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Towing Concerns


gio
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i have a few concerns about towing.

we are about to buy a caravan,to see if we like it.

my concerns are on how much hotter do cars run when towing,you see all my cars

over the past few years have always ran normal temp when traveling across

europe, until i got my vectra est tdi. this seemed to run alot hotter than normal

not only on mountain passes but when trying to hold high speeds 100 mph leading

me to slow down so the car didn't go into the red.

my wife's alfa 156, 2. 4 diesel did the same last year,but only on mountain passes.

as we intend to tour with the alfa on the same type of passes,i was wondering if

anyone had recent experiences concerning car temp when towing.

 

i'm not a novice when it comes to cars,but with overheating being a serious

concern and the extra strain put on a car when towing its something i'd like to

know more about before i start towing long distance.

 

thank you in advance.

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Hi Gio, I tow with a peugeot 406 HDI and the temp stays the same even going up hills in 3rd, ive never had any worries about overheating when towing.

Mind you ive never tried to go 100mph in it !!! i think my old pug would blow up if i tried that speed

 

Oscar

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Our last primera started getting hot when towing uphill. Back to the dealership it went a few times. Turned out be a faulty radiator. Our new 2. 2dci does not budge from running at normal, however much strain I put it under (solo at 110mph or towing up hill 60mph)

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Same here chaps, - Eleven year old 1600cc 16v bog standard Ford Escort Estate with 156000 on the clock - no difference towing or solo. Temperature guage stays bang in the middle. Scottish mountains - Welsh smaller but steeper ones - don't make no difference.

Only thing the 'old gal' don't like is London jams - then the fan comes on and restores everything back to normal.

 

Have fun!

 

ATB

You can not reason with an unreasonable person.

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Hi Gio,

 

If the cars that you own already run hot under certain conditions, then you may have a problem. A lot will depend on the weight you tow, the air temperature, the speed that you wish to tow and the terrain. You may find it beneficial to speak to the appropriate main dealer and ask for advice as additional cooling may be necessary.

 

Yossa

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i still own the tdi vectra,and as i remember it did get hotter than what i call the

norm,bearing in mind its run on the continent was in 2003. i still use her and have

done 25000 miles since then and it doesn't get anywhere near as warm here in the

uk,as it did on that run 18 months ago.

as for the alfa,well again here in the uk it runs relatively cool 85 degrees would be

seen on a warm day, as thats all we get here in the uk.

i was looking for someone with experience of towing up mountain passes and/

or when the outside temp was over 30 degrees. this was where these cars got

hotter,and this was not something my previous petrol mondeo suffered.

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Hi Gio,

 

Just a thought,do manufacturers fit thermostats with different opening temperatures for different markets? Lower opening for hot climes and vice versa. Going back to the days of yore,cars used to have winter and summer thermostats.

 

Frank

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Diesels to generate more excess heat than petrols but manufacturers usually fit larger radiators and/or extra fans to compensate for this. Some diesels have lower towing limits than their "equivalent" petrol models which is often because of limitations of their cooling system.

 

Provided the vehicle is well maintained AND within it's manufacturers specified towing limit and gross train weight you shouldn't have any overheating problems. The temperature gauge may well increase by 2-3 degrees when towing but that doesn't constitute overheating.

 

I always fit an additional transmission cooler on an automatic, even if the manufacturer states that it's not necessary - just for peace of mind.

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Diesels to generate more excess heat than petrols but manufacturers usually fit larger radiators and/or extra fans to compensate for this. Some diesels have lower towing limits than their "equivalent" petrol models which is often because of limitations of their cooling system.

 

13971[/snapback]

Hi RogerL,

 

That goes against everything that I have ever heard about diesel engines which are more thermally efficient than an equivalent petrol engine. Which manufacturers modern turbo diesel engines have a lower towing limit than their petrol? :)

 

Here are some FAQs on diesel engines:-

 

http://www. tdiclub. com/TDIFAQ/TDiFAQ-2. html#c

 

Frank

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A Diesel engine has to generate enough heat in its compression stroke to ignite the fuel.

 

A Petrol engine has a spark plug to do it.

 

So yes a Diesel does generate more heat than a Petrol but theyare more heavily built to take this.

 

However modern Diesel powered cars should not show any more signs of overheating than a Petrol powered car does.

 

Now going back forty years it was quite normal for my AEC coach to boil like mad when going up over the Gotthard Pass for example - that was before the tunnel and even the new swish road - and we would stop at the top for a cool off!

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Try fitting a cooler running thermostat, and dont tow at 100 mph. It may be wort thinking of fitting an oil cooler, if there is not one already fitted.

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A Diesel engine has to generate enough heat in its compression stroke to ignite the fuel.

 

A Petrol engine has a spark plug to do it.

 

So yes a Diesel does generate more heat than a Petrol but theyare more heavily built to take this.

 

However modern Diesel powered cars should not show any more signs of overheating than a Petrol powered car does.

 

13982[/snapback]

Hi Ted,

 

As you say a diesel engine generates more heat than a petrol engine,however it doesn't waste a large proportion of this heat into the water jacket like the petrol engine, but uses it to burn a larger percentage of the fuel,hence more thermally efficient. :)

 

"Because the TDI engine is so efficient, it puts less heat into the cooling system than comparable gasoline engines. A TDI engine will not reach operating temperature by idling. There is no point starting the car a few minutes before you plan to use it in order to have a warm interior - it isn't going to happen."

 

Frank

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thanks for all your replies.

 

the only thing that crossed my mind was that as the turbo works alot hard when

understress,here that equates to speed,which intern equates to more airflow

so to a degree balancing the effects.

when i have noted higher running temps it has been in high air temp and mountain

climbs,so was hoping to find some back up on this so ease my concerns about

towing with 1 of the cars i already own.

may have to look a little deeper into towing.

thanks.

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Hi Gio,

 

One thing to remember about towing in mountainaous regions is that apart from the engine working harder while climbing,the power of the engine is reduced by about 3% per 1000ft due to the reduction in air pressure. This reduction in efficiency may well cause overheating with a marginal cooling system. :)

 

Frank

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Guest Hobbybod

gio,

 

As others have intimated, you should not have a problem going up Alpine passes towing with a modern car, but some accessories will put an extra load on the engine/cooling system, and air conditioning is the main one.

 

If you go here you'll see my father's outfit just past the top of the Simplon pass on the Italian side; 1955, I think. I'm the miserable boy on the left!!

 

Then the vehicles were very prone to over-heating (no electric cooling fans), and father would often get us up at 6:30am to go over the passes in the very early morning, to beat both the heat of the day and the traffic. We'd have breakfast at the top!

 

Later, when he allowed me to tow the 'van, I'd put the heater on to increase the engine cooling and we'd have every window open. Father had a 4 speed gearbox on his cars, but some of his pals only had 3 speed boxes and they would often 'boil' going up the passes. Used to completely remove the thermostat as well, so as to increase cooling water flow.

 

Aahhh those were the days.

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gio,

 

Later, when he allowed me to tow the 'van, I'd put the heater on to increase the engine cooling and we'd have every window open.   Father had a 4 speed gearbox on his cars, but some of his pals only had 3 speed boxes and they would often 'boil' going up the passes. Used to completely remove the thermostat as well, so as to increase cooling water flow.

 

Aahhh those were the days.

14056[/snapback]

 

Now that takes me back a bit :lol:

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Hii,

 

As I live in Ankara / Turkey I have to pass several high mountains on towing inorder to get sea cost. Although roads are about flat by 90 percent few passages require attention. Besides the holidays are usually in july or august and temp can be recorded from the car as 34-36 in noon time. Hence engine temp is always a concern to me.

 

In my previous cars I always fit an additional cooling fan to the radiator and it was very useful. The control was either by a manual switch or through a roley which is activated by the original fan. Infact it was a must for my Audi 1. 6 e. I never had boiling radiator but need to stop and let the two fans cool down the engine at idle for a few times.

 

Opel Rekord 2. 2 almost rarely need to switch on the extra fan, although I fit one. Infact in the first trail engine temp was abnormally increasing in every hill. I was manually switching on the extra fun for safety but engine temp was increasing and on. It took me some time to notice that the fun infact had negative effect. Then suddenly stop the car and check the direction of the wind from the fun and as you may expect It was the wrong case. The technician fixed the elctric cables in reverse order. I corrected the nodes in a minute.

 

For my current mercedes there is already an electric fan for AC and the good thing is that when engine temp goes beyond 110 degrees it starts automatically (though the AC is off) to help the cooling system.

 

You may check this function in your car. If it doesn't exist, add some cabling to make use of the AC fan for cooling either manually or automatically.

 

Regards

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thanks dogun, now i feel as if i should'nt worry too much about towing

with the alfa.

yes it has climate control,which does bring on the first fan,although i suspect this

1st speed fan is faulty,as it should come on at 92 degrees,and on the few occassions the climate was not on and i had a suspect radiator,this fan did not

switch on,unless i switched the climate on. the second fan comes on at 98 or

thats what the dealers told me when checking for rad problems.

 

right i surppose i should get a towbar fitted.

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So yes a Diesel does generate more heat than a Petrol but theyare more heavily built to take this.

 

13982[/snapback]

 

 

Any internal combustion engines burns fuel creating heat. Some of the heat is converted into work and some goes as waste heat. The more thermodynamically efficient the engine is, the more work will be produced and less waste heat. As a diesel engine is more thermally efficient than a petrol engine, less waste heat is produced. You notice this as diesels take much longer to warm up than petrol, although this is made worse by the heavier engine. A simple guide to the characteristics of both petrol and diesel engines can be seen on the following link

 

http://www. antonine-education. co. uk/Physic. ..ion_engines. htm

 

Modern diesels are even more efficient, with more controlled fuel burning, which reduces pollution.

 

The heavier build of a diesel is to cope with the higher compression ratios, not temperature.

 

Brian

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<The heavier build of a diesel is to cope with the higher compression ratios, not temperature>

 

Wow !! You don't say!

 

<_<

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HI Gio

 

I have also noticed a higher running temp when towing in the lake district last year. It was my first time towing and i was a little concerned that my engine may overheat. It didn't go into the red, just ran alittle hotter than when not towing, and only happened when traveling up an incline for a long period. The car temperature dropped back down when there was less demands on the engine. I aslo drive a puggy 406 tdi.

 

 

Rob

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