Normal operating temp?

Normal operating temp?

Postby Van_in_Van [OP] » April 12th 2011, 6:14am

Quick question:

What's the normal operating temp for these vans? My "new to me last week" 2003 Astro seems to run just below "1/2" on th temp guage. Is that normal or is something up?

Thanks!
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby Leeann_93 » April 12th 2011, 9:57pm

Normal is around 200°. The t-stat opens at 193° and my 4.3s seem to run about 200-210° on the gauge.

The gauges are notoriously inaccurate.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby RECox286 » April 12th 2011, 11:13pm

Normal ? Well consider that the gages are set up so that roughly 1/2 scale is where they should indicate for a "normal", but don't consider that the gages are all that accurate for all intents and purposes. As long as you get any indication you will be in the ballpark. Not to say that the gages are grossly inaccurate, but they provide an approximate indication at best. No indication, or fully pegged is always the time to stop and investigate !

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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby redfury » April 13th 2011, 1:04am

interestingly, my gauge NOW reads @ the 210 mark after replacing the old sensor, which read @ the 1/4th mark...go figure. My temp sensor on the T stat reads 179-181 on the scanner. Which one is right? Hard to say, the computer reads the T-stat sensor.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby Van_in_Van [OP] » April 13th 2011, 1:38am

Thanks for the feedback!

Driving it again today the needle pretty much stayed at 1 tick below 210. Based on what you guys are saying that sounds pretty normal. The coolant looks pretty good too so I'll assume it's ok for now.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby 2Sheds_Jackson » May 5th 2011, 4:34pm

For what it's worth...I've got a 2000 cargo and I put a ScanGuage II in it so I can keep an eye on the temp pretty regularly.

On the highway, if it's over 70° degrees out, I run at 177°. If it's under 70, it runs cooler. Around town I've run as high as 192° in the summer.

I did buy this thing used, so I have no idea if a previous owner put some oddball thermostat in there.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby chevymaher » May 5th 2011, 6:02pm

2Sheds_Jackson wrote:For what it's worth...I've got a 2000 cargo and I put a ScanGuage II in it so I can keep an eye on the temp pretty regularly.

On the highway, if it's over 70° degrees out, I run at 177°. If it's under 70, it runs cooler. Around town I've run as high as 192° in the summer.

I did buy this thing used, so I have no idea if a previous owner put some oddball thermostat in there.

i got 195 T-stat and I run same temps.Air on after driving a while then climbing a steep hill with air on it goes to 195 but drops quickly after running on flat ground.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby fast68 » May 6th 2011, 4:01am

210 is still fine

accuracy of the guage and sender is questioinable on a vehicle of this age anyways
the actual temp will be who knows what unless you check with an accurate guage etc.,

195 to 210 is fine
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby redfury » May 6th 2011, 4:41am

Interestingly, I get a PO128 with the van after running it with low coolant when the water pump housing gasket blew on me ( means the temp is lower than expected )...I am going to replace my thermostat to see if that changes anything...I'm assuming that the T stat was/is stuck partially open, or not operating as it should.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby vangogo » May 6th 2011, 4:20pm

I had the same experience with the guage being off, and double checking with a scanguage/ ultraguage is usually a good call.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby Hank » May 6th 2011, 5:23pm

I'm down in South Florida and I crossed a 170 degree Camaro T-stat and installed it in mine.

I run well below 200 in the summer heat and hold at about 178 on the few cold days as well. Trans temps are always really cool now as well.

If you go to the 170f t-stat you have to disable some codes in the ecm or the cel will come on when it gets cold out.
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Re: Normal operating temp?

Postby JuneauCabbie » May 8th 2011, 9:55am

Van_in_Van wrote:Quick question:

What's the normal operating temp for these vans? My "new to me last week" 2003 Astro seems to run just below "1/2" on th temp guage. Is that normal or is something up?

Thanks!


Coolant temp is one of the readings on my primary Ultragauge screen, and once my 03 Safari warms up, it's been running at 194.5 degF for the past month. The Ultragauge is IMHO a good instrument to have on board if you're the type of person who likes to monitor your vehicle's sensor readings.
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