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Overcooled 4.6?

Old 3/1/19, 08:32 AM
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Exclamation Overcooled 4.6?

Hey guys, weird question that doesn't seem to be commonly asked, why is my 4.6L overcooled?

It's winter where I live and when I take my mustang out unless I'm on the highway or driving for more than 30 minutes city it doesn't get to operating temperature. I try to drive it really gently until at operating temperature (0-25 in maybe three seconds or so acceleration) as it's a 98 and I want it to last a while since it's my first car. But driving to work (a solid 15 minute city driving) barely brings it above dead cold. Am I driving too lightly or is there another issue I should look into? There are currently no mods to the engine.
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Old 3/1/19, 08:53 AM
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Are all you fluids up to proper level. Antifreeze level? Maybe your T stat is stuck open? I would think you should have some good heat after 15 minutes of driving. You could put a piece of cardboard over part or your radiator to see if that helps.
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Old 3/1/19, 08:56 AM
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I just had the coolant flush kit done by Goodyear (my dad won't let me do a flush in the driveway because he doesn't want the concrete stained) and my thermostat changed, thinking it was stuck open. Still the same issue.
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Old 3/2/19, 11:27 AM
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Not enough info.

Where are you? What's temperatures like in winter?

May be a bad sender or gauge. Find the temp sender on the engine, disconnect connector, short wires. Does the gauge go full hot? Yes? Gauge is fine. Perhaps replace the temp sender.

You say it does get 'normal' after 30 minutes. Cold enough weather... sure, that makes a bit of sense. Colder air means way higher efficiencies on cooling system, it will definitely take longer to get to temp. Still, could be a bad replacement thermostat. This you'd have to do some temps at the radiator and also take into consideration the temps around ya.

Have you see these: https://www.google.com/search?q=wint...=lnms&tbm=isch
They're used to reduce the amount of cold air in winter times for these vehicles. Why? Well... you might be experiencing why. Can't get the engine temps up, cold weather.

Also, do you get *any* cabin heat after that 15 minutes? No? Might need investigating... Even a colder than 'normal' engine temp should get some heat in the system...

Do you start the car and take off? Yes? Stop doing that. Wait 2 minutes, then go. Or, wait 15 minutes, take off, then 30 minutes have elapsed and you'll be fine! Heh.

But seriously, 15 minute hops where the car doesn't get to temp due to the coldness around it is not a good long term strategy. Various items need to come to temp to continue to be good, lest they fail sooner than they would otherwise. Things like o-rings, gaskets, etc. So I'd recommend the 15/15 thing.

Considering that life is what it is though, I'm understanding. And you're making a bunch of short trips in the city. So I'd definitely say do the 3mo/3000 mile oil changes... unless Canada where it'd be 3mo/4828.032 miles. Or whatever the Canadian equivalent of 3 months is. Bob and Doug MacKenzie had a formula where it was double it and add 30 for a quick conversion so... that'd be 3+3 is 6 and 6+30 is 36 months. But that seems too long.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

/Definitely do not convert the months, ok? 3 months, I'm joking...

//Silly I have to 'in case' that, right? Well, people are what they are, and my brain is what it is...

Last edited by houtex; 3/2/19 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 3/4/19, 07:25 AM
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Hey Houtex, thank you for your reply! I live in Pennsylvania, United States, where the winter is 15* one day and 40* the next! On average, the air temperature in the winter would be around 30* though. I did just have the thermostat replace with a stock 180* I believe it is. I can try to install a winter front as soon as I get it out. It's been in the garage for about a month now as snow has prevented me from getting it out (more to protect the paint job than my driving in the snow, the garage is on a hill a quarter mile from my house). I do get decent cabin heat, enough to get and stay comfortable. However, having that on calls for turning the defroster on, and I thought that contributed to my problem of using too much heat so I stopped using heat and still had a problem. Per Engineering Explained's (popular car science YouTube channel) suggestion, I turn on my engine and let it run for about a minute before driving, or until the RPMs drop from 1.5k to about 800. I don't want to idle too long as that uses a lot of fuel and apparently because it's not at operating temperature there can be incomplete combustion of fuel, which then runs down and degrades the oil. I dislike how close work is regarding the length of driving, but when I take my dad's 2007 Toyota Highlander (I4 engine), it gets to operating temperature very quickly! I don't know what that is about.

Thankfully I don't live in Canada, metric measurements of length, volume, etc are already a lot, I can't imagine having to do time conversions too. Weird Canadians. (JK I love your maple syrup)

Back on topic, so would my best bet be putting that cardboard in there for now? Thank you guys for your help.
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Old 3/4/19, 06:01 PM
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Perfect. Thanks for the filling in of details!

I wouldn't do anything. If you're getting cabin heat, then it's fine. All is well. It may be on the colder side, but if that needle is in the normal range just the low side (is it? Or is it nailed on the C?), there's nothing to do. If you wanted, though, a piece of (something more weather/wet durable, probably not cardboard) in the two main grilles may be enough to stop the cold air... or not. You may have to actually apply them to the fronts of the radiators (in this case, the A/C condenser) to get it to 'warm up'.

But that said, you also mention the Toyota, and two things: It's not made to be a performance machine, so there's not going to be a higher performance cooling system like in a Mustang GT, and also, it's a Toyota. Different gauges, different ideas of cooling, etc, etc... so it's not really all that comparable.

Bottom line, if the car's 'happy' to continue to run, then don't worry about it. It doesn't sound like anything's wrong, or going to be. You're getting heat in the cabin, you're good. Don't worry.
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Old 3/6/19, 01:32 PM
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Okay! I just don't want to have issues down the road with my engine, cylinder wear keeps me up at night!! I dream for the day I can afford a new crate engine and transmission for it.
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