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I have a 2011 Nissan X-Trail, 2.0 Turbo Diesel.

Couple of days ago, we had a heat wave 39C / 102F. Normally the temp gauge gets close to the vertical axis of the cluster, so not really in vertical position.

While driving in slow traffic, AC turned on, I notice the gauge approaching the vertical axis, then slowly getting back to it's old position. And then slowly fluctuating towards vertical and it's regular position.

Car ran fine, but it cought my attention, because this never happened before.

A couple of hours later, still 39C / 102F, car has been sitting in the parking lot for 4 hours. I hooked a cheap OBDII reader and monitored the coolant temp from my phone.

While driving constantly with speeds between 60 - 80kph (40 - 50mph) the temperature in my OBD scanner rose to 103C / 217F. At that time i stopped the AC, which redused the temp to 99C / 210F. The whole time, the dash gauge sat still, a couple of degrees close to the vertical axis.

The radiator fans seem to work fine, both turn on.

The problem seems to get worse with AC on.

Temp increases if I go over 2000rpm.

No warning lights or error codes, car runs ok, no loss of power.

Coolant level always steady (in both overflow tank and radiator), no loss, in 2 months since i've had the car. There is an electric turbo cooler pump, which draws coolant, after stopping the engine. But the coolant returns to the overflow tank after the pump runs for a couple of minutes. This pump only runs with the engine off.

Also, I noticed, that the engine hood and front wings of the car get hot after driving, almost to the point of burning your hand.

What should I do, to check if indeed there's a possible overheating issue?

Should I trust the OBD scanner temp or the dash gauge?

Thanks

  • What I'm wondering is, what is giving you an indication there's an issue? Engine temperatures will fluctuate some. A difference of 5°C really isn't a huge amount. It's something I'd consider well within normal. IIRC, under pressure and with good coolant, the engine shouldn't boil over until somewhere around 125°C (258°F). You've got tons of temperature room before you are in that range. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 4 at 18:21
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I noticed that the engine bay is hot. Hood and wings really hot to the touch. Also, sometimes the engine turns the AC compressor off, while driving and at idle. – eonootz Jul 5 at 7:45
  • Leaving this, so that anyone else with similar issues can find an answer. The issue was that there was a lot of dried grass and dirt between the AC condenser and the engine radiator. Gently cleaned everything up and the engine is running colder now. Barely getting over 90C. – eonootz Sep 4 at 21:30
  • Please put that as an answer, instead of a comment ... good information! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 4 at 21:53
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The issue was that there was a lot of dried grass and dirt between the AC condenser and the engine radiator. Gently cleaned everything up and the engine is running colder now. Barely getting over 90C.

  • Great! Thanks for letting us know! – Bob Cross Sep 5 at 12:38

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