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Thread: car won't heat up

  1. #1
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    car won't heat up

    It is winter in Chicago again. I have a '00 gsr. It takes forever to warm up in the winter (20 minutes). When I am sitting at a stop light, the temp gauge actually moves towards the C. I assumed it was the thermostat so I changed that. The problem is still there (maybe even a little worse) with the new thermostat. Is this normal? Any ideas beyond the thermostat. How long should it take to warm up when it is 10 - 20 degrees out? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    LEVEL UP R_Squared's Avatar
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    this is very discouraging news...I live in Indianapolis and my car does the same thing. When i'm on the highway the temp gauge drops all the way back down to C the whole time. The most it ever really warms up is maybe 1/4 of the way. I was planning on changing out the thermostat because I'm assuming it's stuck open but since you changed yours already and still having troubles that's kind of a disappointment. I'm not sure what else it could be...sorry.
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  3. #3
    Gold Member Patman015's Avatar
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    Is the car running any differently? My car runs very cold in the winter time, and its a GS-R. So I think it might be normal. My car reaches JUST OVER the C line. And thats normal. You don't want a really hot engine, but you dont necessarily want it resting ON the C.

  4. #4
    LEVEL UP R_Squared's Avatar
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    As far as my car goes, it always takes a long time to warm up and the temp gauge fluctuates back down to cold a lot pretty much year round. It's just a lot worse in the winter. I'm getting suck-ass gas mileage but of course that might be attributed to other car issues...The car runs so cold in the winter, I couldn't hit vtec if my life depended on it (not that I would want to all the time).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member SOCALDC4's Avatar
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    Lol!!! That Must Suck. I Live In Southern California And I Am Freezing My A$$ Off When It Hits 65 Degrees And Below. I Put On 2 Sweathers And 3 Shirts And Gloves Just To Warm Up My Car. But I Guess You Guys Have It Worst. Also It's Only Cold In The Early Mornings And Knight Time Besides That Get Your Sun Block Ready

  6. #6
    Senior Member SOCALDC4's Avatar
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    IT RARELY HITS 66c it's mostly above 70 in winter

  7. #7
    LEVEL UP R_Squared's Avatar
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    yeah, i know the feeling...I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale...
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  8. #8
    My 94 LS takes about 3 miles for the gauge to get to a bit left of center and then stay there. Its been about 0 in the morning and single digits in the afternoon. One thing that makes a little difference is to keep the fan off, or on very low until I see the gauge at least 1/4 the way. Your core is like another radiator taking heat out of the coolant. If its way beyond that, make sure the radiator is full, and see if bottom hose ever gets warm. Only thing that could really keep it from coming up to temp is an open stat.
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  9. #9
    Ayup, stuck thermostat. They don't have to be stuck open much to not have your car warm up.
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  10. #10
    Junior Member auslander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis in wa
    Ayup, stuck thermostat. They don't have to be stuck open much to not have your car warm up.
    If the temp gauge doesn't come up around halfway and stay there, you've got a problem somewhere. My car would seem fine in summer here in GA, but when it got cold it would seem to warm up just as I finally got to work (15 mile drive, all at 65-70 except the last 2 miles). Then I figured out that if I drove for a little bit then stopped it would come up to temp pretty quick. As soon as I took off and hit around 40 the gauge would drop like a rock (and you could feel the dash vents go cold). Replaced the thermostat, little to no differance. Started to doubt myself. Came to my senses, bought a name brand thermostat and been nice and toasty ever since. You don't even want to know how many house brand parts from one of the big chains are bad out of the box.

    You could cover up part of the radiator with cardboard as a quick fix, but that's just covering up the problem.

  11. #11
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    My car gets warm in less than 7 mins in the winter cold = / and its a jdm b18c gsr motor. I know something is wrong but can't really pin point it. Any ideals?
    )

  12. #12
    I missed Sean sherwood's Avatar
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    it's a 4 banger, and it's entirely possible that the cooling systems built into the engine can cause it to cool down exccessively on the highway or at idle, though i dont see how...

    maybe there is an electrical eneging block heating system that attches to the bettery you could install?
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  13. #13
    4-doors ROCK KaBlookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auslander
    If the temp gauge doesn't come up around halfway and stay there, you've got a problem somewhere. My car would seem fine in summer here in GA, but when it got cold it would seem to warm up just as I finally got to work (15 mile drive, all at 65-70 except the last 2 miles). Then I figured out that if I drove for a little bit then stopped it would come up to temp pretty quick. As soon as I took off and hit around 40 the gauge would drop like a rock (and you could feel the dash vents go cold). Replaced the thermostat, little to no differance. Started to doubt myself. Came to my senses, bought a name brand thermostat and been nice and toasty ever since. You don't even want to know how many house brand parts from one of the big chains are bad out of the box.

    You could cover up part of the radiator with cardboard as a quick fix, but that's just covering up the problem.



    Replace your thermostat with a name-brand one...you're gonna pay like $5 more (maybe) and your car's gonna work fine...I was having the same problem as what you guys are describing (temp won't go up much past the C), and my fuel mileage was slowly declining...replaced the sucker and literally my next tank averaged like 4mpg higher...

    yeah, it's kind of a b!tch to replace the thermostat, but definitely get a good name brand one and replace it...should solve all your problems
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  14. #14
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    The replacement thermostat I put in, I bought at the dealer. The one that came out was closed. Maybe there is a chance that I got two bad thermostats in a row or they aren't the right temp rating (opening too soon). Is there any way to tell from looking at them. Is there a temp stamped on it? Also someone above suggested leaving the blower fan off to allow the car to heat up faster. Is it the blower fan or the just leaving the hvac set to cold so the heater core gets bypassed until the car is warmed up?

  15. #15
    When I removed my t-stat, I was amazed at how not stuck open it looked. IOW, it looked closed. It was stuck just enough to let coolant through without being warm. My replacement fixed that issue.

    Is it the blower fan or the just leaving the hvac set to cold so the heater core gets bypassed until the car is warmed up?
    Probably either/or/both. I experimented this morning for a little bit but couldn't stand the wait. It was 15 degrees f.
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  16. #16
    I had mentioned leaving the blower fan off that circulates air inside the car to see if that speeded up your engine coming up to temp, which I believe is 180 degrees. There really is not anything else that would make the gauge stay that low except for an open tstat, which allows the coolant to pass through the engine into the radiator too quickly, or you have a very persistant air bubble under your thermostat sending unit. Air is not nearly a good of a conductor of heat as antifreeze. This is pretty unlikely though if you have gone through a couple of heating/cooling cycles. Excess air would be pushed out into overflow tank. Far shot, but you can check the temp gauge sending unit with an ohm meter. It is the single wire (green/yellow) that goes into the head right under the distributor. Don't have them offhand, but there will be different resistance values for hot and cold. The 2 wire sensor sends a signal to the PCM. Good Luck!
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  17. #17
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    I had a similar problem after replacing my T-stat, although I took it apart and discovered that I put the gasket on wrong and instead of putting it around the stat, I had just installed it flat against the T-stat and housing. My teg takes about 5 minutes to warm up and after it reaches running temp the needle never moves whether it's 100 or 5 degrees.

  18. #18
    4-doors ROCK KaBlookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daschwa
    I had a similar problem after replacing my T-stat, although I took it apart and discovered that I put the gasket on wrong and instead of putting it around the stat, I had just installed it flat against the T-stat and housing. My teg takes about 5 minutes to warm up and after it reaches running temp the needle never moves whether it's 100 or 5 degrees.
    Now that's the way it should be...that means your engine cooling system is doing its job properly.

    Now as for having gotten the new thermostat from the dealership, go back there and just be like wtf, i got this from you guys and it's either the wrong part or it's busted. It just might be for a slightly bigger engine, in which case the amount of coolant it allows through normally will be higher, and too high for your engine.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks for the info. It has been too cold to pull this open and check the gasket. I will give that a try.

  20. #20
    Certified Rice-Rocket aboobybobpleez's Avatar
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    i think we all have the same problem, my car takes forever and the engine is almost brand new i also have a new radiator...its just cold and hondas are cold blooded. my temp will get to normal if i leave the car sit for 10-20 min but one i get moving and i get air under the hood she cools wayyy down
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  21. #21
    Senior Member 95tegRS's Avatar
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    My car takes forever to warm up as well. my mom has a 94 Teg auto and it warms up in 3 mins flat. and temp needle in her car goes from 1/4-1/2.

    In my 5 speed my temp needle stays around the 'C' the whole time. I slipped piece of card board infront of my radiator, and the car warms up alot better now. I installed a new rad in my teg 2 summers ago, and ever since then i noticed my car runs alot cooler in the summer, and on the downside alot cooler in the winter as well
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  22. #22
    Do the newer thermostats have the little dongle like the older one?
    On my '89, there's a hole with a dongle hanging on it. That's supposed to be up.
    Could an improperly installed t-stat allow too much coolant through to prevent proper warm up?
    Kennewick, Wa.
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  23. #23
    Resident Ninja-photo'er tegbooster's Avatar
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    i feel so bad for u guys lol, im in SOCAL also, and it's depressing to hear about this "20 minute warmup" thing .... o well....im in a jacket, gloves, beanie, and jeans and it's only 67 out right now lol

  24. #24
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    Yes, an improperly installed thermostat would definately cause problems, in my case, the gasket was not installed correctly and caused a ton of problems. If your unsure about the thermostat put it in a pot of water and put it on the stove and apply heat, eventualy you will see it open and erase/confirm oubts of a bad thermostat. This is what I did and when I saw it open normally I realized it was something I was doing wrong.

  25. #25
    just make sure when inspecting the t-stat cold that it's completely closed. It doesn't have to be stuck open much.
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  26. #26
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    sounds like a thermostat to me. I live in Minnesota and it gets damn cold here - had the same problem a while back, changed the thermostat and it works fine. However, if that does not do the trick try getting a new radiator cap. A week cap won't let the pressure build up in the system - cheap fix too.

    Good luck.

  27. #27
    Member 95tegraGSR's Avatar
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    Wow, glad I saw this thread. I've been freezing for the last week not knowing what's wrong. My needle rests on C all the time now, even if I've been driving for an hour. I just called AutoZone for the thermostat and they have one for my GSR for $11.95. Should I not buy this one since it's not brand name? How hard is this to change myself? I really don't want to pay someone $85 labor for a $12 part. Thanks!

  28. #28
    I missed Sean sherwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegbooster
    i feel so bad for u guys lol, im in SOCAL also, and it's depressing to hear about this "20 minute warmup" thing .... o well....im in a jacket, gloves, beanie, and jeans and it's only 67 out right now lol
    i've got 3 layers on my pants, 6 on my chest, and i'm contemplating more.



    --hey guys just be glad the t-stat wasnt stuck in the other direction... my moms car overheated like crazy and I almost had to drive out to get her in like the back woods of PA
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  29. #29
    How hard to change??? I don't know on the 94s. On my 89, it was a bit of a bugger, but not really too bad at all. The hard part was because it's buried under the distributor. So getting at it was tricky.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95tegraGSR
    Wow, glad I saw this thread. I've been freezing for the last week not knowing what's wrong. My needle rests on C all the time now, even if I've been driving for an hour. I just called AutoZone for the thermostat and they have one for my GSR for $11.95. Should I not buy this one since it's not brand name? How hard is this to change myself? I really don't want to pay someone $85 labor for a $12 part. Thanks!
    I would just go with a Honda thermostat. I originally got one from Autozone but then took it back after hearing that a lot of them are faulty to begin with. I picked up a Honda one instead. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but it wasn't much. I'm still waiting to put it in though...
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  31. #30
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