F355 '97 F355 coolant temp needle malfunction? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-15-2013, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
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'97 F355 coolant temp needle malfunction?

En route to a car meet and I noticed my engine temp was approaching the red zone. I looked at the oil temp and that was sitting fine.

Once I picked up speed it would gradually go to just past 190, but normally it will be under 190 no matter what (90 degree day at a stop, never goes above 190).

So I figured my radiator fan is failing to kick in. I had the hvac set to STOP. I turned off STOP and it of course activated the AC.

After about a minute the needle bounced from about 220 all the way down to 175....instantly.

Stop at a food place, come back 10 mins later. It happens again on the way home: engine appears to be approaching red zone, then I fiddle with the hvac controls, and it immediately drops below 190.

I'm not sure how it's possible for the car to go from 200 degrees to 170, shouldn't it gradually cool down if the radiator fan kicks in? I'm thinking my needle is having issues.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-15-2013, 05:28 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,219
Both the temp sensor for the gauge and the temp switch for the fans can fail. I rarely see a bad gauge sensor allow it to read all the way to 200, usually it moves erratically between the temp before the fans kick on, the temp the fans shut off at and it will also drop down to 170ish while moving on the highway.

Before presuming the instrument that measure temp is faulty, check your coolant level and use an IR gun to measure temps and verify if the fans are or are not kick on when they are suppose to be.

It is important to make sure the fans, fan switch, water pump and coolant are all in good order before condemning the gauge.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-16-2013, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New York
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I had a simliar problem and it just turned out to be air in the system its worth checking
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-17-2013, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Is there a coolant system bleeding location in the engine bay?
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-22-2013, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Apparently there is an automatic bleed system in the 355. I was going to check the hoses to make sure they weren't clogged, but I lost my toolkit and couldn't get the shroud off. I verified that both rad fans were coming on correctly.

Then I remembered back when I had an s2000 that you could burp the system by taking off the radiator cap.

So that's what I did with the 355. Coolant level looked ok.

Drove it about 60 miles over the weekend and didn't have the issue again.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-22-2013, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Oh yeah, I was unable to determine where the coolant overflow/bleeding tank is located. Does anyone know?
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