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could it be that you didnt bleed the system correctly... some new vehicles the radiator cap is lower than the thermostat causing an air pocket... you have to bleed this out... if there is a sending unit next to the thermostat housing pull it and see in antifreeze comes out.
also did yo put the thermostat in correctly ?
did you add almost 3 gallons of coolant and water ?
drain coolant, locate thermostat housing on engine at end of lower radiator hose, loosen clamp to remove hose from housing and disconnect sensor...remove bolts and carefully remove housing from engine. Inspect parts and replace anything worn (such as swollen hoses, damaged housing, defective temp sensor). Sealant is not necessary to re-install the thermostat.
Hi, the first part is data taken along with the code. The code P1281 indicates the engine is running cold (141 degrees--should be at least 190). Is your temp gage running lower than you are used to? If yes, it may be your thermostat has failed open. I have pasted below instructions for replacing the thermostat. Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for using FixYa.
3.7L & 4.7L Engines
Do not loosen radiator drain **** with system hot and pressurized. Serious burns from coolant can occur.
Do not waste reusable coolant. If solution is clean, drain coolant into a clean container for reuse. If thermostat is being replaced, be sure that replacement is specified thermostat for vehicle model and engine type.
Disconnect negative battery cable at battery.
Drain cooling system.
Raise vehicle on hoist.
Remove splash shield.
Remove lower radiator hose clamp and lower radiator hose at thermostat housing.
Remove thermostat housing mounting bolts, thermostat housing and thermostat.
Clean mating areas of timing chain cover and thermostat housing.
Install thermostat (spring side down) into recessed machined groove on timing chain cover.
Position thermostat housing on timing chain cover.
Install two housing-to-timing chain cover bolts. Tighten bolts to 115 inch lbs. (13 Nm).
Housing must be tightened evenly and thermostat must be centered into recessed groove in timing chain cover. If not, it may result in a cracked housing, damaged timing chain cover threads or coolant leaks.
Install lower radiator hose on thermostat housing.
Install splash shield.
Fill cooling system.
Connect negative battery cable to battery.
Start and warm the engine. Check for leaks.
Removal & Installation, 4.0 liter engine
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
If necessary, disconnect the coolant temperature sensor electrical connector.
Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing.
Remove the attaching bolts and lift the housing from the engine.
Remove the thermostat and gasket. To install:
Clean all gasket surfaces thoroughly.
Place the thermostat in the housing with the spring inside the engine.
Install a new gasket with a small amount of sealing compound applied to both sides.
Install the water outlet and tighten the mounting bolts to 200 inch lbs. (23 Nm) on V-8 engines and 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) on non-8 cylinder engines.
Install the upper radiator hose to the housing and tighten the hose clamp.
Connect the coolant temperature sensor connector to the housing.
Two big hoses attach to your radiator. Look for the one that goes back to the TOP of the engine. There is a housing with two bolts in it that the hose connects to. Drain radiator, remove hose. Remove the two bolts. Remove the housing. Thermostat is inside housing or still on engine. It just pulls out. Remove any remaining thermostat housing gasket material from the housing and the engine. Install new thermostat. Should only fit in one way. Install new thermostat housing gasket and the housing. Reattach hose and fill radiator, leaving the cap off. Turn on the car and wait until car gets to warm condition. You will see the water start to move from the radiator to the engine when the new thermostat releases at the proper temperature. Replace the radiator cap and clean up, you are finished.
Detach coolant hose after draining down the coolant below that level. Take off the housing, you may need a rubber mallet to break seal/gasket. You might as well replace thermostat while your there. Use new gaskets or sealant, then put on new housing nice and tight. Reattach coolant hose and refill radiator. The coolant temperature sensor is near there and if old you should change this also while you are doing this and coolant level is already lowered.
Because you have done so many repairs already I would most likely say that the gauge is defective. I would use a manual temp probe and probe the coolant temp after the car has reached operating temp. Coolant will be between 180- 230 degrees. If coolant temp checks out and you can see coolant moving in radiator and the vehicle does not overheat then you will need either a gauge or a coolant sensor. To locate the sensor it should either be mounted in the thermostat goose neck housing or the intake manifold.
Coolant Temperature Sensor/Switch (For Computer): Service and Repair ENGINE TEMPERATURE SENSOR Removal
Engine temperature sensor, 5-cylinder Jack up the car. Remove protection cover from under engine. Drain the coolant. Lower the car. Release coolant hose from thermostat housing using pliers. Remove thermostat housing. Remove sensor.
Engine temperature sensor, 6-cylinder Jack up the car. Remove protection cover from under engine. Drain the coolant. Lower the car. Loosen oil reservoir for servo pump. Remove coolant reservoir and put it to one side. Remove screws and outer/upper timing-gear casing. Remove screws and wire channel. Disconnect connector. Remove 4 screws and thermostat housing. Remove sensor and wires. Installation Engine temperature sensor, 6-cylinder Install thermostat housing sensor. Position wires in slot on thermostat housing. Note! The white marks should be positioned in lower opening of slot, from underneath. Position gasket on thermostat housing correctly and install thermostat housing using two of the screws. Position thermostat housing correctly and tighten the four screws. Position wire channel correctly and position wire in channel. Tighten screw on wire channel. Connect the connector. Install outer/upper timing-gear casing. Install coolant reservoir. Install oil reservoir for servo pump. Follow-on work, 6-cylinder Fill up coolant. Warm the engine until the thermostat opens. Switch engine oft and check the level. Re-fill if necessary. Check for leaks. Check in VADIS vehicle communication (read-out of parameter values), for current engine system, that the engine temperature shown appears correct. Engine temperature sensor, 5-cylinder Install in reverse order. Follow-on work, 5-cylinder Fill up coolant. Warm the engine until the thermostat opens. Switch engine off and check the level. Re-fill if necessary. Check for leaks. Check in VADIS vehicle communication (read-out of parameter values), for current engine system, that the engine temperature shown appears correct.