Just check to see that you have no coolant mixing with the oil first, and then replace the thermostat. It's an easy job and can be accomplished in 2 hours or less.
So first off, my problem: My car just recently started overheating while driving longer than 20 minutes. The temp gauge sits at 190 deg for a few minutes, and the gradually starts to creep higher and higher until the temp warning light goes off when the gauge goes in the red.
It does seem to be intermittent tho. Because I can turn my car off and restart it and the temp seems to rapidly trickle back to normal operating temp. Other times, after the car had been sitting for a while, the temp struggles to get up to 190 and even dips back down to cold temps if I idle for a minute or two. Very odd.
I have heard that a stuck thermostat in the open/closed position will affect an engine either never getting coolant, or always getting coolant. So I feel comfortable that this may be the issue, but I want to know if there are some additional symptoms I can check for. For example, will running the heat/AC in my car let me know if something else is the culprit? In this instance, both my AC and my heater work in my car.
I'll change a temp sensor myself, but I'm not gonna go thru the pain of replacing a thermostat/housing. Maybe I'll buy the Stage 2 kit from ECS and have a shop do it instead, if it is in fact a thermostat.
It does sound like a stuck thermostat. To be on the safe side, be sure to check coolant level and for coolant in the oil like oh_my_vr6 said. One other thing you can check is to make sure your fans are running when the car is warm. Have you noticed any other issues? such as the car feeling under powered or feeling slow off the line?
People are always surprised that my car smells of crayons
and she is sort of slow off the line perhaps... bu t i thought that was just from her aging a bit. i would love to get that life back in the engine, if what you are implying that sluggish starts correlates to a cooling/t-stat issue.
i'm taking it in tomorrow morning to have the dealer look at it. we'll see what i get done pending what they say. if it IS the t-stat, like i said up above, i'm just gonna bite it and let them do it. i dont have time or interest in dismantling my whole front end for the sake of a t-stat and crack pipe upgrade.
just wanted to provide an update so that those who use the SEARCH function instead of starting new threads.
i took it to the dealer and they confirmed what had been stated on here. thermostat wasn't opening all the way which was causing overheating problems with the engine. they replaced the t-stat and housing.
note: in a perfect world, i definitely would have done this repair myself after doing the research and finding the DIY's online. i dont have the faith in myself to do a timely and accurate repair or diagnosis tho, so the dealer was able to get $600 of my hard worked dollars on the repair.
$160 in parts from ECS Tuning and a few bloody knuckles over the course of a saturday afternoon and i'm sure this would've been fixed with no issues.
something to think about for future repairs