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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day when I was driving to work the ambient temp was 8 F (-13 C). I didn't let it warm up before I left and for giggles I turned the heat and fan up full when the engine reached 115 F. The engine temp only got to 154 F, and wouldn't go higher. I turned the fan down and the engine finally reached operating temp. Turned fan back to high and the engine temp stayed. I also had this issue with my Saturn SL1, except worse.

My old Jeep, with its all iron V8 has no problem reaching operating temp even if the ambient is below zero and heater full blast.
 

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The other day when I was driving to work the ambient temp was 8 F (-13 C). I didn't let it warm up before I left and for giggles I turned the heat and fan up full when the engine reached 115 F. The engine temp only got to 154 F, and wouldn't go higher. I turned the fan down and the engine finally reached operating temp. Turned fan back to high and the engine temp stayed. I also had this issue with my Saturn SL1, except worse.

My old Jeep, with its all iron V8 has no problem reaching operating temp even if the ambient is below zero and heater full blast.
Well, the heater core is a heat exchanger, so by tuning on the heat your engine gets a little extra, and in this case, unwanted cooling. Only thing you can do is cover the radiator more or less (with a piece of cardboard) to impede cooling at such low ambient temperatures.

There are a few problems if the engine operates below normal operating temperature (180 - 200°F) for prolonged times:

1. unnecessary excess fuel consumption (A/F mix unnecessarily rich)
2. possibly fuel dilution of oil (A/F mix unnecessarily rich)
3. moisture from oil sump does not boil off the oil and may cause oil degradation and even sludge
 
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