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New A/C


JasonA

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I got my car back yesterday with new A/C components.

New drier, $50

New compressor, $300

New expansion valve, $7

Flushing materials, $10

Refrigerant, $40

Oil, $16

Total of $669 with labor and tax.

It seems to cool well. I could see some oil spray on the crossmember directly under the new compressor. I'm thinking maybe that was clutch oil or other oil applied during shipping. I cleaned it off and will see if it reappears. The engine got warm coming in to work today (over 220*F), little traffic and 55* out. I did have the A/C on, so I'm thinking maybe they unplugged a cooling fan or something. I'll recheck that tonight and take it back to them if necessary. Otherwise, a clean installation job. I had no idea how QUIET a compressor can be. :) Unlike my old one, it makes no additional noise when engaged, and only a soft "click" when engaging. Very nice.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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That's an outstanding price! You wouldn't find anything like that in the New York metropolitan area.

Sure you didn't leave anything out?

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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Warren, nope, $422.98 for the parts above, $197 for the labor, $19.70 shop supplies, and $29.61 tax. H&L Automotive in Fayetteville, NC. Comes highly recommended from co-workers and other locals.

Checking Rockauto.com, the price and part number for the compressor is "HD6, Premium, New" from Four Seasons. Rockauto listed it for $301.something, so H&L is right on there. They really got over on me with the accumulator, though. Rockauto was $14, and H&L got me for $50 (matching part numbers to Rockauto). They also did good on the expansion valve...less than 2 bucks on Rockauto and I paid $7. But I know they gotta make a business, so I don't quibble on that. In all, I'd have spent over $300 in parts from Rockauto, but I'd also have had to buy the flush solvent and paid for the recharge, so I think my price would have come close to what I paid H&L in parts. The difference is their $197 in labor, which I think may have been worth it, just to get it done right...maybe...read on.

Okay, A/C experts, hopefully you can help me "diagnose" what is going on, before I go back to H&L Automotive for a re-look.

From the symptoms, I just KNEW the cooling fans weren't coming on. It was a moderately humid 75 degrees on the drive home from work. Using recirc mode and 68*, the A/C kept the cabin pretty cool when driving. However, when slowed to a stop at a light, the air turns markedly warmer and more humid. Not all of a sudden, but after about a minute of sitting at a light, it's gone from nice and cold to fairly warm and humid. The engine temperature would also rise rather quickly. Engine temp at normal cruise is at 190*. Even in the light stop-and-go that we have, it won't normally go much above 200*. Even in the summer months, when I used to use the air all the time, the temperatures might swell to 215*, but it'd take a while. This temperature rise was dramatic. Within 3-4 minutes of slow driving in traffic, the temperature has climbed to over 215*, not normal based on past history, and certainly not normal for ambients in the mid 70s. I shut the A/C off then, because I was under the belief that the cooling fans may be unplugged or something.

But they're not. They were working, both of them, at what appeared to be the slow setting, as they should have under those circumstances. I also checked the temperature (loosely) of many of the A/C hoses. The long hose that runs the length of the firewall is pretty warm, before the expansion valve. After the expansion valve, it's very cool. The line coming out of the evaporator and into the accumulator is also pretty cool...I'd say about the same as the line going IN to the evaporator. This line into and out of the accumulator is condensation-forming cold, but not frosty cold, as I've seen on some cars.

Okay, now I'm bewildered. :huh: An unplugged cooling fan would have explained all of the symptoms to me. No A/C when idling (no airflow across the condensor), and a sharp rise in engine temperatures when in traffic, due to the increased load of the A/C without any cooling fans.

I think I'm going to take it back and ask them to recheck the charge of the system. The oil under the compressor, by the way, has not come back today after I cleaned it off last night, so I assume THAT was just some external oil coating on the clutch parts. There is also an audible "whooshing" noise from in the cabin, from the HVAC system, while the A/C is engaged. It's hard to hear with the radio on, but very obvious with the radio off. Is increased noise a symptom of low refrigerant? I'm also really confused about the engine temperatures. Why is this such a drain on the cooling system...so much more than it USED to be with the original (undercharged) system.

If you guys can front me any information before I take it back, I'll appreciate it. Thanks.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I am going to comment on the cooling system temp. If they pulled out the radiator to gain access to the compressor, its possible your system has not stabilized yet and you have some air in the system. Just a thought if your fans are coming on. However the 215 in slow traffic does not bother me at all..

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Is increased noise a symptom of low refrigerant?

Nope.

I think the only symptom of low refregerant is the warning on your DIC that says so. It will also advise you that your compressor has been commanded OFF for the duration. This is a go/nogo situation; it won't vary with engine speed (idle etc.). Your compressor simply will not turn back on again until the low refrigerant problem is addressed.

Two things are important to note during your poor cooling episodes. First, determine if the compressor is commanded "ON" by the HVAC system. Secondly, determine if it is in fact ON when so commanded. I could easily tell you how to do this on my OBDI vehicle, but yours, of course, is different. Let's look for some help here.

In short, when in diagnostic mode, you will be able to tell from the comfort of your driver's seat whether or not the compressor is commanded "ON." A peak under the hood will reveal whether it is in fact on or off.

EDIT: As an example, here's how the Climate Control panel on an OBDI equipped vehicle displays these things: http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y299/WBucket/PCMstatus.jpg

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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215 would not bother me either, but I would monitor it in the future. Afterall, it is a different compressor and could have more drag which would result in more heat to the engine. The air conditioning temp at a stop light would, if it were warming inside the car that much. You can check that yourself with a cheap $5 gage from autozone or any chain part store. The compressor must be engaged (air cond. running)when checking, as it will read high when not engaged. Should read 35-45 lbs at 70 degrees outside. But there is a chart listed on the gage for varying temps. That will tell you have a leak and are losing the 134A. Of course you could take it to the shop and have them check it for you.

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Thanks guys. I do plan on taking it back anyway...

The coolant temperature by itself doesn't bother me...just that it's never acted this way before, even with the old A/C. It rises much too fast compared to before.

Interestingly, I was leafing through the service manual last night... It said that with the A/C on, the LH fan should be on low and the RH fan should be on high. Both of my fans appear to be on low. However, when I looked in the Engine Controls section where the fan speed diagnosis is, it doesn't mention the different fan control speeds. It just says that with A/C requested, the fans are on low.

Can anyone verify that service manual information? Does your car run with the LH fan on low and the RH fan on high, with the A/C on? Mine seems to run with both fans on low. This may account for my lack of cooling at low speeds, and lack of engine cooling in traffic, if it's indeed the case.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Interestingly, I was leafing through the service manual last night... It said that with the A/C on, the LH fan should be on low and the RH fan should be on high. Both of my fans appear to be on low. However, when I looked in the Engine Controls section where the fan speed diagnosis is, it doesn't mention the different fan control speeds. It just says that with A/C requested, the fans are on low.

Can anyone verify that service manual information? Does your car run with the LH fan on low and the RH fan on high, with the A/C on? Mine seems to run with both fans on low. This may account for my lack of cooling at low speeds, and lack of engine cooling in traffic, if it's indeed the case.

DISCLAIMER: OBDI here.

Dunno how yours might differ, but my radiator cooling fans have two speeds: low and high.

In low speed mode, both fans are connected in series via 3 relays (numbered 1 through 3 behind the washer container). In high speed mode they are connected in parallel via the same 3 relays. No chance of either fan running at a different speed. Relay #2 does the series/parallel switch.

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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No chance of either fan running at a different speed. Relay #2 does the series/parallel switch.

That assumes, of course, the PCM and relays are operatingly properly. I *think* it's possible to have only one fan operating in the event of a PCM or relay failure.

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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Warren, thanks. I believe my '97 is the same way. Two fans, operated by three relays. The service manual in the HVAC section indicated one fan running low, while the other runs high, but the fan diagnostic section under Engine Controls mentions nothing like that.

Driving home yesterday, it was above 80*F, but the coolant temperature didn't read as high as it did the previous day. But this morning, only 52*F outside, it did climb up above 205*F. Maybe I'm just not remembering it correctly from before, and maybe this is pretty normal for the coolant temperatures with A/C on.

I still plan to take the car back to H&L regarding the low cooling while idling.

I'd like to jumper the fans on manual high and just see how it runs for a few days...see if the coolant stays steadier and see if the A/C cools better at idle. Maybe it could be that I still have a fan issue, but maybe one of them is worn or about to die. They both appear to be turning at approximately the same speed, but it's hard to tell.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Okay, one last observation, to see if this jogs anyone's thoughts...

I've noticed that after turning the car off, the temperature of ALL of the metal A/C lines of the hood stabilize to a rather warm temperature VERY quickly...like within 2 minutes. I don't think it was like that before. And although the cold temperature of the lines forms condensation, it must quickly burn/dry off when it warms up after turning off, because I never get any A/C condensation dripping to the garage floor anymore.

Is that right...how quickly those lines warm back up? It just doesn't seem right. I'm recording all of my observations down and will give that to H&L when I bring the car back to them next week. I'm sure that ALL of these observations/differences from before are all due to one problem...like being under/over charged, or a bad orifice tube, or something.

Could the A/C system even WORK correctly if the orifice tube was bad, or missing? There's a distinct difference in temperature in the hard metal line where the orifice tube is installed...before and after the tube...which indicates to me that it's gotta at least be there, even if it may not be working correctly.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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your system is working since you do feel cool air. if you think about it, the techs work on it at idle so whether it works at 1000rpm or 2000rpm is not a factor. the pressure and temp sensors tell the computer whats up and than cycle the compressor on/off to provide the proper cooling. you could still have a blockage in the system. maybe your new compressor is faulty.

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Okay, one last observation, to see if this jogs anyone's thoughts...

I've noticed that after turning the car off, the temperature of ALL of the metal A/C lines of the hood stabilize to a rather warm temperature VERY quickly...like within 2 minutes. I don't think it was like that before. And although the cold temperature of the lines forms condensation, it must quickly burn/dry off when it warms up after turning off, because I never get any A/C condensation dripping to the garage floor anymore.

Is that right...how quickly those lines warm back up? It just doesn't seem right. I'm recording all of my observations down and will give that to H&L when I bring the car back to them next week. I'm sure that ALL of these observations/differences from before are all due to one problem...like being under/over charged, or a bad orifice tube, or something.

Could the A/C system even WORK correctly if the orifice tube was bad, or missing? There's a distinct difference in temperature in the hard metal line where the orifice tube is installed...before and after the tube...which indicates to me that it's gotta at least be there, even if it may not be working correctly.

No, absent an orifice tube the system will NOT work. The orifice tube is the only thing that separates the high pressure side of the system from the low pressure side. I don't even want to *THINK* what might happen in its absence.

The orifice tube is a "metering" device and is also known as an "expansion" tube. It is a restrictor. Basically, high pressure liquid refrigerant enters the narrow tube and rapidly expands into the liquid/vapor mix the evaporator wants to see on the low pressure side. That rapid gas expansion results in the temperature differential you observe across the tube.

An orifice tube with any significant degree of "clogging" will upset the temperature and pressure sensors to such a degree that the PCM will turn off the compressor and go hide under a chair until you fix things.

There should be condensate under your car in warm/humid weather. Is it possible you've experienced a lack of condensate due to mild weather?

How fast do your pipes cool? Well, that's an interesting question. I haven't seen any data on that. Perhaps if you find anything of interest, you can let us know.

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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I still plan to take the car back to H&L regarding the low cooling while idling.

I'm unaware of anything Cadillac ever made that didn't cool properly at idle.

Of course, I don't know anyone who ever owned one of those V6 abominations . . . . j/k :P

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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For what it's worth, I think I've figured out the engine coolant temperature thing...

I was under the impression that as long as AC was selected on the HVAC, and the ambient temperature was above 40*, the AC compressor was running and the fans would be on. Both times I saw the temperatures creep up in traffic, it was on cool and dry mornings on the way to work. Although I had the AC "on", I bet the compressor wasn't even running. The temperatures climbed to about 222*, then they started falling again, like the cooling fans had just come on. And I bet they did...since the compressor must not have been running at the time.

Since then, even during 80+ afternoons in traffic, the engine coolant always has stayed below 200*, indicating to me that the fans are running properly.

There's still the lack of AC cooling at idle, and I will have them investigate.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Sounds good, but I'm still curious.

The engine temperature would also rise rather quickly. Engine temp at normal cruise is at 190*. Even in the light stop-and-go that we have, it won't normally go much above 200*. Even in the summer months, when I used to use the air all the time, the temperatures might swell to 215*, but it'd take a while. This temperature rise was dramatic.

Nobody is a better judge than you regarding the "normal" operation of your cooling system, but this reminds me of complaints by folk who have later discovered that their coolant mixture was something other than 50/50 water/antifreeze.

Any chance other work was done on your car that might have resulted in the coolant mix having been changed?

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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The AC just went out in my 97 STS. Got the very low refrigerent and compress off warnings. I have just moved to Plano, Tx and was hoping some one could recommend a good mechanic.

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Warren, are you saying that the coolant concentration will affect the 'normal' operating temperature and that could explain the temp difference that Jason is experiencing? That would be something that I was unaware of..

I think its possible that they did pull the radiator and condenser to more easily get at the compressor, doing so would give you a clear view of the area. Since they probably flushed the condenser pulling the radiator to get a clear view seems logical. I did this job last year and DID NOT pull the radiator, but I do see how doing so would be advantageous. So it is possible that the coolant concentration is different and it is possible that there is air trapped in the system. My next phone call would be to specifically ask if they pulled the radiator and if they put the cooling supplement in, and I would check the coolant concentration, and if they used Dexcool...

I wonder if its possible that the new compressor is harder to turn compared to the old unit because its new and if the condenser is dissapating more heat, thereby the temp increase.

To be honest, the temps that Jason WAS getting seem untypically low in my experience, the new temps seem to be 'normal' in my experience.

Quite frankly its techically impossible to cruise at 190 when the thermostat is a 195 degree unit. So something is odd, maybe the stat was hanging open and now its free? The stat WILL modulate to maintain its rated temp, so to see 190 is a weird thought to me.....

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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BbF,

So many people here have unique and different experiences regarding their cooling systems. That's why I suggested Jason was the best judge of his particular system.

When I cruise on the Distressway during non-summer months I expect to see temperatures between 172-180. Never more. I see 185 on warm/humid summer evenings with the A/C on (windows often open).

When I drive around town and then pull up to a Seven-Eleven I might find myself looking at 217-223 just before I shut down the engine. I might see 237 when I come out and start the engine. Heck, it's all over the place. But that's my car. YMMV.

Air trapped in the system was something I thought of only after I posted. Thank's for the reminder; it's a very good point!

A "Stiff" compressor? Harder to turn over than an aged one? Okay, I'll buy that, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think it amounts to anything measurable. That's admittedly a subjective judgement, but absent substantial evidence to the contrary, I'm not ready to purchase it. Well okay, maybe on a K-Car.

Yep, I didn't see much wrong with Jason's temperature reports except for his mention of (I think) a "dramatic rise." Jason, however, is the best person to report whether the rise in temperature was large and fast based on his past experience and familiarity with the car.

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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What stat do you have in do you know? These cars call for a 195 degree stat... Could have a 180 degree maybe? When you see these temps are you driving in OD or D? I find that when I shift down to D, I can see temps in the 192 range as the water pump turns faster when its in D compared to OD..

Also I am aware that we are the best judges of our cooling system temps... but what we are attempting to explain is the temp increase here...

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1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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This reminds me of an older thread discussing the merits of digital coolant readouts versus the analogue needle on 98+ Sevilles.

I used to fret over 10 degree swings on my 97 STS, yet those same

temperature variances don't show up on the needle of an analogue gage.

My gage has never wavered above 12 noon on the dial.

On my old car, too much digital information had me fretting over possible head gasket issues.

That is, "why is my car at 215f today, when yesteday I was at 205f

at the same speed".

This can drive you nuts over time.

1989 FWD Fleetwood, Silver

1995 STS Crimson Pearl on Black leather

1997 STS Diamond White

1999 STS Crimson Pearl

2001 STS Silver

2003 STS, Crimson Pearl

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What stat do you have in do you know? These cars call for a 195 degree stat... Could have a 180 degree maybe? When you see these temps are you driving in OD or D? I find that when I shift down to D, I can see temps in the 192 range as the water pump turns faster when its in D compared to OD..

I had the radiator and thermostat replaced about three years ago. Since then I've always thought, from experience, that it was a 180 degree thermostat. I don't know that for a fact. The stick is always in OD. Winter heat is a little less than optimal.

I shot from the hip on that 50/50 thing. It's probably best ignored unless I can find a particle physicist who will lie for me. :(

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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This reminds me of an older thread discussing the merits of digital coolant readouts versus the analogue needle on 98+ Sevilles.

I used to fret over 10 degree swings on my 97 STS, yet those same

temperature variances don't show up on the needle of an analogue gage.

My gage has never wavered above 12 noon on the dial.

At some risk of error, I'd say our "guru" once suggested that was the reason Cadillac went to a highly damped analog gauge. Customers simply couldn't handle the wide swings that digital info provided in real time.

Me, I kinda like it.

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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This reminds me of an older thread discussing the merits of digital coolant readouts versus the analogue needle on 98+ Sevilles.

I used to fret over 10 degree swings on my 97 STS, yet those same

temperature variances don't show up on the needle of an analogue gage.

My gage has never wavered above 12 noon on the dial.

At some risk of error, I'd say our "guru" once suggested that was the reason Cadillac went to a highly damped analog gauge. Customers simply couldn't handle the wide swings that digital info provided in real time.

Me, I kinda like it.

Regards,

Warren

No error there Warren. I recall him saying that as well. I agree, I'd like to see a "real" guage. If their gonna dummy it up, they may as well just put a sticker of a guage at normal temp there.

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