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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I purchased a 2011 Chevy Cruze 1.4Lt as my daily gas saver. When I got it I noticed the fan only comes on once in awhile. Plugged my motor medic and say it's always around 230°f. Of course the guage doesn't say that. Eventually the outlet crumpled due to the excess heat and was able to connect it to limp home. Decided to install new cooling fans, radiator, hoses and modified the thermostate to a chevy volt 176°f internals. Both where dorman brands. But now it runs to cold. Won't run over 150°f. Have a new mahle/clevite coming that's rated at 217°f. Little cooler than OEM. Any have an idea what I did wrong?
 

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These engines are made to run at that temp for reasons.
Replace with OE AC Delco, correct temp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
These engines are made to run at that temp for reasons.
Replace with OE AC Delco, correct temp.
Well I don't like it. Never owned any car that ever runs over 200°F. Read in this forum about this but not getting the results I'm seeing. Seem like GM was experimenting. The gen2 1.4Lt use a regulat 180°f. Figured it wouldn't hurt.
 

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Well I don't like it. Never owned any car that ever runs over 200°F. Read in this forum about this but not getting the results I'm seeing. Seem like GM was experimenting. The gen2 1.4Lt use a regulat 180°f. Figured it wouldn't hurt.
What's not to like if it runs correctly and gets better MPG at that temp ?
 
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From a thread in 2019

@Blasirl said:
I had a discussion with @Robby about why the Gen I Cruze runs such a high temp and this is what he had to say:

...[W]hy the need for the higher opening temperature for the factory thermostat[?]

There are several reasons with the primary being fuel economy and emission control. Keep in mind, a correct mix of coolant to water ratio raises the boil point to 223 degrees f at atmospheric pressure. The boiling point of a 50/50 mix of coolant/water under pressure, (in this case, 20psi.....the coolant cap on the Cruze) is 275 degrees f.

So, the factory setup of coolant/water and 20psi cap allows for, approximately, a 50 degree cushion before boilover. The high pressure reduces the possibility of steam cavitation in the cylinder head water passages surrounding the exhaust valves and tends to keep temperature the same throughout the cooling system.

[Additionally] operating temperatures above 200 degrees reduces piston ring wear....this equates to a friction reduction and a mileage gain.
The higher temperatures contribute to complete combustion, lower emissions, lighter load on emission controls (specifically the catalyst, since it isn't burning as much unburned fuel from incomplete combustion). This allows the fuel mixture to be leaned further based on information from the coolant temperature sensor.

Oh, yeah......the heater works better too, heh heh.

With the above in mind, a thermostat that is open at lower temperatures negates all the engineering work that I stated above......wear, mileage, emissions all will be negatively affected......heh, along with lousy heat. Keep in mind that heat complaints are regional.....we live in an area where the cold can overwhelm this cars heating system and that is because this little engine is almost too efficient. Efficient engines do not lose as much heat into the cooling system.....they use their energy to turn a crankshaft.

Naturally, the operators that live in temperate climates don't notice poor heater performance, so, when reading posts about cooling systems, notice where the writer lives in their signature. Usually they live South of the Mason Dixon line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
From a thread in 2019

@Blasirl said:
I had a discussion with @Robby about why the Gen I Cruze runs such a high temp and this is what he had to say:

...[W]hy the need for the higher opening temperature for the factory thermostat[?]

There are several reasons with the primary being fuel economy and emission control. Keep in mind, a correct mix of coolant to water ratio raises the boil point to 223 degrees f at atmospheric pressure. The boiling point of a 50/50 mix of coolant/water under pressure, (in this case, 20psi.....the coolant cap on the Cruze) is 275 degrees f.

So, the factory setup of coolant/water and 20psi cap allows for, approximately, a 50 degree cushion before boilover. The high pressure reduces the possibility of steam cavitation in the cylinder head water passages surrounding the exhaust valves and tends to keep temperature the same throughout the cooling system.

[Additionally] operating temperatures above 200 degrees reduces piston ring wear....this equates to a friction reduction and a mileage gain.
The higher temperatures contribute to complete combustion, lower emissions, lighter load on emission controls (specifically the catalyst, since it isn't burning as much unburned fuel from incomplete combustion). This allows the fuel mixture to be leaned further based on information from the coolant temperature sensor.

Oh, yeah......the heater works better too, heh heh.

With the above in mind, a thermostat that is open at lower temperatures negates all the engineering work that I stated above......wear, mileage, emissions all will be negatively affected......heh, along with lousy heat. Keep in mind that heat complaints are regional.....we live in an area where the cold can overwhelm this cars heating system and that is because this little engine is almost too efficient. Efficient engines do not lose as much heat into the cooling system.....they use their energy to turn a crankshaft.

Naturally, the operators that live in temperate climates don't notice poor heater performance, so, when reading posts about cooling systems, notice where the writer lives in their signature. Usually they live South of the Mason Dixon line.
That's cool and all, haha but why in the next generation did they go back to a cooler 180°f thermostate?
 

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I agree, gm prob realized that 221f is more trouble than it's worth and so.. gen 2 with lower temp. I will sttill maintain my gen 1 1.4 with the original albeit high temp tstat because in imho it's too big a design factor to change without causing issues with factors dependent on 221f to operate as intended. But to your 1st post, 230 is too high to run as the norm. On my car I found that just using original gm parts keeps the 50/50 dexcool centered at 219 +/- 10 degrees. And any tiny leak/pressure loss causes higher temps and problems for sure. Cool that you experimented though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree, gm prob realized that 221f is more trouble than it's worth and so.. gen 2 with lower temp. I will sttill maintain my gen 1 1.4 with the original albeit high temp tstat because in imho it's too big a design factor to change without causing issues with factors dependent on 221f to operate as intended. But to your 1st post, 230 is too high to run as the norm. On my car I found that just using original gm parts keeps the 50/50 dexcool centered at 219 +/- 10 degrees. And any tiny leak/pressure loss causes higher temps and problems for sure. Cool that you experimented though.
Well there's a whole forum on a guy doing just this. But it worked for for him. He took a chevy volts 176°f internals and used a cruze factory housing. He saw Temps around 180°f and 190°f. For some reason it didn't wor for me. It won't go over 160°f for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree, gm prob realized that 221f is more trouble than it's worth and so.. gen 2 with lower temp. I will sttill maintain my gen 1 1.4 with the original albeit high temp tstat because in imho it's too big a design factor to change without causing issues with factors dependent on 221f to operate as intended. But to your 1st post, 230 is too high to run as the norm. On my car I found that just using original gm parts keeps the 50/50 dexcool centered at 219 +/- 10 degrees. And any tiny leak/pressure loss causes higher temps and problems for sure. Cool that you experimented though.
And I use only preston in all my cars. Nothing against dex/cool. That's just how I do it
 

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What part number/make tstat did you use?
 

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Well, you're the first Ive heard that it didnt work as intended. Ive done two, with no adverse effects. Both cars still running fine.
Could be a faulty part. Wouldnt be the first time a part was bad out of the box.
Otherwise, its something about the install thats amiss.
Are you sure the two pins at the top of the tstat seated properly into the housing?
Also, did you change the cap to the 15lb style or did you leave the 20lb cap?

You could also try DIYguy's "black box" altenative if nothing else works, too.
 

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From a thread in 2019

@Blasirl said:
I had a discussion with @Robby about why the Gen I Cruze runs such a high temp and this is what he had to say:

...[W]hy the need for the higher opening temperature for the factory thermostat[?]

There are several reasons with the primary being fuel economy and emission control. Keep in mind, a correct mix of coolant to water ratio raises the boil point to 223 degrees f at atmospheric pressure. The boiling point of a 50/50 mix of coolant/water under pressure, (in this case, 20psi.....the coolant cap on the Cruze) is 275 degrees f.

So, the factory setup of coolant/water and 20psi cap allows for, approximately, a 50 degree cushion before boilover. The high pressure reduces the possibility of steam cavitation in the cylinder head water passages surrounding the exhaust valves and tends to keep temperature the same throughout the cooling system.

[Additionally] operating temperatures above 200 degrees reduces piston ring wear....this equates to a friction reduction and a mileage gain.
The higher temperatures contribute to complete combustion, lower emissions, lighter load on emission controls (specifically the catalyst, since it isn't burning as much unburned fuel from incomplete combustion). This allows the fuel mixture to be leaned further based on information from the coolant temperature sensor.

Oh, yeah......the heater works better too, heh heh.

With the above in mind, a thermostat that is open at lower temperatures negates all the engineering work that I stated above......wear, mileage, emissions all will be negatively affected......heh, along with lousy heat. Keep in mind that heat complaints are regional.....we live in an area where the cold can overwhelm this cars heating system and that is because this little engine is almost too efficient. Efficient engines do not lose as much heat into the cooling system.....they use their energy to turn a crankshaft.

Naturally, the operators that live in temperate climates don't notice poor heater performance, so, when reading posts about cooling systems, notice where the writer lives in their signature. Usually they live South of the Mason Dixon line.
Has that guy (Robby) ever been in a Cruze with the heater on? Holy crap, it'll burn you out of the car, even in the middle of winter. Think what that same heat ouput is doing to every other piece of the cooling system, and we wonder why these cars have the issues they do?
The heater works just fine with a 176 tstat, and the heat output is reasonable.
IMO, a 190* Tstat would be a great compromise, but GM never made one.
 

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All good. I've reached the end of my car knowledge on the operating temp discussion but certainly best of luck to you on lowering the op temp. Following
 
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You don't need any different hardware or to mismatch any parts. The thermostat is fully controlled by the ECU, I run mine at 194 to run higher boost and control detonation. Put all the stock parts back on and program it to operate at whatever temperature you want with HP tuners, you can also adjust fan trigger temp, fan run time, high/low speed and triggers, run time after shut off, and auxiliary fans if you want to add more. HP tuners is an absolute MUST HAVE if your going to be altering anything on this platform, I can't recommend it enough.
 

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You don't need any different hardware or to mismatch any parts. The thermostat is fully controlled by the ECU, I run mine at 194 to run higher boost and control detonation. Put all the stock parts back on and program it to operate at whatever temperature you want with HP tuners, you can also adjust fan trigger temp, fan run time, high/low speed and triggers, run time after shut off, and auxiliary fans if you want to add more. HP tuners is an absolute MUST HAVE if your going to be altering anything on this platform, I can't recommend it enough.
Yep, BNR has mine running at 200. All stock cooling setup.
 
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