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Author Topic: Engine running cold  (Read 704 times)

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Engine running cold
« on: March 06, 2021, 07:18:17 pm »
Hello, friends. I hope you have all been keeping well and avoiding the dreadful corona virus. Hopefully we will be out of the lockdown soon.

Now, I was wondering if you might be able to help me with a little problem I have with my Alhamb. It’s a 1.9 diesel, 115bhp 2006 model. Nice.

The coolant temp gauche is almost always reading about 80-85C. Even on a long run with hills, it just about reaches 85C. Never bang in the middle at 90C where it should be.

Meanwhile, the oil (oil, not coolant) temp gauge is bang in the middle at a nice steady 100C. If it helps, I think the car hasn’t been getting great mpg (maybe 33mpg or so) and when I put the hot air blower on, it blows luke warm. Definitely not “hot”. It was however 5C outside when I took it out today. When the car was idling, it took just a few minutes to go down to 75C or so.

What do you all think, what should I do!! I like to keep my Alhamb in A1 condition so all advice very much appreciated.

Thank you all again.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2021, 07:51:45 pm »
Sounds to me like you need a new thermostat then. Though if your booster heater isn't working (which I don't think yours is), that might account for some of the lack of heat from it from cold. I'd expect it to get upto temp eventually. Real check would be to get it fully warmed up and see if the radiator seems warm - if so you know the stat has opened, it does sound like its opening early or not closing properly.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 08:06:28 pm »
Thank you very much Brian, I think I might take it to the garage and ask them to see if they can fix the aux heater too while they are at it. I think they replaced the thermostat about 2 years ago when I had a leak so I suspect it’s developed a fault
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Oddballsicknote

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2021, 04:37:17 pm »
SirDavid mine runs exactly the same never hits that 90 mark always 80-85 even on long runs down motorway and when idling temp gauge slowly drops to round 70 within 5 mins or so would this be caused by aux heater as mine is dead got 12v to it just haven't had time to get underneath it and strip it to see if it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. Hopefully you'll find out what's up with it and let other fellow members know 😀👍

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 08:42:04 am »
Definitely will do! I have it booked into my favourite garage for tomorrow, they’re usually good at most things. I would rate them 8 out of 10, the main thing there is just make sure they don’t let their apprentice loose on your car because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and some of his errors could be quite bad (such as putting too much oil in the car). Also there’s one guy in his 20s who doesn’t really know how to read graphs from the diagnostic machine but usually he gets a second opinion from his boss who does, thankfully. The older guys though are really good, they just seem to instinctively know what’s wrong with a car. I spoke with him on the phone and he said it does sound like a temp valve stuck open but he always likes to check by starting the car from cold and seeing how fast the radiation warms up. He also said it could be a few other things but will need to take a look.

I said while he’s at it can he see if it would be a big job to fix the aux heater, I would do it myself but my back hurts and I don’t have a ramp. If it’s just a case of resetting some software then they would be ideal. If it involves changing a glow plug then that’s fine too. Anything more and it’s probably not bothering with. Also, while the coolant’s out, could he put some fresh coolant in there. I’ve known garages reuse the coolant by putting it in a bucket and then they pour it back in, complete with grit and spiderwebs from the bottom of the bucket. A lot of them just don’t care these days, in fact I think some secretly get a kick from doing things slightly wrong because how else could you explain it really.

Out of interest, oddball, what sort of mpg do you get from your Alhamb please? My theory is that mpg will be lower because I am basically running a heater (radiator) and dumping all that energy into the outside air even though the engine hasn’t got enough itself (because engine too cold). Also if I put the blower motor on the temp goes really low so clearly there’s not enough heat in the system, presumably because it’s all being dumped out the rad.

 [THANKS]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Oddballsicknote

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2021, 10:02:48 am »
Hopefully they will find an easy and cheap fix summit simple that gets over looked I drive a sharan (same engine) but I'm in the low 30s mpg if I go for a long run and I'm at 70 ill be mid 30s if I slow to 50 (6th gear) I can get high 30s and twice I've been able to hit 40 mpg (once 42 mpg) other that that it's always in the 30s mpg with the temp gauge at 85 live reading show 81-82 and doesn't get any higher I've replaced the ECT sensor (grey plug) and the thermostat both aftermarket ones from eurocarparts and before I replaced them when driving it used to go down to 70'c after replacing them now sits at 85 never at that magic 90'c, I'm going to replace the run on pump motor bushes today as I'm waiting for my driveshaft bearing to arrive on Thursday and see if that makes any difference as I know the aux heater on mine is also dead

Offline regw

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 10:15:25 pm »
Mine doesn't have an aux heater as the PO removed it
I reckon they just warm the lump up quicker in winter so you'll get heat to the
cabin quicker, but it should have no effect on the actual running temperature
once the engine has warmed up.
I'd be running the IR thermometer over it to get an idea what's going on ( or not)

MPG: I get 50 mpg on long runs cruising around 70 in 6th
with occaisional spurts of 'enthusiasm' if there's no cams about
Done this multiple times going to Middlesbrough and back from Bristol

Offline brianh

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2021, 10:34:09 pm »
What probabbly has as much of an effect, is the amount of coolant flowing round the heating system. The capacity is a lot higher than most cars due to the extra pipework going to the rear heater and the rear heater itself (which is still there unless its been removed of course). And all that coolant is being fed around that part even with the thermostat closed, plus the pipes that run under the car aren't covered or insulated as far as i've seen, so subject to cooling as well.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 12:36:12 am »
Hopefully they will find an easy and cheap fix summit simple that gets over looked I drive a sharan (same engine) but I'm in the low 30s mpg if I go for a long run and I'm at 70 ill be mid 30s if I slow to 50 (6th gear) I can get high 30s and twice I've been able to hit 40 mpg (once 42 mpg) other that that it's always in the 30s mpg with the temp gauge at 85 live reading show 81-82 and doesn't get any higher I've replaced the ECT sensor (grey plug) and the thermostat both aftermarket ones from eurocarparts and before I replaced them when driving it used to go down to 70'c after replacing them now sits at 85 never at that magic 90'c, I'm going to replace the run on pump motor bushes today as I'm waiting for my driveshaft bearing to arrive on Thursday and see if that makes any difference as I know the aux heater on mine is also dead

Thermostats are hot and miss from factors/euros. I would say if you fit a genuine or behr etc then normal running temp will be achieved.
My 1.9 used to run cool even with aux heater inop. Once I fitted a behr stat it was spot on.
As said above the aux heater just speeds up the running temp providing cabin heat quicker once you to remove the stat controls that.
With these PD lumps it’s rare you will actually get stat to open unless on motorway for prolonged periods. But a week stat will allow coolant to flow through rad cooling the running temp down.

Fit a OE stat and I am convinced your running temp will be at 90 regardless of aux heater operation.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 12:53:14 am »
Definitely will do! I have it booked into my favourite garage for tomorrow, they’re usually good at most things. I would rate them 8 out of 10, the main thing there is just make sure they don’t let their apprentice loose on your car because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and some of his errors could be quite bad (such as putting too much oil in the car). Also there’s one guy in his 20s who doesn’t really know how to read graphs from the diagnostic machine but usually he gets a second opinion from his boss who does, thankfully. The older guys though are really good, they just seem to instinctively know what’s wrong with a car. I spoke with him on the phone and he said it does sound like a temp valve stuck open but he always likes to check by starting the car from cold and seeing how fast the radiation warms up. He also said it could be a few other things but will need to take a look.

I said while he’s at it can he see if it would be a big job to fix the aux heater, I would do it myself but my back hurts and I don’t have a ramp. If it’s just a case of resetting some software then they would be ideal. If it involves changing a glow plug then that’s fine too. Anything more and it’s probably not bothering with. Also, while the coolant’s out, could he put some fresh coolant in there. I’ve known garages reuse the coolant by putting it in a bucket and then they pour it back in, complete with grit and spiderwebs from the bottom of the bucket. A lot of them just don’t care these days, in fact I think some secretly get a kick from doing things slightly wrong because how else could you explain it really.

Out of interest, oddball, what sort of mpg do you get from your Alhamb please? My theory is that mpg will be lower because I am basically running a heater (radiator) and dumping all that energy into the outside air even though the engine hasn’t got enough itself (because engine too cold). Also if I put the blower motor on the temp goes really low so clearly there’s not enough heat in the system, presumably because it’s all being dumped out the rad.

 [THANKS]

You seem very down on garages. In my time in garages I have never known anyone to reuse old coolant. They always replace with new as it’s easier than faffing with buckets and funnels.
Also find it rather offensive saying make sure apprentice isn’t working on the car as he does not know what he is doing. That’s the whole point of being an apprentice they are learning. He should be under supervision so it is ok to have them work on your car as they will have someone showing them and checking what they are doing.
All Technicans were apprentices once myself included,as an apprentice I was more meticulous than I am now purely because I learning and knew mistakes could be made but I always had the back up of the mentor I was with. Also as an apprentice complacency hadn’t set in so things were checked and double checked. For example oil levels. I have seen experience guys fill an engine with the stated amount in litres without dipping after to make sure it’s showing correct.

In short it’s fine to have apprentices working on your car as they are working under the guidance of more experienced staff. I would also say a younger tech is quite as capable of not more than an older tech at reading graphs as they have grown up using IT where as older techs have had to learn and adapt to technology..

It won’t be a ‘temp valve’ stuck open it will be a weak stat that opens slightly with water pressure behind it,in a pan of boiling water it works fine but with water pressure and some heat it will open. Put an OE stat in and it will be fine.

Rant over

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 06:13:21 am »
Hi there, sorry didn’t in any way mean to be rude about apprentices in general, I think apprenticeships are a very good idea and young people are our future so it’s important that they receive the training they need and can develop successful careers in the car industry. Properly supervised, the work of an apprentice is no different from the work of a highly experienced and fully qualified mechanic.

I’m just a little anxious about this garage when it comes to this one particular guy working on the car, he’s a nice lad but I don’t think they double check the work. They are really good at most things but once I had to drain 1 litre of excess oil out of my car because it had been overfilled. Thankfully I am always very gentle on the engine but had I been reccingnit up or towing a caravan up steep hills then it could have blown a gasket??

Not the apprentices fault though, sounds more like a management and quality assurance issue.

Thank u all for the really helpful and informative replies about the thermostat, hopefully using a better quality one will get the issue sorted. I’ve been up since 5am this morning thinking about it, really can’t wait to get it sorted!!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 06:15:40 am by SirDavidAlhambra »
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 06:33:42 am »
There were a few other examples too, for instance once I saw him hitting the wiper motor spindles with a hammer in order to try and get the wiper arms off. I had to explain to him that what he was doing will just smash up the motor and what he needed to do was find one of those little puller gadgets to help prise it off.

Also he inflated my tyre to 27psi, I had to explain that it needs to be absolute minimum of 35 as per the instructions behind the fuel cap otherwise the tyre could overheat and blow up on a motorway.

All advice was offered in friendly supportive and kind way by the way, definitely not patronising or complainy

Then there was the time I wanted a dash cam fitted and the car stereo had to come out. Again I had to explain that thumping the volume knob is not the correct way to remove a stuck car stereo, especially if the little cap thing in the volume knob has fallen off as a result (better to gentle wiggle it while pulling).

I do appreciate I am one of those annoying customers who always floats around a garage but they all seem to like me there and I’ve suggested various improvements over the year which they tell me have helped them a lot. For instance, they don’t have much parking space so I suggested a much more logical method of arranging customer cars and they now spend much less time constantly moving them about. Also they hired a friendly and welcoming receptionist after I suggested that the chief mechanics time was better spent fixing cars plus also he is quite a grumpy person and it would be more welcoming to customers to have somebody trained in customer service plus it would mean the phone gets answered faster. I also noticed that one guy was parking automatic cars by putting them in park but wasn’t pulling up the handbrake, so they have sorted that now too.

They are really good and always do their best to fix the car. A really good garage and definitely the best I have found.

It must be a really difficult job, modern cars are so complex and they have to work with so many different models it is amazing what they’re able to do so skillfully
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 06:36:05 am by SirDavidAlhambra »
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2021, 06:35:24 pm »
Hi everyone, they changed the thermostat and now it gets up to 90c in the middle after I’ve given it a bit of a run.

They however underfilled it with coolant so I had to add another litre to the tank when I got it back home. I guess they didn’t let it get back up to temp after they changed the temperature dependent coolant control valve. Either way it’s fine now and I like my coolant mix strong so was good that I could add a neat litre in.

They cleared the code on the aux heater but the man insisted it doesn’t have a glow plug and glow plugs are only in the engine so I didn’t push it as I figured he wouldn’t be able to fix it anyway if he didn’t know that. But hopefully clearing the code might do something.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2021, 07:30:55 pm »
Its nothing unusual to find some trapped air has worked its way out after driving it and in need of a top up. As long as it stays at the level afterwards you should be fine.

Aux heater your probabbly going to have to either fix it yourself or ignore it. I doubt many garages would want anything to do with it really if they haven't been dealing with them before.

Offline Chrispb

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 11:45:29 pm »


They cleared the code on the aux heater but the man insisted it doesn’t have a glow plug and glow plugs are only in the engine so I didn’t push it as I figured he wouldn’t be able to fix it anyway if he didn’t know that. But hopefully clearing the code might do something.
You've probably read comments about the later heater D5Z-F being troublesome usually the internal controller gets fried. The cost of a new controller used to be half the cost of a new heater and is not really cost effective.
New complete heaters  can pop up on Ebay now and again and maybe something you can manage to change yourself saving on garage costs.
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2009 Kia Sedona GS In Black 2.9CRDI 183PS. 5 Speed Manual WAV.
2003 MK2 Galaxy Ghia In Solid Black 1.9 TDI 115PS. 5 Speed Automatic.

Upgraded Eberspaecher booster heater  to independent heating with 7 day timer.

With VCDS lite (full version) need a code clearing or want to scan for faults in the north kent area, PM me.
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Offline Oddballsicknote

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2021, 08:11:48 am »
SirDavid what make thermostat did you have put in? Dealer one? And now it's running at 90'c is the MPG better also? I'm gonna change my thermostat again and hopefully will be normal running at normal temperature, I did fit one from euro car parts "Circoli" opening temperature of 87'c?

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2021, 10:44:22 am »
Never use circoli it’s utter garbage,I found that out the hard way with a water pump and thermostat on a previous car.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2021, 04:41:55 pm »
Hi friends, yes I will definitely check eBays for a new heater, it would be lovely to have that thing working again in time for next winter and would be a nice little project to do.

The MPG has gone up considerably now. It was around 33mpg which is far too low and now I'm easily getting 39mpg even on short runs. It still takes a good 15 mile run before the temperature gets right the way up to 90C but I figure it's chilly outside (5C when I took it out the other night) and the Alhamb has a very efficient engine.

One thing I did notice is just how difficult it is to get the Alhamb revving up without making the thing fly along like a spaceship. I was hoping to give it a bit of welly to try and warm the thing up faster but even just touching the throttle makes it fly along. I tried going up a steep hill to give the engine a bit of a workout but was only able to use about 33% throttle because otherwise it would have been going far too fast, like a ferrari but bigger and more reliable. These cars are very impressive, very impressive indeed

I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Oddballsicknote

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2021, 08:31:36 pm »
33 mpg to 39 mpg that's a big difference what's it like on a good run? I'm going to ring VW and price up thermostat with housing as I want mine to run as efficiently as yours 👍

Offline brianh

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2021, 08:38:38 pm »
Hi friends, yes I will definitely check eBays for a new heater, it would be lovely to have that thing working again in time for next winter and would be a nice little project to do.

The MPG has gone up considerably now. It was around 33mpg which is far too low and now I'm easily getting 39mpg even on short runs. It still takes a good 15 mile run before the temperature gets right the way up to 90C but I figure it's chilly outside (5C when I took it out the other night) and the Alhamb has a very efficient engine.

One thing I did notice is just how difficult it is to get the Alhamb revving up without making the thing fly along like a spaceship. I was hoping to give it a bit of welly to try and warm the thing up faster but even just touching the throttle makes it fly along. I tried going up a steep hill to give the engine a bit of a workout but was only able to use about 33% throttle because otherwise it would have been going far too fast, like a ferrari but bigger and more reliable. These cars are very impressive, very impressive indeed



Can't you select a lower gear on the auto box or limit which gear it goes into? 33 is somewhat lower than I'd expect off the diesel, the petrol on a motorway run gets near to that!

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2021, 06:56:33 am »
Not sure which make of thermostat it was but I told the garage to use the most expensive one from Euro Parts because my personal philosophy is that cheap parts are often a waste of time. I do trust those guys so I am sure they would have got a Bosch or something like that

The gain in mpg is indeed impressive. I regularly used to get 44mpg so I am hoping it will go back up to that when I start doing longer journeys again (obviously with short trips more energy is wasted as the engine heats up)

Also good point about selecting a lower gear manually, for some reason I completely forgot I could do that!!

Definitely a job worth doing in my opinion, the savings in fuel should end up easily paying for it
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Orbis

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2021, 12:53:05 pm »
I replaced the thermostat on my tdi last year because it also didn't get up to temperature as well. It was floating between 70 and 80 degrees and the booster heather was constantly on ofcourse. I replaced the thermostat with one from Wahler. I have seen that the original thermostat in the plastic housing on my 2.3 is also from Wahler so it should be good. Now the temp gauge gets always bang on the 90 degrees again and the booster heather shuts down again.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Engine running cold
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2021, 10:20:53 pm »
Behr/wahler are normally the OE suppliers particularly for German marques, the only make of stat I fit these days as there are so many inferior males that either don’t work out the box or don’t last long.

 

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