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Old 07-17-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
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Why does my TEMP guage MOVE

2003 Boxster.. It starts at a little higher than 180' and it will move about the thickness of the line and maybe a half a line... Is this normal or should I have it checked??
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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I used to wonder about my temp gauge moving all the time. I soon learned that my Porsche has a REAL temp gauge, not a dummy light with a needle on it.

Newer Porsches (05 and up from what I've seen) have a dummy light with a needle like other modern cars... within a couple of minutes the needle moves to 180 and stays there until the motor is shut off or it overheats and BLAM!! it slams to the right and the light comes on. Very little incremental warning if any and no indication that the motor isn't fully warmed up.

But our versions of the car actually reads the temperature and displays it as the motor gets hotter and cooler. Nifty concept, huh!

If you're concerned about your cooling system, one low-tech way to check if your cooling system is working properly is to 1) insure you have enough coolant when the motor is hot and then 2) turn on the AC to the lowest setting when the motor is idling and walk around to the front of the car and put your hand under the bumper cover in front of each tire. You should feel hot air blowing on your hand on both sides and hear the fans roaring.

If you do, then both of your radiator fans are working properly and you are just seeing normal temperature swings in your motor's performance. If both aren't blowing, you have a repair issue to deal with.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 07-17-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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And the most common problem is debris accumulated in front of and between radiators.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour View Post
I used to wonder about my temp gauge moving all the time. I soon learned that my Porsche has a REAL temp gauge, not a dummy light with a needle on it.

Newer Porsches (05 and up from what I've seen) have a dummy light with a needle like other modern cars... within a couple of minutes the needle moves to 180 and stays there until the motor is shut off or it overheats and BLAM!! it slams to the right and the light comes on. Very little incremental warning if any and no indication that the motor isn't fully warmed up.

But our versions of the car actually reads the temperature and displays it as the motor gets hotter and cooler. Nifty concept, huh!

If you're concerned about your cooling system, one low-tech way to check if your cooling system is working properly is to 1) insure you have enough coolant when the motor is hot and then 2) turn on the AC to the lowest setting when the motor is idling and walk around to the front of the car and put your hand under the bumper cover in front of each tire. You should feel hot air blowing on your hand on both sides and hear the fans roaring.

If you do, then both of your radiator fans are working properly and you are just seeing normal temperature swings in your motor's performance. If both aren't blowing, you have a repair issue to deal with.
Awesome reply man! Just what I wanted to hear! I have never seen a car do that.. It's always been "pull over" if there is any movement at all...
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjswireless View Post
2003 Boxster.. It starts at a little higher than 180' and it will move about the thickness of the line and maybe a half a line... Is this normal or should I have it checked??
All of the dash temp gauges used in theses cars are both woefully inaccurate and non linear in their movement. If you want to know what the temperature really is, read it as a PID using a decent scanning system like the Durametric software. You will quickly learn how inaccurate these things are.........
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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You can also read the temps using the climate control display. Does anyone happen to know if this displays the same PIDs that you get from the OBDII port? I compared them once and it seemed that they did.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by teleski View Post
You can also read the temps using the climate control display. Does anyone happen to know if this displays the same PIDs that you get from the OBDII port? I compared them once and it seemed that they did.
No, they are not, and often vary quite a bit as well. Never trusted the climate display for diagnostics work.
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