and I could run the heat full blast and never cool the engine.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:31 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Bet you could have saved enough gas money to afford a decent winter coat :-)

Seriously, I can't understand people who dress too lightly for the weather because they think they'll be in a warm - possibly pre-warmed - vehicle. What do they think is going to happen when the car breaks down, or the snow piles up faster than the plows can handle, and they're stranded? I not only dress for the weather, if I'm going anywhere out of easy walking distance of a warm place, I'll throw my winter-weight sleeping bag in the car, too.
I dont wear a winter coat until it is below freezing, usually just a sweater. But I keep gloves, an extra coat, and a sock hat in the car, along with a case of water in the trunk.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Cars have had watercooling to the intake manifold, at least since the 1960s. Before that they used exhaust manifold heat at least back to the first flathead ford in 1932. They also preheated the air going into the carburetor.

In the Z20-24 NAPZ 4 cylinder nissan engine used in the 200sx, just before fuel injection was introduced in the D21 "hardbody" in 1987, they even had a heated electrical mesh in the throat of the carburetor to provide additional heat to the incoming air-fuel mix.

Venturis in carbs create higher velocity which means potential "icing" in carbs. Disconnect the additional heat sources and the car-truck was undriveable. My 63 Valients (slant 6) all had the intake connected to the exhaust with a heated bimetallic spring controlled flap that restricted the exhaust flow when cold, combined with a preheat system to the air cleaner to prevent icing.

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Old 12-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I generally don't use the heater and wear enough gear to keep warm. If I use the heater, its to keep the wife warm when she rides in my car. If the windows want to fog up I use defrost, no fan, fresh air, and lower my door window an inch to provide flow.

My car stays in the garage which virtually eliminates ice on the windows. If I had to keep it outside, I'd probably get some kind of cover.

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Old 12-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Even before I got into fuel economy, I thought it was a bit silly to idle the car to warm up. But then, I did grow up in California.

Back to that t-stat conversation, I did replace the t-stat in my Mom's Mazda3 (Duratec 23). The thermostat was fairly expensive ($30 I think?) but nowhere near $200. Came from AutoZone. It took a bit of hassle, but I was able to replace it without removing anything else at all. Don't fear it!

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