Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

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Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby OhSixFEH - December 30th, 2016, 7:51 pm

Now that colder weather is here, my 06 hasn't been cranking the heat as much as it used to, MPG went down and the hybrid system rarely kicks in. No warning lights but considering the thermostat is only $30 at NAPA and I have no idea when it was replaced last, I thought I would go ahead and change it.

It's a fairly easy job, just tight, and expect a large amount of coolant loss but pretty straight forward change. Next, I added 50/50 coolant until the reservoir was full. Started the car to let it warm up but it only ran for about 5 minutes before shutting down and switching to hybrid mode. I pressed on the pedal several times to keep it running to allow the thermostat to open but after 10-15 minutes, the fans kicked on and the temperature warning light came on so I shut it down. Coolant level never changed and the coolant hose never got warm. There was also no heat in the cab.

I'm hoping I just missed a step and that's it's not a bad new thermostat. Any ideas?
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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby OhSixFEH - December 30th, 2016, 8:06 pm

Let me also add, to get to the thermostat I removed the belt and tentioner pulley. I'm mostly confident that I installed the belt correctly using a diagram I found on line.
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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby Jay2TheRescue - December 31st, 2016, 12:52 am

To keep the engine running to properly bleed air out of the lines, block the wheels, start the vehicle, set the parking brake, and shift to Neutral. If stopped and in Neutral, electric mode will never engage.
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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby OhSixFEH - December 31st, 2016, 12:51 pm

Jay2TheRescue wrote:To keep the engine running to properly bleed air out of the lines, block the wheels, start the vehicle, set the parking brake, and shift to Neutral. If stopped and in Neutral, electric mode will never engage.


Thanks for the tip!
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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby OhSixFEH - December 31st, 2016, 3:58 pm

Here is another tip. Unlike most cars, don't rely on the reservoir to fill the system up. This morning, the level was the same as yesterday which means none of the fluid in the reservoir reached the engine or radiator. To get fluid into the engine (and therefor the radiator), I removed the upper radiator hose and added another half gallon into the hose until it poured out of the upper radiator connection. Started the car and let it run for a while. Heat seems improved and after a long while (37 degrees), the reservoir went down a little. Took the car on a few test drives adding more fluid as needed.

All seems to be well now and I got no warning lights and the heat is really nice. The only odd thing is the larger radiator hose connected to the thermostat never got warm, though the small one next to it did along with the upper radiator hose. Maybe this is due to the design of the circulatory system or because it's cold outside. Can't seem to find any info on line to determine one way of the other.

Hopefully I've solved this problem because it's going to get below freezing for the next week and I need a working car!
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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby Squirrel - January 1st, 2017, 5:50 pm

Jay2TheRescue wrote:To keep the engine running to properly bleed air out of the lines, block the wheels, start the vehicle, set the parking brake, and shift to Neutral. If stopped and in Neutral, electric mode will never engage.

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Re: Bad new thermostat or did I do it wrong? Coolant

Postby Jay2TheRescue - January 1st, 2017, 7:55 pm

Squirrel wrote:
Jay2TheRescue wrote:To keep the engine running to properly bleed air out of the lines, block the wheels, start the vehicle, set the parking brake, and shift to Neutral. If stopped and in Neutral, electric mode will never engage.

The things we learn...Jay, you are a wealth of information on the hybrids. :thumb:


Yeah, whatever state the engine is in when shifted to Neutral while stopped, is the state it will remain in. If the engine is running, and you shift to Neutral, it stays running. If it is off, and you shift to Neutral, it stays off.
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