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Old 02-03-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default car running cold? SES says yes, but temp guage says normal

My SES light came on the other day. I get the code read and the code says low engine temp. According to the mechanical guage in the dash, I'm running about 180*

Any thoughts?

I bought a 180* thermostat, but forgot the gasket so I'm on hold for a few more hours.

Thanks,
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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When you say you forgot the t-stat gasket, are you talking about the seal (rubber ring that fits around the lip of the t-stat)? If so, that could certainly be causing coolant to start flowing before fully heating up, thus setting off the SES light--even though the coolant eventually warms up to normal.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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yes, I forgot that, but didn't forget to install it. I just didn't grab it from the parts store. I haven't made any repairs yet. I wouldn't install it without the gasket.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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i hope i dont get that, i want a 180* T-stat as soon as it'* summer
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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Still seems to be a bit confusing here.

There are 2 gaskets at that water neck. One is an actual gasket that seals the water neck. The other is a rubber "jacket" that goes around the t-stat.
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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The later model 3800s don't have a paper gasket between the t-stat housing and the LIM.

One from an older 3800 will fit, however. It'* not likely that he put a paper gasket in place from an older model. I'm willing to bet he'* missing the rubber o-ring.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vital49
The later model 3800s don't have a paper gasket between the t-stat housing and the LIM.

One from an older 3800 will fit, however. It'* not likely that he put a paper gasket in place from an older model. I'm willing to bet he'* missing the rubber o-ring.
My 98 didn't have the paper gasket (drove me nuts trying to find one) and the 2003 doesn't have one. The service manual for 98 showed one IIRC.

I wonder if putting in the paper gasket raises the distance between the top and bottom of the recess for the rubber ring around the thermostat flange and makes it easier for coolant to bypass the gasket and the thermostat. That could cause lower temperature.

I've noticed that I had a Delco thermostat from 2002 start running colder last year than it had been when faced with cold winter air. I replaced with a different brand and new gasket (Stant). When summer came the Stant kept running above 200 so I put a new Delco in and I may ahve used the old gasket on it and kept the new gasket with the Stant in the drawer. This winter the new Delco start running colder (185-180) in cold winds.

I wonder if the gasket I used had aged and harden so that some coolant bypasses it. I put the Stant back in and I'm running 196-198.

Is this something that happens with the rubber O-rings? Or do the Delco thermostat fail and lose control of the temp?
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imidazol
I wonder if putting in the paper gasket raises the distance between the top and bottom of the recess for the rubber ring around the thermostat flange and makes it easier for coolant to bypass the gasket and the thermostat. That could cause lower temperature.
It marginally raises the height. That'* not the issue though. I still run a paper gasket on all the 3800s I've owned. A gasket from a L27 fits just fine on the L36s and L67s.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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I got the jacket for the Tstat. Super simple install. Hopefully this rectifies the problem.

Thanks for the help.
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