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Re: HOT OR NOT
While the engine is cool, check the coolant level (Never open a radiator cap when the engine is hot).
If it's low, too low to actually be in contact with the sensor, false readings are possible.
Start the engine and fill the radiator. let the engine run for a while until you see the coolant begin to circulate. If the level drops, add more coolant. Keep doing this until the coolant circulates without the level dropping.
This should not only keep the engine cool, but give you more consistant readings. The heater should also start living up to it's name. ;-)
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The dash gauges are notoriously inaccurate. But it is possible that the thermostat is stuck open. Does the upper radiator hose get hot after engine warmed up? Also feel both heater hoses-when engine is warm, both should be hot-indicating the coolant is circulating through the heater core. If heater hoses are hot, and you still have cold air, the temperature blend door on the heater case may not be operating.
Try a new thermostat and see if engine warms up faster and better.
As long as your gauge is still moving up, there's no real problem. You have heat coming from the heater. It's only a problem if it's getting too hot. What's going on is that you don't let the vehicle run long enough, and it's so cold outside that the engine stays cold. It raises in temp when your stopped because there's no airflow through the radiator. The thermostat just heats up the engine block, and won't change the reading on the gauge. When this goes bad your car will overheat in just a few miles.
appears we have an Air lock scenario and you will need to perform a
the vehicle on level ground, when cold remove coolant filler cap,
start engine and leave to idle, turn heater on full and blower to
max. When engine reaches operating temperature watch and listen near
coolant filler, keep clear as gurgling and hopefully a boil over
should occur. Top up with very warm coolant and wait as it may do it
for heat inside vehicle if warm replace coolant cap but keep an eye
on temperature gauge as the ~Air lock may have moved on from heater
matrix/core so proceedure needs to be carried out again from COLD.
If No change then look at thermostat but I'm sure your problem lies with the heater Matrix/Core! Please
press the Blue button to appraise my FREE Efforts, Thank You!
With engine cold, remove rad cap & check level in rad. Top it up if needed to 1 or 2 inches from top. Start engine, turn heater on (not defrost) and observe coolant level as engine warms up, add if necessary. Radiator fan should be off, and only come on when engine reaches normal operating temperature, for a short time, then shut off again. Let it run until that happens about 3 times, then put rad cap back on. If temperature gauge climbs up over normal toward hot, too much, shut it off. Do you now have heat? Is rad fan acting as I described? Let me know.