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2018 SPORTAGE LX AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
No CEL on yet but my vehicle takes over 20 minutes before the engine cooolant temp settles to a few degrees before the center of the temp gauge...

Im thinking the thermostat is stuck open but id hate to take it to the dealer at the moment.

coolant is full and i dont believe cooling system has any air pockets.

any suggestions?
 

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2017 Sportage LX
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No CEL on yet but my vehicle takes over 20 minutes before the engine cooolant temp settles to a few degrees before the center of the temp gauge...

Im thinking the thermostat is stuck open but id hate to take it to the dealer at the moment.

coolant is full and i dont believe cooling system has any air pockets.

any suggestions?
If you have to drive your car for 20 minutes before the temperature comes up to normal you've got a problem and need to go to the dealer.
 

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2018 SPORTAGE LX AWD
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm requesting help and some info:

Next time the ambient temp is at, say, 20F/-6C, please take your Sportage out for a drive and tell me how long it took for your car to get to operating temp. Operating temp on these vehicles is about halfway up the temp gauge or little less than half way up. Also please tell me how warm the heat from the vents felt when the coolant temp gauge was at 1/3 of the way up.

Dealer says there's nothing wrong with my car.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe the perceived problem is more about the heat in my car, and that maybe the blend door is not calibrated properly. But I don't see a parameter through my scanner to reset the calibration.

Thanks.
 

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Air temp from the registers is not as much a result of coolant temp as it is the controls setting. These cars with auto climate control rarely give you the hottest air as they are programmed to also maintain comfort, so they blend to meet the thermostat demand and maintain occupant comfort. If you want the hottest air you can get at any coolant temp, set the temp control all the way up and increase the fan speed to max. You can always just hit 'auto' once you get warm enough.
In cold weather, mine will go several miles at low speed through the subdivision before the engine thermostat opens and the gauge is at its normal position. I use my seat and steering wheel heaters frequently until the car warms up.
 

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2018 Sportage SX Turbo Black with beige interior
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Where do you park your car in a garage or outside it makes a difference?
 

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2018 SPORTAGE LX AWD
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have the LX which doesn't have the climate control, and of course I park outside. It's winter time here in NY right now.

Anyway, what I notice is this: If I drove 12 minutes from one town to another and then parked, the temp gauge would be near operating temp.

But after I've parked and continued idling the car, the temp gauge actually drops significantly and then stays down for quite a while and at that point it takes another 20 minutes before the gauge will reach operating temp. It'll take 30 minutes for the heat from the vents to feel HOT.

At this point I don't know what to attribute to this... I just want to know if it's normal for Kia Sportages.
 

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2018 SPORTAGE LX AWD
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Discussion Starter #8
I think I have it figured out. I believe what's happening is that when I drive 15 minutes from my town to a friend's house in another town, and then park and idle, I've reached the point where the thermostat has just opened up. So just when all the coolant starts flowing into the radiator is when the motor returns to idle and isn't working as hard, which means the temps will decrease. But because the thermostat opened it's going to stay opened and because the vehicle is now only idling with coolant flowing through the radiator, it's going to take a lot longer for the vehicle to reach operating temp.

If the above is correct, then I guess that would be normal.

I'm going to start driving in Sport Mode. That seems to help also. I usually have the vehicle on ECO. But I forget how fun Sport can be.
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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I'm going to start driving in Sport Mode. That seems to help also. I usually have the vehicle on ECO. But I forget how fun Sport can be.
As far as I can determine, ECO mode does nothing for you. In fact, if you drive your car normally, it may well give less mpg than NORMAL. When I first got my car, I actually tested ECO mode and determined that it gave worse mileage than NORMAL. The problem was that I was still driving the car with a slightly heavy foot. I theorize that the car uses more gas when you lug the engine and then speed up. Lugging the engine by making shift points lower is what ECO does. Therefore, I never drive the car in ECO mode. SPORT mode does make a slight change and I occasionally use it, but for normal driving, NORMAL seems to work just fine....
 

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2017 Sportage LX
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My 2017 LX warms up extremely fast up here in the cold or on a warm day. Within five minutes of leaving the house it's usually fully warmed up and the needle stays right there in the center of the gage. The low-tech climate system in the LX seems to work very well and needs very little adjustment. It warms the car up quickly and efficiently on super cold days. So far after two and a half years of owning this Sportage I find I'm totally satisfied with it but not the dealership that's another whole story.
 

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2017 Sportage SX AWD / Mineral silver with beige interior
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I decided the first week that ECO mode was useless and if anything hard on the engine. I have never used it since.
49,000 trouble free miles.
 

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The temp gauge should not drop while idling after a warm-up. I'm beginning to think you have a bad thermostat in the engine. Modern thermostats fail cold which allows you to continue to drive until you can replace it. You should still be under warranty so there's no reason to do it yourself. The coolant has to be drained to change it so it would be better to let the dealer do it for free. They will have to verify it of course.
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 08 Harley Nightrain
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The temp gauge should not drop while idling after a warm-up. I'm beginning to think you have a bad thermostat in the engine. Modern thermostats fail cold which allows you to continue to drive until you can replace it. You should still be under warranty so there's no reason to do it yourself. The coolant has to be drained to change it so it would be better to let the dealer do it for free. They will have to verify it of course.
Correct, and another concern is the fact that most of the engine wear occurs while its below normal operating temperature.
 

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2018 SPORTAGE LX AWD
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The temp gauge should not drop while idling after a warm-up. I'm beginning to think you have a bad thermostat in the engine. Modern thermostats fail cold which allows you to continue to drive until you can replace it. You should still be under warranty so there's no reason to do it yourself. The coolant has to be drained to change it so it would be better to let the dealer do it for free. They will have to verify it of course.
A bad thermostat wouldn't explain why the temp goes DOWN after 12 minutes if I park the car and idle. It would also be weird that I have no P0128 code. I checked, no pending or current codes. If the thermostat is stuck open or if it's working properly, the same is occurring at about the 12 minute mark: Thermostat is open and coolant would be entering the radiator. I checked the computer reading of the coolant temp. After about 12 minutes, the coolant is about 175F. 179 plus or minus 2.7 degress is what the OEM t-stats are rated for.

And I've already been to the dealer. I'm pretty sure that in order to get to the bottom of something like this you'd have to bench test the thermostat, which, granted, I'm sure the tech didn't do. - I'd be pissed off if a dealer goes so far to bench test the thermostat only to put it back in. But at this point it would be hard to go back to the dealer for the same issue, when I'm starting to think something else is going on.

Unless you guys are saying that the Kia should warm up fast when it's just idling too...

BTW, the fan is not kicked on when the vehicle is parked and idling.
 

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'A bad thermostat wouldn't explain why the temp goes DOWN after 12 minutes if I park the car and idle.'

Sure it would - the thing is stuck open. Less heat is being produced when you idle, but the water pump is till pushing water through the radiator.
Sometimes you just have to step back and look at the basics that never change, like coolant that cools below the set point while the engine is running must be caused by over-cooling, which usually is caused by the lack of restriction in the coolant flow attributed the thermostat. So if you have a 'fail-hot' thermostat like the older cars, this would mean there is no thermostat in the system. For a 'fail-cold' thermostat as in newer cars (a tremendous improvement), it means the thermostat is faulty. Further, the cooling system in the Sportage in my experience is perfectly controlled - the needle doesn't change after warm-up, winter or summer. Yours is going up and down, indicating reduced or no control over coolant temperature, which indicates the thermostat.
 
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