Normal oil and coolant temperatures ?


Asked by Sep 14, 2007 at 12:21 AM about the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Question type: General

What is the normal oil temperature and coolant temperatures ?  I was driving my car on a slow busy street, and while I was sitting there , my gauges started to climb into the 220-230 degree range . I thought that was a little hot , but I did not overheat, luckily .

15 Answers


That's actually fairly normal for slow city driving on a hot day. Oil temp is typically not an issue but coolant temp should stay below 230-235 degrees.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

Thank you very much ....that really helps !

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I just put in a new water pump and my coolant temperature is about 221 is that normal and I have driven it yet is this normal.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

yeah if u wanna have confident cxity driving, then i'd recommend some aftermarket fans and hook them up to a switch so u can just have them on in the city

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I don't know the exact temps but when you're sitting in traffic or idling, the radiator has little or no air flow. When the temps climb to about 215 the electric fan switches on. When the temps reach 225 or so, both fans switch on. When temps drop to below approximately 210, they switch off. Once you start moving the temps will drop back down to the "normal" 190 range. When the air conditioning is on, both fans run full time and usually maintains the 190 range.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Just put a coolant switch on my 86 vette and is running between 235 and 255

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

What else can I change to bring it lower?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

With the existing stock cooling system, normal temps should be 195 except when sitting in traffic as noted above. If your stock fans are working properly they will reach as high as 230 but keep the temps below 215. This is normal and there is no need to add or change anything. If it runs consistently above 210 even when at speed, then your radiator is probably clogged.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

higher pressure radiator cap would help....if still getting hot, then look into seeing if u actually have a flow issue in ur radiator, and possibly getting a new one......and also does the 86 vette have a front grille? or an air dam under the car? because i have an 84 trans am with the air dam and yeah u NEED an aftermarket performance radiator and cap to keep cool

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you much guys. I just went out for a while drove in city and temp was no more than 230 on traffic lights. Might still put on another switch that turn on fan at 200. When I turn off car and start right back up I hear a knocking like when temp is too high.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Some people are adamant about keeping the engine cooler for more performance but it's at the expense of efficiency/fuel mileage. A higher pressure radiator cap does nothing to keep it cool. Only helps keep it from boiling over. If you want cooler operating temps, you need to get a cooler thermostat and either a bigger radiator or an oil cooler can help too. The bottom feeder air intake can often catch debri from the road like leaves and other junk. You have to jack it up to get in there to make sure it's clean.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

sorry false, there is a very specific science to anti freeeze/ water ratio, and pressure/ boiling point....and when u know how to get them both right, ur car can run fine from city to track....increasing the pressure in the system will increase the boiling point of water (physics), and as we know, water has excellent cooling properties, but is imperfect for a car....with a higher pressure radiator cap mixed with a higher ratio water to anti-freeze it adds quite a bit of cooling, a 1.3 bar cap and straight distilled water and water wetter is what most race cars usew


Sorry but if you know your physics, boiling point and temperature are two different things. Changing the radiator cap does not change the temps. Yes, antifreeze/water can change the cooling ability but the pressure in the system does not affect the operating temps below boiling point. pv=nrt Physics.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

correct, but u increase the boiling point of water then it will stay in the cooling system....and also, the only thing a thermostat controls is coolant flow, if u get a lower rated thermostat, all it affects is when it opens and when it will be fully open....yes a lower rated thermostat will help, but once its fully open and ur car is still over heating, then u have to look deeper, higher flow water pump or higher rpm fans....i have two fans that spin at 5,000rpm, flick those on for a couple minuets and im below 200 degrees

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Why not cool the water with the engine? Sounds crazy but check your spark plugs and go colder if you are running hot. A spark plug controls the cylinder temp. Also perhaps you are running lean. Put a cold thermostat in your engine adjust your plugs. My 01 Corvette runs at 175 in traffic when outside temp is around 80 degrees.

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