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Re. Cool running 5kCST

This temperature sensor is in the head and there is not a 'correct'
operating temperature for the head to be at but a range in which it is
designed to operate. (Probably from about 1/4 to 3/4 scale on the temp
gauge but thats a guess) The thermostat on my old Golf played up so I
took it out. While I was on the motorway the temperature of the head was
way tooo cold (This would be the same as if the thermostat was sticking
open). My quattro (coupe)'s temp is always on 1/4 at the moment because
it is very cold (It's also at this temp when doing 90 MPH on the
motorway) but if I sit in traffic then the temp goes up to (3-4 - 7/8)
and the fan goes on almost constantly. I think my thermostat may also be
a bit buggered but at the moment I'm ignoring it because the head's temp
is inside the operating range (you can smell a really hot engine). Also
my radiator has no cowling which causes the temp in increase in any
traffic below 30 MPH because the air travels around the rad rather than
through it - much more of a problem in the summer. Why do you say that
the fan drains the battery - is it because the fan on often / a long
time after the car has stopped ?

As far a causing damage to the engine ;
	The engine can't be too cold (I think - anybody ?) but if the temp
gauge says it's cold treat it as cold (no raggin')
	If the engine is too hot then the fan comes on and it cools. The only
time to worry is if the fan comes on and DOES NOT GO OFF - this is
indicative of a broken rad (it can't) dissipate the heat because the
element are broken.

87 Coupe q

>I have a curious problem on my '88 5kCST.  Seems that the coolant
>temperature never gets very hot.  If I am cruising at a fast speed on the
>expressway, the coolant needle hovers at the 1/4 mark or even below.  If I
>come to a long stop light or slow down for a while, the needle starts
>creeping up to the halfway mark, which I believe is the normal operating
>temp.  Once I start moving fast again, the temp starts cooling off again.

>Is this the sign of a failing thermostat?  Since the car seems to run so
>cool now, my cooling fan (with very noisy bearings) doesn't come on nerly as
>much.  This is a blessing, since when it used to run a long time it would
>drain my battery by the end of the day.

>Am I causing damage to my engine by driving it in this condition?  Any help
>would be appreciated...