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Thread: Low temperature

  
  1. #1
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    dantastic79's Avatar
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    Low temperature

    Hi, i have an R reg 1998 mk4 1.6 8v astra hatch. The temperature gauge mainly stays in the far left cold section and will only move to about 85 if on the motorway, and about 90 if in traffic. If not in traffic or on the motoway it will drop right down to the cold section again even after a 2 hr drive.

    I have taken it to vauxhall (who "think" it is ok, and put it down to cold weather?? and wont even tell me if this is normal for a mk4 1.6 8v astra) i have taken it to a local garage who have spent a whole day looking at it and can't find a fault and said it seems to be working correctly apart from the temp gauge (which they tested as ok). The only thing either garage said is that a diognostic test on the computer might reveal the problem.

    If I start it from cold and put my hand on the top of the radiator it stays cold for a while and then gets warm quickly as the thermostat opens. How ever it seems to open when the temp gauge just about moves up to the first line in the cold section and then drops again as the thermostat opens and lets coolant round the radiator. The fuel economy seems ok, no warning lights on the dash, no high idle speed and i always get heat fromt the heater although i get hotter heat in traffic or on the motorway.

    Is this normal for a 1.6 8v mk4 astra? if there an easy way to test the actual temp of the coolant? is it likely that it is operating correctly but there is an electical fault somewhere with the temp gauge reading and would a diognostic computer test reveal this?

    Please help as vauxhall seem to be useless at answering any of these questions unless i pay AGAIN to have it looked at. an no1 can even tell me if this is just normal for a mk4 1.6 8v astra (all my friends cars and previous cars i have had just warm up to about mid way on the temp gauge an stay there)

  2. #2
    Rosco83
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    same happened with my old 1.6 8 valve Mk4/G

    every garage that i know personally said it was ok, even my Vauxhall dealer.... but i had a funny feeling i knew it was sumthin nasty. Head Gasket on its way out.

    check temp of your heaters when engine temp goes down, do they run colder? check for "Mayo" under oil cap etc. Listen for it starting on 3 cylinders etc. Fingers crossed it could just be your thermostat thats faulty, but just letting you know my experience. This was on a 45K engine.

    did all the work (excluding head skimming & pollishing) with a friend.

    Also check for it burning oil, or using water etc.... its all tell tale signs

  3. #3
    Rosco83
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    P.S welcome to Astra-Sport... it should have been a nicer welcome than that

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    there is some "mayo" under the oil filler cap and i do get less heat when it is reading cold, but i thought head gasket problems usually caused overheating.vauxhall dismissed this and put it down to lots of short journeys in the cold (just got it so i dont know, but i do 80 mile round trips about 3 times a week) Also it is odd how the thermostat opens at a very low temp according to the gauge but the local garage said they tested it and it opens at the correct temp. (assuming they have actually tested it)

  5. #5
    Rosco83
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    well, from my experience what they say is true.... lots of short journey's etc does/can cause moisture build up inside the engine and on these short journeys the engine doesnt get hot enough for it to burn away. But.. after a long journey if its still there thats not a good sign.

    A head gasket going will cause the car to overheat if the water disapears (look for steam from your exhaust & check water level) Mine was fine for a week or so... but started firing on 3 and then it drank water one day. heaters went cold & bingo... head gasket gone.

    Double check everything, make sure that there isnt too much mayo getting produced. As a 2 hour drive like you said should have seen it off.

    Fingers crossed its not the head gasket, but my Astra was the same as yours, a 98 and its seemingly quite common for them to need replacing.

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    I had this problem on my 1.6 8v, heater output was OK but in cold weather, especially with the heater on, the temp gauge would only just rise out of the cold sector, in summer it would go right to 90º.

    I fitted a new thermostat and it cured the problem, now I get a fast warm up and a brilliant output from the heater. The gauge rises to 90º and stays there - before it tended move up and down a bit on the gauge.

    Only problem is, on the 8v engine you have to remove the timing belt to get access to the thermostat (its different on the 16v) - not difficult though if you know what to do!

    Don't worry about some mayo inside the oil filler cap, all 8v's do this. Mine had a load inside the cap last winter but since the thermostat has been replaced, I only get a trace - never any drop in coolant though.

  7. #7
    Rosco83
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    fingers crossed this is all it is mantamad

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    my sri does the same with the heaters i was told its due to the cold weather too, mine has 72k on the clock and is a 2000 reg 1.8 16v

    look for steam from your exhaust & check water level
    I dont get steam from the exhaust as such but i do have a stainlees steel exhaust which always cause steam/smoke when warming up in cold weather, and i check my oil, coolant/water every week and they dont move at all, and i drive about 100 miles per day 5 days a week so if my head gasket was on its way out im guessing it would have gone by now

    also no mayo at all for me

    am i right or just being nieve
    Balck Astra K Elite 1.4 Turbo

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    cheers, as it has just been serviced and has new oil and coolant i shall keep an eye on the mayo situation and water levels to see if it might be the head gasket. if they seem ok then might take it to a different garage for a second opinion on the thermostat. I find it hard to believe i need a diognostic computer test as vauxhall want to do as no warning lights on, and in traffic the temp gauge gets up to 90, if it gets higher the fan kicks in and brings it back down suggesting the temp gauge is working correctly.

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    Sorry if i sound patronising i dont intend to but if you keep the heaters on it brings the engine temperature down anyway. Obviously in the summer you wont have the heaters on so the engine temperature will rise. Chances are you already knew that and i made myself sound like a tit

    As for head gasket my car drank the water when my head gasket went but symptoms vary depending on where the blow is if you know what i mean. IE you could get water out the exhaust, or heavy steam, water in your oil, exhaust emissions in yer water etc etc. Coz of where my blow was it was jus pumping it all straight out the exhaust

    When they tested my head gasket they got a tube with some chemicals in, took the cap off the water tank and put this tube there and ran the engine, more often than not if the gaskets gone the chemicals change colour reacting with the exhaust fumes in the water, apparently this is the most realiable test. ask any garage bout it!
    Astra 1.8 SRi, Z18XE, 5 Door, Star Silver ---RIP 18/12/2006---
    Vectra B 2.0 DTi LS



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