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180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

 
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 01:13 pm
rsrocket1's Avatar
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Default 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

The factory spec thermostat for my base 2009 PT Cruiser is 195F. An alternate part is a 180F thermostat. In the past, I always thought cooler is better and an extra 15 degrees of headroom would be better in warm conditions. In cool conditions, the thermostat won't open until 180F anyway so it's not like you're running the engine without a thermostat (really bad).

Reading on some other forums, they say that if engine manufacturers spec 195F thermostats, you should use 195F thermostats because the engine control module is optimzed to run the engine with a 195F coolant temperature and running it a 180F, the ECU will think the engine is not yet up to temperature and will change the settings to try to get it up higher which will result in worse gas mileage and more wear and tear on the engine.

Others say that with a hotter engine, the engine is better at boiling off excess fuel and moisture in the oil which drastically increases oil change intervals (from the old 3,000 miles to the current 6,000 miles).

Benefits of a lower operating temperature is a lower starting point if you are going up a steep incline on a hot day, racing or a lower starting point for heat soak to the engine when you shut it off. I'm currently chasing this as a potential problem and will report my findings in another thread.

Thoughts? Anyone know for a fact that a 180F thermostat does not affect the PT Cruiser in any other way? (emissions, oil life, mileage, performance)

Thanks
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 01:32 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
The factory spec thermostat for my base 2009 PT Cruiser is 195F. An alternate part is a 180F thermostat. In the past, I always thought cooler is better and an extra 15 degrees of headroom would be better in warm conditions. In cool conditions, the thermostat won't open until 180F anyway so it's not like you're running the engine without a thermostat (really bad).

Reading on some other forums, they say that if engine manufacturers spec 195F thermostats, you should use 195F thermostats because the engine control module is optimzed to run the engine with a 195F coolant temperature and running it a 180F, the ECU will think the engine is not yet up to temperature and will change the settings to try to get it up higher which will result in worse gas mileage and more wear and tear on the engine.

Others say that with a hotter engine, the engine is better at boiling off excess fuel and moisture in the oil which drastically increases oil change intervals (from the old 3,000 miles to the current 6,000 miles).

Benefits of a lower operating temperature is a lower starting point if you are going up a steep incline on a hot day, racing or a lower starting point for heat soak to the engine when you shut it off. I'm currently chasing this as a potential problem and will report my findings in another thread.

Thoughts? Anyone know for a fact that a 180F thermostat does not affect the PT Cruiser in any other way? (emissions, oil life, mileage, performance)

Thanks
There has been posts that indicate exhaust analysis comparing the 195 vs 180 was slightly lower in both CO's and HC's.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 26 Nov 2017 at 03:26 pm.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 02:24 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Which one was lower?
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 02:43 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Not a PT Cruiser but on some platforms using a ECU instead of a PCM like the PT has the use of cooler thermostat "may" generate a engine code having to do with warm up cycle timing. This has been a debate and or argument on a few forums over the years. None that I have been on that ever showed a direct negative effect of using a cooler thermostat. The exception is in a platform that extremely high coolant temperatures 210-220F normal coolant operations were calibrated for emission quality and changing them required ECU calibration adjustments.

Most of the time it is mute and any good data logging or simply watching operating parameters like coolant temperatures , timing knock values, for higher end users, pyrometer and AFRs etc., will all indicate that it seems a cooler thermostat tends to improve power stability.
As far as the PT Cruiser is concerned in EVERY instant that I have made to friends when they ask I always suggest a cooler thermostat.
In my personal experience using a cooler thermostat , I passed the strict California emission test, gained improved MPG and the combination of upgrade parts for improved engine output one of which was the cooler T-stat all contributed to a stable and very controllable coolant temperature operation in all temperatures ranging from about 17F to over 112F ambients and even using the AC in the summer never having any DTC,warm up or even creature comfort with HOT air from the vents.

I also do understand that some will "ARGUE" combustion temperatures but really all I can say is if you do at least PLEASE use a pyrometer and do some personal fundamental testing and data observation before bringing it to the table.


Bottom line is if you are not a experienced DIY,(not a week end gotta tune up the ride guy) GEAR HEAD, or someone looking outside the box you should just stay with the FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL recommendation regarding anything having to do with your PT Cruiser.

Any changes from what is NOT FACTORY requires a bit of common sence and also careful consideration not to mention a well running car with nothing already needing attention first before making changes from standard recommendations OEM.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 26 Nov 2017 at 02:46 pm.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 04:47 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

stick to stock. thermostats work backwards to the way you are thinking. a lower temp thermo can actually make the engine run hotter... but that is in motors for racing. look at it this way, it opens sooner and affects heat transfer. heat transfer is a delicate matter, if the coolant hauls butt across the transfer area it has little time to pick up the heat. of course you can tilt your head 30 deg the other way and look at this differently. remember how pulling the thermo out of small block v-8's didn't work (and made things worse? the thermo packs in (restricts) the flow for optimum heat transfer. you can test this theory by putting a screw type clamp on the top hose and restrict flow. try it. but this is the grocery getter, not a dragster!
p.s., as far as condensation goes... just change the oil! they might be overthinking that one a bit much..

Last edited by rambojoe; 26 Nov 2017 at 04:49 pm.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 05:00 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Yep. Stick to the recommended thermostat of your PT.

As far as I can tell, no one has provided any data that indicates a cooler thermostat is of any advantage on PT Cruiser used as a daily driver. And even on other modern platforms where there is an advantage (usually in modified engines for street and non-competitive racing), this usually needs to be accompanied by changes in PCM settings for cooling fan temperatures.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 05:07 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Also when you replace your thermostat don't try to modify it. Other members have and it didn't turn out well.

New Stant 45209 Thermostat FAILED!!!
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 05:17 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Also when you replace your thermostat don't try to modify it. Other members have and it didn't turn out well.

New Stant 45209 Thermostat FAILED!!!
I always like it when Steve makes a good point. In my 2001 PT Limited, I drilled a hole in the thermostat to help allow air to escape. I've often done this in the past to great benefit. However, when using the Stant Superstat, it failed and caused the thermostat to stay open. This is a fairly common problem with this brand anyway. But there's a good chance my modification caused it in the case my buddy Steve linked to.

As usual, I try to avoid Stant thermostats. They've always been more of a "retail brand" and many older mechanics didn't like them back the day. The problem now is that Stant thermostats are fairly ubiquitous. For Steve, that means they've spread to be many places where thermostats are sold. So sometimes Stant is our only choice. And like most others, sometimes it's just more convenient to get what local stores have available. But I and other folks more knowledgeable than me usually choose Motorad or one of the other more professional-grade thermostats when we can get them. Then if you want to drill the hole so air can escape better, it's not going to be as much of an issue.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 26 Nov 2017 at 05:22 pm.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 05:56 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
The factory spec thermostat for my base 2009 PT Cruiser is 195F. An alternate part is a 180F thermostat. In the past, I always thought cooler is better and an extra 15 degrees of headroom would be better in warm conditions. In cool conditions, the thermostat won't open until 180F anyway so it's not like you're running the engine without a thermostat (really bad).

Reading on some other forums, they say that if engine manufacturers spec 195F thermostats, you should use 195F thermostats because the engine control module is optimzed to run the engine with a 195F coolant temperature and running it a 180F, the ECU will think the engine is not yet up to temperature and will change the settings to try to get it up higher which will result in worse gas mileage and more wear and tear on the engine.

Others say that with a hotter engine, the engine is better at boiling off excess fuel and moisture in the oil which drastically increases oil change intervals (from the old 3,000 miles to the current 6,000 miles).

Benefits of a lower operating temperature is a lower starting point if you are going up a steep incline on a hot day, racing or a lower starting point for heat soak to the engine when you shut it off. I'm currently chasing this as a potential problem and will report my findings in another thread.

Thoughts? Anyone know for a fact that a 180F thermostat does not affect the PT Cruiser in any other way? (emissions, oil life, mileage, performance)

Thanks
The factory specified thermostat for my PT is also the 195 degree, and my PT was ordered and built for sale and use in Texas, which is known to get brutally hot during the summer months. But when the thermostat needs to be replaced, which I will have done on the next tuneup, a stock MOPAR 195 degree thermostat will be installed.
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Old 26 Nov 2017, 05:57 pm
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Default Re: 180F thermostat vs 195F thermostat

I agree with your replies, thank you.

Since the factory spec thermostat is 195F, a properly operating PT ought to work with it and not need a 180F thermostat.
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