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Just returned from 1400 mile trip to Scotland. It was great! However whilst driving in a very cold, wet and windy Skye I noticed the temperature gauge creeping up. Then suddenly it went from half way into the red in 2 seconds. I pulled over, opened the bonnet and everything seemed OK. I got back in and the gauge shot back to normal. This happened again as I reach our site. The next morning I started up and the gauge was in the red as I turned the ignition on - it then shot down to cold!

This has been happening ever since for example I drove 200 miles yesterday and all was normal until about 150 miles and it started to happen again.

Any ideas?

Andy
 

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AndrewButler said:
Just returned from 1400 mile trip to Scotland. It was great! However whilst driving in a very cold, wet and windy Skye I noticed the temperature gauge creeping up. Then suddenly it went from half way into the red in 2 seconds. I pulled over, opened the bonnet and everything seemed OK. I got back in and the gauge shot back to normal. This happened again as I reach our site. The next morning I started up and the gauge was in the red as I turned the ignition on - it then shot down to cold!

This has been happening ever since for example I drove 200 miles yesterday and all was normal until about 150 miles and it started to happen again.

Any ideas?

Andy
I think it's likely to be nothing more serious than a faulty temp sensor/transmitter
 

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I'd put money on Time travellers hypothesis.

Other things to check.

Try disconnecting the wire from the temp sender & connecting it to earth. This should robustly send the needle all the way over into the red. Try this a few times obseving the gauge. This will help elliminate the gauge & the wire all the way down to the temp transducer.

Give the connection to the temp transducer a good looking at & a bit of manipulation to check its integrity.

The transducer itself though is the likely culprit & probably won't cost more that £20.00 for the part. Using a multimeter to check the transducer probably won't provide any meaningfull results unless you know what to expect.

Personally I'd try the above & then replace the transducer & observe the results.

D.
 

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I'm with the simple answers, above.

We had similar on a trip a couple of years ago - the temp went up rapidly, then dropped back to cold just as quick, then back up to hot.

As we were in the middle of the Highlands at the time, and a long way from assistance, we just let it cool and then drove gently, watching the gauge keenly, and it has never repeated.

I suspected the problem on our van was a sticking thermostat (on the top of the radiator) - so the water in the engine heated up too much before the thermostat opened, then a sudden gout of cold water into the engine block and the thermostat closed again.

I would have thought a sticking thermostat would be a risk mainly if the van has been sitting around for a while before you went away, but presumably you had driven to Scotland with a problem? When it happend to us it was on the third day of a weekend away, so perhaps not.

If it repeats, I would look at the thermostat on the radiator, as well as the temperature sensor/sender on the engine block - it could just be that an earthing wire has dropped off somewhere

A third possiblity is an airlock in the coolant somewhere, preventing proper flow around the system.

None of these should be too difficult (or expensive) to check and, if necessary, fix.

Damien
 
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