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Discussion Starter #1
For the past 3 weeks, the temperature needle on my 1997 216Si kept going below the minumum point at seemingly random intervals. This past week it seems to never rise above the minimum mark.
The needle sometimes tries to rise, and makes it to the minimum mark but falls again. It will do this a few times then stop for a while before doing it again.

My thoughts are thermostat - I have a replacement one and will fit it this weekend. Before I do - does everyone agree? I don't want to do it if its unnecessary...

On a completely unrelated note, last year my head gasket blew and the head got warped. I had my engine changed at a backstreet garage with a second hand K series, aparently from an older 200 series (pre the bubble shape I guess, the mech had to fiddle with the engine mounts to get it in). The engine is a lot lot slower than it should be. My original 216si was really nippy, now I get burnt off by white vans and Fords :( I think my "replacement engine" may actually be a smaller capacity - is there any easy way to tell the capacity of a K series visually? If not, anyone have any theories as to what could be the problem? I runs OK and does only slightly less MPG than the old engine.

Cheers guys,
Dom
 

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I would say temp sensor too. Would leave the thermostat alone providing the car doesn't over heat.

It is possable it could be a 1.4 but would have no idea how you could find out :(

Carl
 

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If the temperature sender isn't the problem then the next suspect is the thermostat. If the car temperature warms up when it is standing still but then drops as soon as you start moving then the thermostat has failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The temp seems to be unaffected by what the car is doing. i.e. it is always at or below minimum if I am in queueing traffic, or cruising on the motorway. I'm starting to come round to the idea that the temp sensor is faulty now, as if it WAS the thermostat, surely i'd see more variation of the temp?

Is it easy to get hold of and fit a new temp sensor? Would Halfords have them?
 

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how hot does the heater blow? if you stop the engine and crack the pressure cap off the expansion tank, does it blow water everywhere (engine temp is normal, gauge sensor or wire is faulty) or does the water just sit there (thermostat failed, engine overcooled)

i havent seen inside a 1.6 engine bay so i couldnt tell you what the engine looks like in comparison to other models
 

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They are pretty easy to get hold of from a decent motorfactors and take about 5 minutes to fit they simply unscrew and you quickly screw the new one in before all your coolant runs out! I wrap mine in plumbers PTFE tape first to make sure that I don't get any water leaks.
 

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capacity is realy simple to find out, look at the enginenumber , the first 2 numbers (i think) are 14 for a 1.4, 16 for a 1.6 and 18 for a 1.8 :)

something along those lines anyways.
 

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I suppose it is possible that the garage fitted a K series 1.4 rather than the 1.6, or you may have even got the single cam version of the K series or even a SPi rather than a MPI engine. The engine number should reveal all to some of the resident guru's who carry such knowledge around in their heads.
 

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Coolant Temperature Sensor is the most likely fault, or it cound be a wiring fault or even a gauge fault.

To test the gauge and the wiring, remove the wiring from the sensor, and use a 20 Ohm resistor to bridge the connections (get one from www.maplin.co.uk for pence). The gauge should read normal!

NB your car being a Bubble 216 (95-99) should have a K series 1600 cc engine,

Look on the engine number, it should start as 16K4 (1600 K series 4 cylinder)

If it starts 14K4, you have the wrong engine. Another thought to your lack of power is that the timing might be out. I would assume that a new cambelt was fitted with the replacement engine. If one of the cam sprockets is 1 tooth out or the crank sprocket is 1 sprocket out the engine will be gutless! (ask me how I know!!!)
 

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If this car has a 1.4 engine fitted for whatever reason, I would of thought the car would be overfuelling if the ecu has not been changed to accomodate the lower cylinder capacity ?

Lates
 

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Well i have bled my system numerous amount of times this time due to the hose that go's onto the thermostat housing coming off and it now sounds like my thermostat has gone according to what some people have said.

The needle goes upto normal operating temp - approx 1/2 and when I start moving it just goes down to cold and creeps back up very slightly but stays on cold untill i stop for approx 5mins :(

So you guy's reckon it could be the thermostat?
 
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