Stupid car. Can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Evil Undead, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Hey all. I'm having a bit of an issue with my car and wondered if anyone can help give me an idea of what's wrong so the garage doesn't screw me over too much!

    Everything seems fine except for one thing. A couple of months ago the temperature gauge shot right up to the red and "stop" flashed on the dashboard. While I was trying to look for somewhere to park up, it went back down again to normal temp as fast as it went up. Was only up in the red for perhaps 8-10 seconds.

    Happened again about a month later, exactly the same.

    Then on Xmas day, twice within a minute or two.

    Then again today, three or four times within a minute or two.

    I've checked the oil, coolant, all fine.

    Any thoughts?
  2. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    A little additional info would be kind of car? Year? Miles?

    First thing that comes to mind is a "sticking" thermostat....if everything else is in order and it goes back to "normal" without doing anything. Next place to look...possibly a water pump.
    MJ5150 likes this.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Hey, what's up mimaz?

  4. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Stayin' busy!
  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Engine temperature can't change that fast, if I understand your description correctly.

    Sounds like a temperarure sensor problem. Try locating the sensor and check the electrical connector.

    skychief, Gaolee and INTP like this.
  6. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Checking the thermostat is a good idea, but I suspect the Engine Coolant Temperature sensor or the wiring to that sensor. The ECT registers low resistance as temperature rises. If there is a short in that wire, it could intermittently be showing zero or near-zero resistance, intermittently. I'd check the wiring first, looking for worn insulation that could be touching metal somewhere.

    Could also be a bad sensor, and they're generally cheap and easy to replace.
    megafiddle likes this.
  7. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Didn't think of that. It's a Peugeot 206, 15 years old, 106,000 miles on the clock

    I agree, temperature can't change that fast up or down, and the engine itself seems to be all good.

    I wonder if it could be related that my left indicator comes on by itself sometimes...
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I agree with checking the thermostat. You may also need a new radiator. Do you fill it with anti-freeze or water? Has the car been running rough since this has happened. You can blow a head gasket when you overheat your engine. If that has happened you won't have as much compression and you will see water in your oil.
  9. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    This and the left indicator could both be electrical problems.

    FWIW, I had a squirrel eat a bunch of wires in my vehicle a few years ago. I repaired it myself, and while it took a fair amount of time, it wasn't particularly expensive.
  10. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    More good advice!
  11. Dennis Hamblin

    Dennis Hamblin

    Dec 23, 2014
    A malfunctioning thermostat can cause that. It sticks and the temp rises and then opens to bring it back down.
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I would suspect a short circuit or a loose wire somewhere in the coolant temperature circuit, but replacing a thermostat is so cheap and easy on most vehicles there's not much reason to start anywhere else.
  13. It's a wiring or electrical problem..

    Engines don't overheat and cool down that fast........not even close....

    If your turn signal also comes on by itself.....the two could possibly be wiring related.....

    I highly doubt it's your waterpump or thermostat.......
    Bob Lee (QSC) and INTP like this.
  14. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I don't fill the radiator with anything. Am I meant to? Oops.

    Only things I put stuff in are the brake fluid, oil, screen wash, and the pink stuff (coolant/antifreeze?) in the bottle with the max/min lines. Totally showing off my knowledge here :smug:

    Nope, not running rough that I've noticed. No water in the oil, none of the white goo on the inside of the oil cap
  15. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Sounds like it might be electrical then. So. What do I ask the garage to do? Really short on money at the moment and don't want to get stiffed. How many hours labour am I looking at?
  16. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    A new thermostat will probably cost less than $20. Changing it out is not too hard. The hardest part is getting at the darn thing. Once you have access to it you're in. Here is a video about changing a thermostat on a Peugeot. It is a different year and model than yours but it is the same basic idea. Probably not too different than yours. You can find specifics online or at the library. It may not be the thermostat but if you feel you are up to it you might want to see if that fixes the problem.
    Changing the thermostat starts bout 2:50 minutes into the video.

  17. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I wonder if Colombo ever had these problems with his Peugeot?

    Columbo%27s_Car_1959_Peugeot_403_convertible.jpg .
  18. If you have a blown headgasket, you'll more than likely be noticing lots of coolant loss.......
  19. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Whatever sensor drives your temp gauge is junk.
    Bob Lee (QSC) likes this.
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Given the fast rise and fall of the temp indicator, my vote is for one of two things, in order of likelihood:

    1) Bad temp sensor (bad wiring is not likely)

    2) Thermostat sticking

    Number 2 is unlikely because coolant temp doesn't go up and down in a few seconds. It can't. it has to take time to circulate around the radiator and block. I'd see if I can find the wire that connects to the temp sensor, ground it and see if the gauge maxes out. If so, I bet the sensor is doing the same internally. In any case, I'd replace the sensor and see what happens.

    Now all you need is to find a 70-year-old French mechanic to open the hood on the Peugeot.
    slobake likes this.