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Old 18-05-2015   #1
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Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Hi all
Few days ago my 2010 500 got herself some kind of overheating i guess - the gauge went 2 full cubes above the half (3 out of 4 fully bars - or 6 out of 8 total)
so i stopped the car and the water at the radiator was bubbling but no leaking from the cap, and the water was between MIN to Max, so i placed the gear on N and then it went down back to half (4 cubes) after the radiator fan did what it needed to for about 10+- minutes.

I took it to dealership to check if there's a problem - they couldn't find anything because the problems only shows on highspeeds, and on low speeds the car stays on the half gauge.
They replaced the thermostat, so i left the car for the night and they told me theyv'e checked it and now its ok!


I took it today and drove it for about an hour under 104 F temp / 40 C very hot day, and again after 1 hour of driving - half cube went up (5 out of 8 total cubes at the gauge).
so i stopped the car again and put it on N and it went down after 10+- minutes.

I dont know - maybe its normal with the 500's? or does the Temp' have to be at the half all the time?
the car is maintaind every 10,000 KM, Castrol magnatec 5W40 oil, original parts and runs very well

that is the first time it happaned to me, and i dont remembering driving in very hot days like this with the car temperature going much above the avarage.

Any thoughts?
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Last edited by liav24; 18-05-2015 at 16:49.
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Old 18-05-2015   #2
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by liav24 View Post
Any thoughts?
The obvious one is that for some reason the thermostatically-controlled electric cooling fan isn't cutting in. This would cause exactly the symptoms you describe, plus the car might also overheat in heavy traffic on hot days.

If it was the thermostat, you'd likely see a problem at much lower speeds and regardless of the weather, so poor diagnostics on the part of your dealer. If you paid them anything, I'd be wanting it refunded.

They don't all do this, sir. Whatever the cause, you need to get it fixed or you could be looking at replacing the head gasket - ouch!
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Last edited by jrkitching; 18-05-2015 at 19:10.
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Old 18-05-2015   #3
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Thank you for answering.
I dont know about the electronically fan but i do know that the fan works, i checked it under the hood to see when i stopped after it was a bit above the half gauge and it did.

The car wasnt overheating in the city (checked it for about 30 minutes) only on the highways and on high speeds while driving for a long time, like 30-40 minutes.
that's why it looks so weird to me..

I did payed them almost 100 pounds, and i called them after i picked up the car, and the mechanic told me on the phone its a normal case and will occur on very hot days, it feels like taking a chance that will destroy the head gasket eventually.

Dont know what to do next - maybe should i go to another dealership?
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Old 18-05-2015   #4
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by liav24 View Post
Thank you for answering.
I dont know about the electronically fan but i do know that the fan works, i checked it under the hood to see when i stopped after it was a bit above the half gauge and it did.

The car wasnt overheating in the city (checked it for about 30 minutes) only on the highways and on high speeds while driving for a long time, like 30-40 minutes.
that's why it looks so weird to me..

I did payed them almost 100 pounds, and i called them after i picked up the car, and the mechanic told me on the phone its a normal case and will occur on very hot days, it feels like taking a chance that will destroy the head gasket eventually.

Dont know what to do next - maybe should i go to another dealership?
if i were you id go to another dealership for a second opinion. can it be the car not enough air getting in? just a thought, what do you think @jrkitching? i mean at high speed generally the car is air cooled not fan/water cooled no?
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Old 18-05-2015   #5
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by ahmett View Post
what do you think @jrkitching? i mean at high speed generally the car is air cooled not fan/water cooled no?
The engine is liquid cooled (lose the coolant at high power and you'll wreck the engine in short order), but you also need a lot of airflow through the radiator if you are driving at high speed in hot weather to transfer the heat out of the coolant.

Two thoughts:

1. The radiator matrix could be blocked, either internally due to sludge or externally due to insects/debris. This would reduce the ability of the radiator to transfer heat.

2. The coolant may have too much antifreeze in it. The higher the percentage of antifreeze, the less effective the coolant will be at transferring heat away from the engine. But be careful running with too little antifreeze as there may be insufficient corrosion inhibitors to prevent sludge buildup, and then you'll be back to issue 1.

The other potential cause is that the A/C radiator is excessively preheating the air passing through the main cooling radiator. You can test this by turning off the A/C when you see the temp gauge rise above the halfway and seeing if it falls back down again. If it does, then you might consider sacrificing cooling the cabin on very hot days at high speed, in order to protect the engine. I remember driving at least one car (not a 500) where this proved necessary.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 18-05-2015 at 21:51.
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Old 18-05-2015   #6
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Bear in mind that on a typical modern car, such as the 500, the "middle" indication point can actually be very wide (so it sits there happily both in the middle of winter and in the middle of summer with mildly hard driving)- any rise above this normal point indicates a serious overheating problem that demands immediate attention.

I'm not immediately sure what the issue is here- I'd be surprised if the radiator is internally blocked on such a new car but I'd expect the radiator to be able to keep the car cool at highway speeds without the electric fan, and if the fan wasn't working I'd expect some overheating in a warm city.

I'd be more tempted to look toward a failed coolant pump (sheared fins) or an airlock.

Does your heater blow hot air when set to?

Has the car been correctly serviced with the correct antifreeze if coolant replaced?

@jrkitching, before you look at your tailgate wiring, remind me to recheck the wire colours I sent you- I have a feeling I sent you Panda, not 500 colours.
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Last edited by zanes; 18-05-2015 at 22:25.
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Old 18-05-2015   #7
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by zanes View Post
@jrkitching, before you look at your tailgate wiring, remind me to recheck the wire colours I sent you- I have a feeling I sent you Panda, not 500 colours.
S'ok, I plan on doing a full track 'n' trace before cutting anything .
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Old 18-05-2015   #8
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

One question - Is the engine REALLY overheating?
Reading the original post, it could simply be that the gauge is a bit optimistic, or slightly erratic. Nothing else in the description indicates excessive overheating - just a hot engine within acceptable parameters.
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Old 19-05-2015   #9
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Hi,
Zanes - i did asked them maybe the coolant pump wasn't working as it should be - they told me eveything is good, also said the radiator isn't blocked (they did not took it off the car from what i know).
The heater blows hot air and cold air, when the car went 1 cube above the half it was still throwing cold air.
I am the second hand, from what i know it has always been used with paraflu collant at the dealership, the car was maintaind only 2-3 times because it has only 77,000 km on it, the last time i took it myself when it was 70K, but no coolant changed, the oil is in good condition and no "white hummus" in it or around the cap.
Do i have to change this coolant every few years?

jrkitching - i use the collant 50-50 with water, dont know how it was before me but it was treated at the main dealership in my city so it suposed to be regular Paraflu?

The overheating also goes when the AC is off, that what happaned at the first time on friday.
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Old 25-05-2015   #10
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

So the dealership replaced the radiator few days ago, very expensive! about 500 euros.
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Old 25-05-2015   #11
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by liav24 View Post
So the dealership replaced the radiator few days ago, very expensive! about 500 euros.
Ouch! Dont they have Bosch Service Center's in your area?
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Old 25-05-2015   #12
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by liav24 View Post
So the dealership replaced the radiator few days ago, very expensive! about 500 euros.
YES- the coolant is a service item,
in the UK we do 2 or 3 years -as the corrosion inhibitors have a "life"

why the new radiator..??

have your fluid levels been at a constant level ? - a ZA FF member had similar issues with a cracked cylinder head..,

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Old 25-05-2015   #13
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Hi ahmett - no they dont, i live in Israel and you either have main dealerships that charges way above the normal (2-3 times above others), or you have standart garages that fix all around cars.
This specific dealership i took my car to are experts with Fiat's / Alfa's and similar, so i really payed alot for this i know, but i wanted the best for my money, just for comparing it to another dealership that only changed the thermostat and told me its safe to drive like that - if i would have listend to them i would probabley destroyed the engine by now, because it got overheated 1 hour later and i stopped the car again.

The dealer who replaced my radiator chekced the engine for leaking or cylinder / head gasket and its ok.

varesecrazy - the radiator was blocked for some reason, on low rpm it was ok and while driving the city too, but when on the highways 3000-4000 rpm's the radiator just wouldnt keep up and failing. the new radiator solved the problem + new fluids + thermostat
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Last edited by liav24; 25-05-2015 at 11:11.
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Old 25-05-2015   #14
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Re: Why does the Temp goes above half at the gauge?

Quote Originally Posted by liav24 View Post
Hi ahmett - no they dont, i live in Israel and you either have main dealerships that charges way above the normal (2-3 times above others), or you have standart garages that fix all around cars.
This specific dealership i took my car to are experts with Fiat's / Alfa's and similar, so i really payed alot for this i know, but i wanted the best for my money, just for comparing it to another dealership that only changed the thermostat and told me its safe to drive like that - if i would have listend to them i would probabley destroyed the engine by now, because it got overheated 1 hour later and i stopped the car again.

The dealer who replaced my radiator chekced the engine for leaking or cylinder / head gasket and its ok.

varesecrazy - the radiator was blocked for some reason, on low rpm it was ok and while driving the city too, but when on the highways 3000-4000 rpm's the radiator just wouldnt keep up and failing. the new radiator solved the problem + new fluids + thermostat
anyway its a good job they fixed the problem at least!
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