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Old 06-19-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
Busted2000SE
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Starting to get warm...only sometimes

Ok here is a good one. My 2000 SE 2.0 DOHC has 110k miles on it now. Around town and city streets temp is perfect. If I get on the freeway and run 75-80mph for more than about 15min, the temp gauge starts to tip over to the red...never got there yet, but going in that direction. It will stay tilted over to the red for 1-2 min, then it will come back to straight up in the normal position, all while never changing my road speed or anything else. Then about 3-4 miles later it will repeat the process, sometimes getting hotter than the last time, but always cooling back down to the normal position.


Coolant is fresh and full, doesn't smell like exhaust or have strange crap in it. Engine performance is fine too.

Any solid ideas??


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Old 06-19-2013, 02:17 PM   #2
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Your thermostat is getting tired. replace it.
While your at it flush the cooling system. (unless you did this recently)
(do not do a pressurization test on it though.. Why blow a hole in your radiator for no reason...)

Last edited by Elizabeth; 06-19-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Funny, I bought a thermostat for it but never replaced it because I didn't think that was the issue. I'll give it a try. Any special tricks I should know about?
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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nah, no tricks.

But, if your thermostat housing has never been replaced, then now's the time to do it, since you're gonna have to remove it to access the thermostat anyway. This forum is full of threads about the plastic housing and/or rubber o-ring deteriorating on old Focii, causing slow coolant leaks. Do the job once and it will be the last time you ever have to touch it again.

When I was shopping around, it seemed like most of the new housings came with a thermostat preinstalled; ~$45. Since you already have one, you might be able to save a couple of bucks if you call around and ask if anyone sells a housing minus the thermostat.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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No need for housing, you routinely pull only the front cover, not the entire housing. The new stat must have the small hole in outside edge facing straight up 12 o'clock or you trap air in the system. Now, if no one has ever changed the entire housing you may well want to do it. They eventually ALL fail. You can fail one yourself and quick by overtightening it when you put it on. Many do it. They do not nearly tighten up like a regular bolt does.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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typically if you're fine around town but overheat on the freeway its a radiator issue or thermostat cant open enough.

over ~35mph all your cooling is ram air, so if it's over heating/getting warm on the freeway the rad may have some blockages, maybe too much antifreeze, not enough water, or crapass thermostat.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #7
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I'm the original owner and I know the t stat has never been replaced, let alone the cover. I will look into getting a new housing, I don't want any leaks.

I replaced the radiator 3-4 years ago because the original one started leaking from the side tank. I will try the t-stat and re evaluate.

Thanks everyone. I will post update after I swap it out.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
No need for housing, you routinely pull only the front cover, not the entire housing. The new stat must have the small hole in outside edge facing straight up 12 o'clock or you trap air in the system. Now, if no one has ever changed the entire housing you may well want to do it. They eventually ALL fail. You can fail one yourself and quick by overtightening it when you put it on. Many do it. They do not nearly tighten up like a regular bolt does.

Ok so the thermo I bought from Napa several months ago but never installed does not have a hole drilled in it. Not wanting to make a ton of runs to the parts store, can I just drill my own hole in this one? If so what size?

Just thinking out loud, maybe I should just take the old out and measure the hole in that one and duplicate on my new one.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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yes you can drill your own hole. i beleive 1/8 or 3/16 is fine. if you have the tools/drill at home, wait until you pull the old one and you can verify the size.

ONLY drill one hole and dont make it bigger thinking you got some mad cooling skills, if its too big or too many, it will just act like its open all the time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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You can easily drill a hole I do it all the time to stats without one. 1/16" to 3/32" works perfectly. If you buy stat with the little piddle valve in it I remove that too, sometimes they stick shut. Hole needs to be as far out as it can on edge but clearing the gasket plus remembering the gasket will squeeze in a bit too. Hole needs to line straight up with the cast in notch in cover for the bleed hose that runs to plastic bottle. The motor does not even recognize the small hole, it bleeds air but very little coolant.

During the summer these cars actually have the low fan on a great deal of the time even at 70mph, despite what people think. Maybe 50-60% during the heat of the day. During the winter though they may not come on for a week at a time.
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