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Thread: Mk4 8v running cold

  
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    Chaka's Avatar
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    Mk4 8v running cold

    So just after some opinions, preferably from those of you who know the old 1.6 8v engine - the Z16SE - and its tendency to "overcool"...

    We have a Club which has been a brilliant car for us over the last year or so - and is still running just fine now. Last year we had the cambelt changed (at 56k not long after we bought it) and the garage changed the thermostat at the same time. Car is now on 68k and as I say, still starting and running well whatever the weather.

    As i know is common with this engine, it's always run cool, on both the old and new thermostat - very rarely reaching 90, usually sitting somewhere between 80-85 on an average (or even pretty hot) day.

    Now last year, i wasn't driving the car much through the winter and particular cold snaps we had, so I can't say for sure what the temp gauge was doing. This year I have been though, and for the last few weeks - all through the snow and cold weather - I've noticed the gauge staying quite low. It takes an age to get anywhere, and then we'll generally just go up and down between the second of the first two notches, and the 80 mark (not sure what temp those first two marks mean). It rarely gets all the way to 80 even, and then only when sat in traffic for a good while or really straining on a fast road - most of the time it's hovering much lower.

    Today I sat parked after a good run with the engine still running, turned the heater and fans right down (which in fairness is usually on and chucking out lots of heat) and revved a little, and within a minute or so the gauge rose to around 85 again - typical temp on a normal day - which encouraged me. I've checked the oil cap and predictably found a dollop of Mayo, but also seen the coolant running clear in the tank.

    So the question is - for this engine - is there anything unusual going on here? Should I just expect it to run that cold in the sort of weather we've been having, or is there something I need to get checked out? I'm no mechanic and only know what I've read here basically.

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    My car is running cool also. But its been stupidly cold up here,if its meyo thats not healthy and could be a head gasket problem. It happens when the coolent mixes into the oil.
    439bhp/420 torque (evotune mapped coupe)http://www.astraownersclub.com/vb/showthread.php?t=292718

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    The symptoms that you describe sound like a stuck thermostat to me. The engine/coolant temp should reach 90 (regardless of the outside temp) and sit there all day long. I wouldn't worry about the small amount of 'mayo' - that's pretty normal for the 8v engines.
    1999 Astra CDX 1.8 16v Auto Estate

    14th December 2012 - 200,000 miles

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    See his other thread.... think (HOPE!) we have established this is a common thing with this engine as mine is very similar!
    1.4 MK5 BEAST!

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    try blocking half the radiator with a bit of carboard
    GSi

    Built not Bought

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    As for Mayo, it could just need a good run to burn it off, if you do short start stop journeys it can build up as it's not getting hot enough to burn the condensation off, it happens in my dad 1.6 16v and taking it for a good run sorts it out
    ARDEN BLUE GSI

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    Thanks for the replies peeps, sorry, i should have said i ended up posting this in the petrol engine forum too - http://www.astraownersclub.com/vb/sh...d.php?t=287369

    99.9% sure this is nothing to do with the head gasket, just a really common issue with these 8v engines - the coolant is clear and hasn't dropped as far as i can tell (although buried in snow at the moment). It's NEVER stuck around the 90 mark and in normal conditions 85 is pretty much top whack. And this right now is not normal conditions!

    I might have a go at tackling the Mayo if the weather improves - if it ever does!

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    I would still suspect the thermostat.
    T
    Viva HB(DL90), Escort Mk2(1.3L), Astra E(1.6L), Astra F(1.4Merit) Astra F(Arizona),Astra E(1.6GL), Laguna(2.0RXE), Astra F(2.0CDX), Astra G(1.7LS)!!

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    My 1.4 16v sits about 4mm to the left of 90C on the needle. Always has tbh, but then i do always have the heater on

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    Thanks for the replies peeps, sorry, i should have said i ended up posting this in the petrol engine forum too - http://www.astraownersclub.com/vb/sh...d.php?t=287369

    99.9% sure this is nothing to do with the head gasket, just a really common issue with these 8v engines - the coolant is clear and hasn't dropped as far as i can tell (although buried in snow at the moment). It's NEVER stuck around the 90 mark and in normal conditions 85 is pretty much top whack. And this right now is not normal conditions!

    I might have a go at tackling the Mayo if the weather improves - if it ever does!
    From what you've said, I agree the head gasket sounds ok. However the engine temp should reach full operating temperature (90 degrees) within a short distance and stay there. On the 1.6 8v engines the thermostat should not even begin to open until 92...

    It's very common for thermostats to fail on this engine so i'd bet this is the case with yours.
    1999 Astra CDX 1.8 16v Auto Estate

    14th December 2012 - 200,000 miles

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