I got some fun alone time with the Discovery this weekend, and made a few uhh...
discoveries findings. I know it sounds weird to have “alone time” with a car, but usually when I am in it I am going from A to B without a lot of spare time. Saturday was lazy and I was mildly hungover, so I kinda just puttered around town and then hit Sonic for some hangover cure.
Since replacing the head gaskets, cooling system, and basically anything else I could get my hands on on the Land Rover, I’ve still been struggling with higher-than-I’d-like underhood temps. Specifically my UltraGauge used to read about 210F, the point at which the aux fan kicks in, all the time. Part of me still thinks/ thought this is due to a problem with the wiring. When I hit the engine with a infrared gauge it reads much lower than indicated on the OBD2.
Still, better safe than sorry, so I went ahead and replaced the thermostat with a Land Rover genuine “warm weather” thermostat. This helped dramatically and I started seeing temps of around 195 when driving, warmer than expected, but certainly closer to where I wanted to be.
“So... what was that about Sonic?” You may ask.
Oh right. So I’d noticed when I was at the ORV park the temps tend to creep up at low speed. A little rise is expected, but things were really getting hot and heavy out there.
“This... still doesn’t have anything to do wit-” I’M GETTING THERE!
So sitting at Sonic was my first chance in a long while to just sit still and see where the engine temps go. Unfortunately, they went from 205F, my not-moving idle temp, to 220F over the course of 10-15 min. Not... great.
Now, I admit, I don’t know what is “normal” for this vehicle. The temperature gauge is software smoothed to a fault and this is my first time with a digital gauge. Still, 15F seems like a helluva climb just sitting around.
Also, to its credit, the fan roar was pretty distinct when I was pulling away, further indicating that this might be normal.
That said, this temperature creep is a pretty classic symptom of a fan clutch on the way out. I did test it when I had it off for the head gaskets and it seemed fine, but now it is literally the only old component in the cooling system. HammerFistHeadPunch (that’s right... right?) did a good write up on this a while back:
Ok... so out with the old, in with the Chinese knockoff, as the saying goes.
\Reading through the “How to Live With Your Land Rover Discovery I & II On a Budget” book, they suggest using a host of other techniques to further lower underhood temps, including exhaust wrap. Actually, oddly, they suggest using the wrap on the wiring loom, but I may try it on the headers.
The downside of this stuff appears to be it can cause the exhaust to rust. Not sure how, but that is, apparently, a common complaint. Whatever. I’ll probably get frustrated after the first 1 or 2 wraps and throw the whole roll in the spare parts bin anyway.
Bonus round! I left my rear sunroof open for 12 hours during a massive downpour. I’m actually impressed how much water got in the car and that the water made it all the way to the driver seat.
And my “impressed” I mean “annoyed”.
Oh well, temps the next couple of days are in the high 90s, so it should dry out in short order.