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changing the thermostat

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Old 06-01-2015, 09:44 PM
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Default changing the thermostat

hi guys ! i have a 97 buick lesabre 3800 v6 ! i just got this car not too many months ago and i was wondering if i should change the thermostat ! the guy i got the car from had the intake gasket changed because of the recall on them ! the thermostat is still working good, don,t overheat and put out good heat ! should i change it or wait for awhile, like before winter ? also why is there 2 fans for the radiator ? every car i had before only had 1 fan ! no biggy, just wondering why there are 2 fans ! thanks guys !
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:07 PM
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The main reason to change the thermostat is because it'* running too hot or too cold, or if you want to lower the vehicle operating temperature. Other than that, I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And I have never given any thought to the 2 fans thing. My guess is air conditioning mainly. I have noticed in my Park Avenue, there is a main fan, and a secondary fan. The main fain is bigger and heavier, has 2 speeds, and is shrouded. The secondary is single speed, not shrouded, and runs whether the main fain is on low or high. It also depends on the car. If you are talking about RWD cars with the engine driven fan, the fans are usually sized and shrouded accordingly.

Another useless tidbit, my Regal has 2 fans also, only near as I can tell, they are both single speed, and it uses 1 fan vs 2 when the PA would be switching the main between low and high.

I would rather have too much fan, than not enough anyway
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:18 AM
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I just switched my 97 Bonneville to a 180* thermostat. I figure the UIM has trouble dealing with the EGR heat so dropping engine temp 15* can't hurt. If there'* not enough heat in the winter I'll take 15 minutes and switch it back but I've had cars with 160* stats with great heat and cars with 195* ones that had crap heat so a colder stat doesn't always mean insufficient heat.
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:08 PM
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If the car is running fine and the existing thermostat is maintaining proper operating temperature, then why mess with it? If the car starts overheating or something, then it'* time to look at the thermostat.
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Old 06-02-2015, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Human View Post
If the car is running fine and the existing thermostat is maintaining proper operating temperature, then why mess with it? If the car starts overheating or something, then it'* time to look at the thermostat.
Because apparently you don't know the benefits of running a 3800 with a lower t-stat.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Because apparently you don't know the benefits of running a 3800 with a lower t-stat.
True, but you also have to get the temperature down to be able to make use of the lower temp thermostat, whether it be getting the fans running sooner, or highway driving.

That is assuming it even would make a difference in this application.

I plan to stay stock in my NA'*, and saw no benefit from running a 180* in my case. YMMV
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:34 PM
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I was wondering if a lower thermostat would cause a P0128?
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:43 PM
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I know what you're saying but I'm also a strong adherent to the philosophy of 'if it ain't broke, it don't need fixin'. When something does break is when I do my research to see what alternatives are available that will yield practical benefits over OEM.

Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Because apparently you don't know the benefits of running a 3800 with a lower t-stat.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
I was wondering if a lower thermostat would cause a P0128?
Yes, but I believe GM'* magic number is 170*, so if you drop to a 160* thermostat without a tune to back it up, that code could set.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:37 AM
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I'm a huge proponent of "get it before it gets you" so I took care of the intake manifold/gasket issues shortly after I brought the car home as well as plugs, wires fuel filter, air filter, valve cover gaskets and flushing out the Dexcool. I'd also rather do a $15 thermostat in my driveway instead of having what could be an 18 year old one stick closed hundreds of miles from home.

Running a 160 may set a code and probably will hurt fuel mileage because the engine often won't reach the 170 mark mentioned above.

As for the fans it would certainly be nice to have them come on sooner but unless you drive strictly city side streets or spend all your time in traffic it'* not an issue. Even cruising down a back road at 25 on a hot day the airflow is enough that the fans are not an issue.
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