Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70
gditsch
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:05 pm
Year and Model: 1998 V70
Location: Kentucky

Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby gditsch » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:22 pm

We just bought our first Volvo this past summer, a 1998 V70. On our trip to visit family I noticed that when traveling down the interstate the engine temperature would drop and it would get cold inside. This is the first trip the car has made, as it normally is a car to drive around town, and it's my wife's car. She just told me that when "it's really cold, it never heats up?"

I noticed that if I'd pull over for about 3 to 4 minutes, the engine temp gauge would move back up to almost the middle. From what I've learned on the forum and site, it appears that I may have a thermostat stuck open:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19190

My question: I have a 7 hour drive home today. Can I safely drive home and fix it there, or should it be done prior to traveling? I know if it was too hot, I'd need to stop right away... but not sure about this situation.

User avatar
jblackburn
MVS Moderator
Posts: 13957
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:54 pm
Year and Model: 1998 S70 T5
Location: Alexandria, VA
Flag: United States of America

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby jblackburn » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:26 pm

You can drive it no problem; you'll just be cold, and your car will use a bit more gas than usual.

When you get home, replace both the thermostat and ECT sensor, as the ECT sensor tends to stop functioning correctly when the thermostat goes.
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

User avatar
JRL
Posts: 8873
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:07 pm
Year and Model: Several
Location: 19333
Flag: United States of America

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby JRL » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:20 pm

As was said you need a new thermostat ASAP

However, as was also said, it is NOT good to continue to drive it.
The engine is not warming up, the oil is cold, the water is cold, you will suffer horrible gas mileage and it's NOT good for the engine to run it cold
2000 V70R Black, 139,000 miles (Wife's R, but she won't let me sell it)!
2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak 105k MILES. Polestar tune, IPD bars, rear spoiler, dark grey Thors, DWS 06, HU850, sub.

Contact info for purchases: jrl1194 (at) aol (dot) com

gditsch
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:05 pm
Year and Model: 1998 V70
Location: Kentucky

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby gditsch » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:36 pm

Thanks guys.. we did drive home after talking to a couple people. It was also 30degrees not 4degrees with high wind chill, so the temp didn't bottom out the entire drive like it did the night before. I will look at getting the thermastat checked. One thing I was suggested to do was place some cardboard in front of the radiator to stop the cold air from hitting it as much... apparently it is something we used to do when I was little and lived in frozen climates. I actually remember this on our old Grand Marq?

User avatar
jblackburn
MVS Moderator
Posts: 13957
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:54 pm
Year and Model: 1998 S70 T5
Location: Alexandria, VA
Flag: United States of America

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby jblackburn » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:06 pm

Don't do that - if you are idling or sitting in traffic, the cooling capacity, even with the radiator fan running, will be greatly reduced if there's cardboard in front of it. If it were Canada or some place where it goes way below zero, that would be acceptable to do.

You just need a new thermostat and it will work as it should again. Once you get the thermostat housing Torx bolts out, replacing the part itself is an extremely easy job.
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

User avatar
JRL
Posts: 8873
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:07 pm
Year and Model: Several
Location: 19333
Flag: United States of America

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby JRL » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:40 pm

You don't "check" a thermostat, just install a new one.
They go, it's a common problem on Volvos and actually on many other cars too.
2000 V70R Black, 139,000 miles (Wife's R, but she won't let me sell it)!
2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak 105k MILES. Polestar tune, IPD bars, rear spoiler, dark grey Thors, DWS 06, HU850, sub.

Contact info for purchases: jrl1194 (at) aol (dot) com

Klausc
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:52 pm
Year and Model: 1995 855 Turbo
Location: Shorewood, MN
Flag: United States of America

Re: Engine Temperature drop while cold weather driving

Postby Klausc » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:49 pm

gditsch wrote:Thanks guys.. we did drive home after talking to a couple people. It was also 30degrees not 4degrees with high wind chill, so the temp didn't bottom out the entire drive like it did the night before. I will look at getting the thermastat checked. One thing I was suggested to do was place some cardboard in front of the radiator to stop the cold air from hitting it as much... apparently it is something we used to do when I was little and lived in frozen climates. I actually remember this on our old Grand Marq?

Never block your radiator, your auto tranny fluid is also cooled there. Just replace the thermostat with an OEM. Some of the aftermarket products fail in the closed position, and if that happens you will cook the engine rapidly.

I saw an older Ford van going down the interstate with 5 very cold people in it, the windows were all fogged up and everyone was bundled up. They put cardboard in front of the radiator at a rest stop. I saw them on the side of the road about 15 minutes later, hood up, and old faithful gushing away.
Klaus
If I had a larger garage, I could have more Volvos.


Return to “Volvo 850, S70, V70, C70 & V70-XC Forum (1992-2000)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 98v70dad, dyn blin, misha, Yahoo [Bot] and 92 guests