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What Temperature Should The Engine Coolant Be Whilst Car Is Running?


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I don't know a lot about cars and so wanted to ask whether this was normal or not! I have a Ford KA 12 plate, 1.2 engine. When driving today I went over a high speed bump and there was quite a loud noise as I went over it. I got out and checked whether I could see any damage but there didn't appear to be. As I carried on driving I noticed that the temperature gauge on the dashboard was rising (had been driving about 5 mins at this point) and once it got to about 90 degrees it stopped there for the rest of the 45 min journey. I can't remember what the temperature gauge is usually on but I wanted to check whether a 90 degree coolant temperature is normal for this type of car whilst running?


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The temperature gauge should be midway between too hot and too cold iykwim, if it's way into the too hot it's not right and the car should imo get looked at asap to find out what's gone wrong

Sent from my iPad using Ford OC

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From experience with race bikes, optimum engine/coolant temp would be 70-90 degrees or so.

With the OP's problem I'd say it's worth having a look to see if any of the coolant pipes were damaged or the radiator itself.

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it may have an 88 or 92 degree (centigrade) thremostat so that temp is not exessive and normal, the pressurized system allows the coolant to operate above 100 degrees C without boiling (typically 110 degrees C)

Coolant/ antifreeze may raise the boiling point - i converted my Mondeo to an electric pump, and used coolant that boils at a much higher temp, that allowed a de-pressurized system (to put the seals and expensive racing pumpn under less strain)

Designers and engineers set the operating temperature as a compromise between performance, economy, reliability and other factors

The optimum tempeature for economy, may not be optimum for performance, for example, fleet truck operators in America replaced thermostats with a higher operating temp and achieved better MPG, in their diesel trucks, drag racing cars often have lower temp thermostats fitted

On your car, the engines computer (ECU) monitors the temp (often the temp of the engine head itself, rather than the coolant) and if it gets too hot it may compensate for this or even restrict or shut down the engine to protect it

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