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C5 "NORMAL" OPERATING TEMPERATURE

HORSESCO

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
18
Location
colorado
Corvette
2002 electron blue coupe
I know this has most likely been asked but since I am new and everyone here is a great resource i have to ask. What is the "normal" operating temperature for the temperature gauge on the instrument panel--ie: coolant/radiator gauge. Mine seems to mainly stay below (just one nitch or so maybe around 200??) of the mid range (220) but when it sits and is running or long stops it goes to about I would guess 230 or (another 1/4 nitch past the halfway point) I know the fans kick on about that time but just wanted to see what "normal" is for the temps and the fans...Any help would be great. thanks
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
Hi there,
Fans turn on at 228 for low speed, high speed at 240 or dependant on A/C function and needs.
Your temp could fluctuate up to 240, depending on if you are tracking the car or not.
Allthebest,c4c5
 
T

thesurvivor

Guest
Ours runs 190 most of the time: I think each mark is 15 degrees; not close to the car to check.
 
Joined
May 10, 2002
Messages
2,255
Location
Boise, Idaho
Corvette
2002 electron blue Z06
You can a digital temperature useing the gauges button on the DIC (Driver Information Center). I get up to 240 at times in the summer.
 

Jistari

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
254
Location
New York
Corvette
2001 Black on Black A4 Coupe
Thats about where mine runs also.

I was thinking of putting in a cooler thermostat (whatever the next cooler one is....like 180 or something).

Is this a good idea to mess with? Any problems associated with runing it a little cooler?
 

Patman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
83
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Corvette
1998 Black Coupe
My 98 Corvette came from the factory with a 177F thermostat, so combined with the lower fan settings from my dyno tune, I rarely see coolant temps much hotter than 200F. The only time it gets hotter than this is when sitting in traffic a long time with the AC blasting. At highway speeds I typically see it around 189-190F, and cruising in town it's usually around 194-196F.

Oil temps are usually around 200-210F, except when driving hard for a while, then it'll creep up around 220-225F. In the winter my oil temps are usually closer to 190F though.
 
F

fdxpilot

Guest
Thats about where mine runs also.

I was thinking of putting in a cooler thermostat (whatever the next cooler one is....like 180 or something).

Is this a good idea to mess with? Any problems associated with runing it a little cooler?

Unless you get the fan temps lowered using a tuner (handheld or software,) the only change will be when running at highway speeds. In stop and go traffic, the car will still run up in the 220-230 range.

Thermostats only control the min temperature of your cooling system (once it has warmed up.) If the temp goes below the opening temp (180 in your example,) the stat closes and the temp goes back up.

The max temp of your system is controlled by radiator capacity and fan settings. At idle, there is no airflow over the radiator (with AC off) and your temps will go up. In the mid 220s(228 from C4C5specialist, though I have heard 226 on some model years) the fans come on low speed. If outside temperatures are warm, the temps will still rise, and the fans will switch to high at 235 (or 240). Unless there is something wrong with your car or you've modified it for significantly more HP (like a supercharger or stroker,) high speed fans will reduce your temperatures. When the temps drop below 228, the fans will switch back to low speed. That's why you see your temps ocillate in the 220-240 range at idle.

If your AC is on, your speed is less than 30mph, and coolant is 185 or above, the fans will come on low speed. Therefore, unlike older cars, running your AC may actually make your car run cooler, as the fans are always on at low speed, unless it gets hot enough to kick into high speed.
 

TopDownCruzin03

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
36
Location
Houston, Tx
Corvette
2003 6sp conv.
I had my factory thermo replaced with a 160 thermo. I also had it retuned during my last dyno run. Around town it makes no difference at all. My C5 runs around 200-210 all the time.

:) Save the Wave
 

TopDownCruzin03

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
36
Location
Houston, Tx
Corvette
2003 6sp conv.
This talk about thermo's reminds me when I was about 12 years old. My Dad showed me how to check a suspected faulty thermostat. Water boils at 212 degrees F. Put the thermo in a pan of water on the stove and light the burner under the pan. The thermo should open before the water starts to boil. If it does it's a good thermo. If it doesn't open at all, it's bad.

Save the Wave :)
 

Jistari

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
254
Location
New York
Corvette
2001 Black on Black A4 Coupe
Sorry, I read the posts but didnt acknowledge.
Thanks for clearing that up for me ;-)
 

Bonnell

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2002
Messages
599
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Corvette
2008 Convertible
Unless you get the fan temps lowered using a tuner (handheld or software,) the only change will be when running at highway speeds. In stop and go traffic, the car will still run up in the 220-230 range.

Thermostats only control the min temperature of your cooling system (once it has warmed up.) If the temp goes below the opening temp (180 in your example,) the stat closes and the temp goes back up.

The max temp of your system is controlled by radiator capacity and fan settings. At idle, there is no airflow over the radiator (with AC off) and your temps will go up. In the mid 220s(228 from C4C5specialist, though I have heard 226 on some model years) the fans come on low speed. If outside temperatures are warm, the temps will still rise, and the fans will switch to high at 235 (or 240). Unless there is something wrong with your car or you've modified it for significantly more HP (like a supercharger or stroker,) high speed fans will reduce your temperatures. When the temps drop below 228, the fans will switch back to low speed. That's why you see your temps ocillate in the 220-240 range at idle.

If your AC is on, your speed is less than 30mph, and coolant is 185 or above, the fans will come on low speed. Therefore, unlike older cars, running your AC may actually make your car run cooler, as the fans are always on at low speed, unless it gets hot enough to kick into high speed.


I saw this behavior yesterday. I have a C4 and it has been my DD for 4 years. In the summer heat if I get stuck in traffic the temp will exceed 230 and even with the fan on the temp keeps going up. It makes me nervous so I turn off the a/c until the temp goes down. So I have been very attentive to see what my 'new' '02 vert will do. Yesterday I saw temps hit 228 and then immediately drop to 225 and below and then rise. It never hit 230. The outside temp was 64 and I was in stop and go traffic for 45 minutes. I will be interested to see how it does next summer.
 

TopDownCruzin03

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
36
Location
Houston, Tx
Corvette
2003 6sp conv.
Correct. A thermostat's job is to block the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine has warmed up. By installing a cooler temperature thermostat the temperature at which the thermostat opens is sooner. When the engine is cold, no coolant flows through the engine. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature the thermostat opens. In theory about 200 F for the average vehicle. 160 F in my C5 because I installed a 160 F thermo. As mentioned above, around town sitting in traffic it makes no difference at all. That is why at low or no speed your fans are chugging away valiantly. They are creating artificial airflow over the radiator.

Clear as mud? Don't worry. Just keep fresh coolant in your vehicle and make sure your fans are operating normally. If you add mods things change. Your engine loves exhaust upgrades. They help the engine breath better and even improve your gas mileage. Engine mods produce grins that you can't wipe away for weeks. Be sure to ask your professional installer about any heat issues.

Savin' the Wave:Steer
 

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