360 Optimum Coolant Operating Temperature - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-11-2014, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Optimum Coolant Operating Temperature

It is cool in Arizona for the last few months and I have noticed that when I go for a spin that my coolant temperature remains below 180 deg F. As I recall, any engine coolant should run around 180 deg F or so so that the engine can be warmer ... more power, better economy, etc.

I was speculating that perhaps my thermostat is not closing down at lower temps which is keeping my coolant temp low. I recall that in the summer, the coolant temp always ran around 180 to 190 deg F or so.

I defer to those more knowledgeable than I ... what is the optimum operating temp for the 360? As I described above, do you believe that I should exchange the thermostat for a new one?

Steve
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-12-2014, 02:42 AM
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Steve, we see similar temp readings just below 180 in the cool months but this is only when the car is moving as the front radiators do a great job in lowering the coolant temps. On the flip side when not moving and in the heat of summer (cape cod traffic as an example) the coolant temp can rise quickly, well above 190 as you mentioned. I'd have concern if in the summer you didn't see the same behavior considering the heat difference in your geographic location.

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post #3 of 18 Old 03-12-2014, 10:03 PM
 
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Immediately after I bought my car, I noticed that the water temp of my 360 was too cool in cool weather when cruising at highway speeds and it was slow to warm up. I discovered that the old thermostat was marked 70C and it didn't close down all the way. After I put in a new 82C (180F) thermostat the car warms up within a few minutes to the first unlabeled mark on the gauge which I believe to be 80C, more or less (I live in Italy). It gets to the first mark quickly even when the temperature is down around 25F. I don't usually drive when it's colder than that because of salt on the road.
It stays on the first mark until I drive hard in warm weather and then find myself in stop-and-go traffic. In that case, the temp goes up to 92C (a bit below half way) when the first fan kicks in shortly after that the second fan turns on too. The fans can keep the temperature under control with there is no airflow through the radiators. I've never seen the temp rise above halfway. In short, this is how the system is supposed to work if you have two functioning fans, a good thermostat of the proper type, the proper coolant, and a good water pump; i.e. a good cooling system.

If your car runs cooler than the first mark, or if it takes more than a few minutes to warm up, and especially if the water temp goes significantly lower when you cruise at highway speeds in cold weather, your thermostat isn't closing down properly or perhaps it's the wrong thermostat. Running a sophisticated engine too cool is not good. Change it or hire someone to change it for you.
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-13-2014, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Immediately after I bought my car, I noticed that the water temp of my 360 was too cool in cool weather when cruising at highway speeds and it was slow to warm up. I discovered that the old thermostat was marked 70C and it didn't close down all the way. After I put in a new 82C (180F) thermostat the car warms up within a few minutes to the first unlabeled mark on the gauge which I believe to be 80C, more or less (I live in Italy). It gets to the first mark quickly even when the temperature is down around 25F. I don't usually drive when it's colder than that because of salt on the road.
It stays on the first mark until I drive hard in warm weather and then find myself in stop-and-go traffic. In that case, the temp goes up to 92C (a bit below half way) when the first fan kicks in shortly after that the second fan turns on too. The fans can keep the temperature under control with there is no airflow through the radiators. I've never seen the temp rise above halfway. In short, this is how the system is supposed to work if you have two functioning fans, a good thermostat of the proper type, the proper coolant, and a good water pump; i.e. a good cooling system.

If your car runs cooler than the first mark, or if it takes more than a few minutes to warm up, and especially if the water temp goes significantly lower when you cruise at highway speeds in cold weather, your thermostat isn't closing down properly or perhaps it's the wrong thermostat. Running a sophisticated engine too cool is not good. Change it or hire someone to change it for you.
Thanks for the info. I am planning on a belt service soon, and that would be good time to have the thermostat checked.

Regards,

Steve
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 11:34 AM
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Steve- Most Ferraris behave the way yours does, including my 575M. The cooling systems are very efficient when moving and not too efficient when stopped, hence the two big electric fans. Even if you change your thermostat, do not expect a huge difference in how she works.

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post #6 of 18 Old 03-16-2014, 11:41 PM
 
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Steve- Most Ferraris behave the way yours does, including my 575M. The cooling systems are very efficient when moving and not too efficient when stopped, hence the two big electric fans. Even if you change your thermostat, do not expect a huge difference in how she works.
I hope this doesn't sound too argumentative, but if the OP has an incorrect thermostat or an inoperative thermostat he should very definitely expect a change in how his car works when he installs a properly working thermostat. My car immediately started working properly when I put in a new thermostat. When I bought it, my car was slow to warm up, it wouldn't maintain a proper water temperature, and the engine ran too cool when cruising. Installing a properly functioning thermostat made it right. Now the car warms up immediately, maintains about 80C essentially all the time during normal driving. Getting stuck in traffic causes the temperature to rise up to the fan cut-in temperature (about 93C or so) and it never goes above that. And that's exactly what a thermostat is supposed to do when working in conjunction with a cooling system which has electric fans as opposed to a crankshaft driven fan.

Any car which won't maintain the proper water temperature and keep it there nearly steady under normal conditions has something wrong with it. Perhaps your cars operate as you say, but Ferrari's, at least the 360 Modena models, are not supposed to react as if they don't have a thermostat. If they do, something is wrong.
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 11:01 AM
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Roberto- Dozens of Ferrari owners, V12s and V8s, with properly operating cooling systems, see variations in water temperature depending on whether she is moving or not and dependent on outside temperature. Mine has no warm-up problems and neither did most of those who have answered this question in the past. Yours obviously had a problem if the thermostat was not closing. Ferrari fits 70 C thermostats at the factory, and this is part of the reason the changes in water temperature are seen. As long as oil temperature comes up relatively quickly, the lower water temperatures should not be an issue. Water temperature comes up quickly any time she is stopped, and that is normal, too, as airflow stops until the fans actuate.

Many US cars were fitted with 160 degree F thermostats, too, which works out to 71 C.

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post #8 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 01:01 PM
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+1 When she's stopped the water temperature does rise quickly and maintained once the fans kick in.

On the topic, after a long summer drive I park with the engine lid open while front fans are still active and shut down when they turn off. Engine bay heat soak can be considerable too so I open the engine lid until morning to help cooling.

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 01:12 PM
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And then we have what the gauge says versus what the true engine temperature is....Short of consistently low operating temperatures, regardless of engine/ambient conditions/temperatures, the thermostat is likely fine.

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post #10 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
And then we have what the gauge says versus what the true engine temperature is....Short of consistently low operating temperatures, regardless of engine/ambient conditions/temperatures, the thermostat is likely fine.




Another thing to consider David is some of the perceptions of these cars are based on experience with others. These day gauges are for esthetics in many makes. My DD has full instrumentation but most are fakes and that is not unusual. My oil pressure gauge is operated by a pressure switch sending an on/off signal through a resistor to get a mid range reading. The only time it will change is when it drops below the preset switch pressure and will then read zero on the gauge.


Ferrari's in normal operating will have large variations in gauge readings. That is just the way cars work when the instruments are not dampened to the point of reacting to almost nothing as most cars instruments are. After all you wouldn't want to scare a motorist when a needle moves.
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 03:19 PM
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Good point, Brian. The temp gauge in my Audi is either stone cold or "in the middle." Come to think of it, it never moves, regardless of temperature.

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post #12 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 07:21 PM
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Good point, Brian. The temp gauge in my Audi is either stone cold or "in the middle." Come to think of it, it never moves, regardless of temperature.
That's because we live in a single digit climate region moving towards another ice age! I've had it for the season.

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post #13 of 18 Old 03-17-2014, 09:32 PM
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None on Jan's GL 550, just idiot lights. Not sure the on/off gauges are any better than the lights.

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post #14 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 06:13 AM
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None on Jan's GL 550, just idiot lights. Not sure the on/off gauges are any better than the lights.
I'd argue that they're worse. They give the user a false sense of accuracy.

I have a buddy who installed a good, aftermarket set of gauges in his Subaru. Neither the water temp or oil gauges have even left their pegs when the stock water temp gauge reads that it's at operating temp. The water is probably at 150d and the oil around 100d when the stock gauge is telling you that you can get on it... temps that are too low IMO.

On the flip side, the C6 Z06 coolant and oil temp gauges are darn accurate. The voltmeter is as well. Apparently the memo to go to on/off hasn't reached the Corvette team. The 911 coolant temp and voltmeter appear to be pretty accurate as well, but I haven't checked them.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 06:43 AM
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That's because we live in a single digit climate region moving towards another ice age! I've had it for the season.
You and me both! Thinking about setting up shop in the Caribbean...So much for "the cold doesn't bother me" attitude I've had for eons.

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post #16 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 09:09 AM
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You and me both! Thinking about setting up shop in the Caribbean...So much for "the cold doesn't bother me" attitude I've had for eons.




It was 80 degrees here yesterday.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 09:15 AM
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Nice! Thanks for sharing...
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-18-2014, 01:46 PM
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75 F here yesterday but 35 knots of wind. Perfect for the Wright Brothers, but not for Charlie Brown's kite.

Taz
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Present: 575M 135171
Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

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