Water Temperature Question

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by 94Suburban, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. 94Suburban

    94Suburban New Member

    Hi All,

    I recently found your site and have a question for everyone.

    I have a 1994 K2500 Suburban with the 350 engine. I noticed that the water temperature gauge rarely passes the quarter mark and never has come close to the 210 degree mark. Is this normal? It doesn't matter if I do city driving or highway driving, it usually stays right at the quarter mark. I don't know what temperature that is supposed to be, but it seems low to me. All other cars I have ever driven stay at the middle mark, but not the Suburban.

    Somewhat related, my Suburban gets around 13 city and 15 highway. I think this is the expected range.

    Thanks for the help in advance!
  2. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Don't mean to jump on this thread, but have noticed the same thing on my '99 this weekend and was going to post a question about it. Temp gauge just goes up a notch or two. Either our engines have GREAT cooling or something's totally wrong! :)
  3. ct9a

    ct9a Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    My '94 1500 is the same. It barely gets to the 1/4 mark, if that.
  4. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Woohoo! We're not alone! Now... to find out if that is a good, bad, or indifferent thing..!
  5. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Previous sensors had a single lead running to them with a plastic housing that clip connects to the tip
    of the water/oil sensor and they become brittle from the heat of the engine and under hood heat. Now
    I have not investigated(with my 02 Burban), but believe this may still be the case with these.
    A)Check to see which side of the block the lead runs to and check to see if its loose, clip has become
    cracked on its surroundings.
    B)You can warm the engine and disconnect and reconnect the lead for the sensor and see if this alters
    the guage, because the sensor tip where the connection is made to it can also go bad as soem of
    them are ceramic and crack.
    The guage can also be accurate and your temp holds steady, has the coolant been changed recently?
    Any of the other components also been changed? With the newer coolant being used the heat tolorence is suppose to be at a higher rate for before it becomes excessively high(the guage range)>
    Also where do you live at, this can influence your temp range. Check and advise as I am curious to find the answer.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  6. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Well, I know I'm in. I'll check the sensor and connector the first chance I get to fool around with mine. Hope others do the same.
  7. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    To add a little more, I had a 93' S15 Jimmy that the guage read a constant 185 degree's and didn't seem right and I started investigating the sensors and found the ceramic end had cracked slightly and was not making a good contact.
    I had a 98' tracker that the tip was like a speaker connector and came loose from the sensor and when I drove faster the temp would go down, so there you have it, but all Chevy/GMC. The tracker was a part of the trade for the 02 Burban.
  8. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I think I'll just be buying a new sensor and installing it. Checking alldata shows that the sensor is easy to get to and that an old/defective sensor can cause readings that are off. Actually, it shows three of them in the diagrams, but I have a feeling there's just one and it's easy enough to get to.
  9. 94Suburban

    94Suburban New Member

    Well I don't know what to make of this. I decided to change out the spark plugs, rotor, cap and spark plug wires. Some of the plugs looked ugly and were of a Bosch double prong platinum type. I ended up using AC Delco plugs.

    Now when I drive, the gauge reads one tick above the quarter if I'm driving on fairly flat roads. If I drive up hills, I actually see the gauge read higher. Maybe one or two ticks below 210 degrees. I also did a little driving on some dirt roads which required me to go quite slowly (5-10 MPH) and twice I had to use 4x4 but only for less than one minute. The gauge read as high as one tick past 210 degrees.

    Changing the cap, rotor, plugs, and wires seemed to influence the "baseline" reading on the temp gauge and now it fluctuates alot more.

    Does anybody know what the actual temp should be at various driving conditions? For example at flat roads? Hills? Dirt roads going very slowly?


    PS: I look a look at the coolant temperature sensor which I believe is located on the drivers side block of the engine between the first two spark plugs. It is not an expensive part ($18 at Autozone) but I did not replace it.

    I had hoped the changing of the plugs, wires, rotor, and cap would have gained me some gas mileage, but it seems it hasn't, well at least not on the first tank of gas.
  10. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    I know it's a little late on this post but I replaced the temp sensor today and it did not affect the temp gauge reading. I took it for a little ride and it's still one or two ticks above the low end of the scale.

    Until something blows up I'll just ignore the low reading!

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