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Thermostat malfunction after engine wash?

876 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  earthworm
I decided to give the engine a quick wash over. After that I have noticed that the temp gauge started to fluctuate. I believe the wash started it, but I am not 100 % sure.

I have since driven about 700 miles, and the temp gauge can stay normal for hours before falling down over half way to the bottom. It then comes back and it can fluctuate like that for 10 to 20 minutes before returning to normal.

As far as I can understand, the engine runs fine while this is going on.

Can this be anything other than the termostat? Bad wire? better radiator cooling effect after cleaning? And should I get it fixed? It can stay fine for several hours; in yesterdays 14 hour drive it only happened twice.

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A thermostat malfunction will be nearly consistent - caused by age and excessive heat. All of mine seem to be good for 7 to 10 years, then the car either over or under heats, and is slow to warm up..

The electric connections seem to be of a higher quality than before, but once loose/corroded, a state of erratic operation occurs..
It could well be a malignant temperature transmitter..
Its in the Haynes manual - the specs.
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