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I know the system will display a text message if the engine is too hot. But can I check the coolant temperature or is there an electronic gauge in the instrument panel?
 

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Its really a step backward to be unable to know the coolant temperature. Older cars have a temperature gauge on the instrument panel for just this purpose.

I know the system will display a text message if the engine is too hot. But can I check the coolant temperature or is there an electronic gauge in the instrument panel?


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This is hilarious. With the cavalcade of information dumped in our laps through sensus, some of the most basic info we grew up with is now behind the scenes (for us with more than 4 or 5 decades on the planet). We've been factored out of determining the health of our autos. We knew this day would come...:(
 

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It is funny to me to see people lament the loss of the coolant gauge even though 99% of them were just idiot lights. The gauge would not move at all but then when the coolant crossed a certain threshold it would go from middle of the gauge to far right in the matter of five degrees or less. Basically just like an idiot light. Even the one in my 911 is heavily weighted...

You don't need a coolant temp gauge. Just an idiot light to tell you if the car is overheating. Which we have.
 

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2018 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design with air suspension and B&W Sound system
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Older analog gauges may have been weighted but with the new digital gauges like my GT4 has they are pretty damn accurate. No reason we should not be able to see this info through Sensus since the sensor is already there... also lets throw in oil pressure, oil temperature, and voltage... they could put is under the Car Status screen along with that all important tire pressure information we already have! LOL
 

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Older analog gauges may have been weighted but with the new digital gauges like my GT4 has they are pretty damn accurate. No reason we should not be able to see this info through Sensus since the sensor is already there... also lets throw in oil pressure, oil temperature, and voltage... they could put is under the Car Status screen along with that all important tire pressure information we already have! LOL
So, if you had a gauge and all of a sudden the needle went all the way to the right, what would you do? Would keep on driving or stop the car and seek assistance? Just curious...
 

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It is funny to me to see people lament the loss of the coolant gauge even though 99% of them were just idiot lights. The gauge would not move at all but then when the coolant crossed a certain threshold it would go from middle of the gauge to far right in the matter of five degrees or less. Basically just like an idiot light. Even the one in my 911 is heavily weighted...

You don't need a coolant temp gauge. Just an idiot light to tell you if the car is overheating. Which we have.
Thermostat has broke "open" twice over the years in my S60, which causes the engine to run cool. Doesn't through a CEL or idiot light. The coolant gauge let me know both times. Every car should have a coolant temp gauge.
 

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So, if you had a gauge and all of a sudden the needle went all the way to the right, what would you do? Would keep on driving or stop the car and seek assistance? Just curious...
Don't think that's their point. There are idiot lights for that, several of my older autos had the gauge and when it got too hot per the needle then the light also came on.

More to why I'd want to see it is what's been mentioned above. If it runs outside of the normal temps for an extended period, say through the mountains, then this information would be used to take more frequent breaks with the little 4-can motor. Certainly running outside of normal would have an impact on engine life and performance in general. Those physics don't change with technology. Run any motor hard and it will die earlier than expected.

For the same reasons many large 4x4s have transmission temp gauges. My son-in-law's full size truck ran outside of it's normal trans temp for 3/4 of a heavy haul through Texas last year. Never tripped a light but with that info, we took frequent breaks. Otherwise we're oblivious and drive on...waiting for the "break point" sent via code or warning.

Surely SENSUS is not too limited to present this data. It would be great to be able to customize the cluster sort of like adding or modifying which mileage gauges show up. On the wish list when the future comes full circle. And it will.
 

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Ride S40T,

I get it but you did not answer the question I posed.

I will give you the answer: whether you have a gauge or not, it really does not matter. If something happens and the engine overheats, gauge or no gauge, a CEL will light up or a message will be posted in the message center. The end result will be the same, gauge or no gauge; you will have to pull over immediately, turn off the engine and call Roadside Assistance. Nothing more, nothing less.

Would be it nice to stare at a bunch of gauges? I don't know...some people get a kick out of it. Personally, I am not worried about them. Even now, when I drive my 2001 V70 T5, I never even look at the temp gauge. If something were to happen, the car would post a message...I would still have to pull over and turn off the engine.
 

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I've been on quite a few road trips in my S60 and on a couple of occasions over the years, my coolant low message popped up on my DIM. Since I have a coolant gauge, I looked at it and noticed that it was still dead center so I knew I could safely drive the car to an autoparts store and pick up some 50/50 coolant and top it off. I didn't have a leak anywhere so I knew I was good to go and continued my vacation. Had I not had that gauge I wouldn't have been able to tell what was going on with my engine coolant temp and would have had to stop and wait for a tow and then find a dealer or indy shop out of town, maybe get a rental in the meantime etc. All of that was avoided thanks to my trusty coolant temp gauge.

On a separate occasion, more recently while driving around town the same message came up. I immediately looked at my temp gauge and noticed it was quickly rising, this time I knew (thanks to my temp gauge) that I had to pull over asap to avoid overheating and warping the head. I popped the hood and saw coolant gushing out of my radiator end tank. So I had to call a tow that time of course.

In both instances my temperature gauge helped me make the best decision for me and the car. And I already told you about the two times it helped me diagnose a thermostat failure which is nothing you need to freak out about, pull over and get a tow if that's something that would throw a warning in the XC90. It doesn't in my car, it just requires looking at the temp gauge. Pretty nifty huh?

Now I know at least half of the driver's of new XC90s will probably not know what to do with a coolant gauge if it hit them in the face, but that doesn't mean that those of us that do should have to suffer.
 

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So, if you had a gauge and all of a sudden the needle went all the way to the right, what would you do?
Hi GrecianVolvo...I think that in the scenario that you posed, you are correct that a gauge would serve no advantage over a message light. In fact, a message light would be more useful/noticeable than a needle that has immediately swung to the right. However, in my experience with analog gauges, the needle doesn't often "all of a sudden" swing to the right. Instead the movement is gradual, sometimes over the course of days, weeks. This provides an early warning sign that something might be amiss. I'm an old man that still drives a 1965 car with analog gauges for oil pressure, water temp, amperes and of course fuel and I'm constantly checking the gauges for any signs of possible issues as I have broken down in this car many times...always an adventure driving an old car. So perhaps, the other posters may simply be suggesting that digital gauges that show incremental readings might be useful. After all, imagine if we had no fuel gauge and just a message light that came on when the fuel level is low? But I do recall that was already covered to death in another thread...haha! Bottom line...I love my XC90 as is!!!
 

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More important is to se when the engine is "warm enough". I drive a T8, and it always start out electric. If I want to overtake another vehicle, I would like to know if my engine has reached normal temperature, before I accelerate hard and maybe rev the engine high.
 

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Some of us have been trained to "scan the instruments", such as oil pressure, oil temperature, cylinder head temperature, exhaust gas temperature and flight instruments ;) every [2] minutes or more depending on the phase of flight. In today's world of aviation, these have become digital for newer aircraft; but, then I still fly some older models, too, with analog. The idea with gauges is that you can see something happening and start reacting (e.g., by opening cowl flaps, increasing fuel mixtures, reducing power) and planning for an alternate airport, if needed. It is simply harder for some us to want to change our mindset when transitioning from a plane to an automobile (or from days of the past).

With our automobiles, we don't have many options to adjust anything except to find an exit or pull out of the roadway and stop. Thus, maybe the warning lights are sufficient if they come on reliably early enough before damage is done. I like Gorm's use case with the T8 in northern climates. The water temperature, oil pressure, remaining fuel/range, speedometer and RPM (for ICE) are likely the most important.

Maybe a nice future enhancement and option for the instrument display would be the nostalgic gauges (analog or digital) - nicely presented, organized and configurable.
 

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Hi GrecianVolvo...I think that in the scenario that you posed, you are correct that a gauge would serve no advantage over a message light. In fact, a message light would be more useful/noticeable than a needle that has immediately swung to the right. However, in my experience with analog gauges, the needle doesn't often "all of a sudden" swing to the right. Instead the movement is gradual, sometimes over the course of days, weeks. This provides an early warning sign that something might be amiss. I'm an old man that still drives a 1965 car with analog gauges for oil pressure, water temp, amperes and of course fuel and I'm constantly checking the gauges for any signs of possible issues as I have broken down in this car many times...always an adventure driving an old car. So perhaps, the other posters may simply be suggesting that digital gauges that show incremental readings might be useful. After all, imagine if we had no fuel gauge and just a message light that came on when the fuel level is low? But I do recall that was already covered to death in another thread...haha! Bottom line...I love my XC90 as is!!!
Maxchi,

thank you for your comment. Usually, such occurrences are "catastrophic" meaning that a part has finally broken down. I have never found or heard that a temp needle starting slowly to move toward the red zone over the course of days. It either happens or does not happen, especially with today's cars.

Additionally, nobody scans every single gauge and dial as if you were piloting an aircraft (as, very correctly, Gary wrote above).

At any rate, everyone has different habits and ticking points.
 

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Perhaps the problem is not as much overheating without seeing it coming, but as has been mentioned before,
what about the engine not reaching normal operating temperature? Is there any warning in the car when this
would happen? I can see the coolant temperature rising on the gauge in my XC70 and I would be alarmed if
it wouldn't reach it's normal position. It may take a while for me to notice, but I will. And I certainly would
act upon it since I would consider it to be an important issue. So how will I know if this happens in my XC90?
But I do want to see if the coolant temperature is rising. If this happens because stress the engine, I can back
down and prevent an alarm or real overheating. So yes, I do find coolant temperature a very important parameter.
The 8" display showing it and the 12" not is still a mystery to me. Perhaps Volvo shows it on the 8" to fill up some space,
or perhaps the 8" is for the nostalgics :D
 

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Hi GrecianVolvo...I think that in the scenario that you posed, you are correct that a gauge would serve no advantage over a message light. In fact, a message light would be more useful/noticeable than a needle that has immediately swung to the right. However, in my experience with analog gauges, the needle doesn't often "all of a sudden" swing to the right. Instead the movement is gradual, sometimes over the course of days, weeks. This provides an early warning sign that something might be amiss. I'm an old man that still drives a 1965 car with analog gauges for oil pressure, water temp, amperes and of course fuel and I'm constantly checking the gauges for any signs of possible issues as I have broken down in this car many times...always an adventure driving an old car. So perhaps, the other posters may simply be suggesting that digital gauges that show incremental readings might be useful. After all, imagine if we had no fuel gauge and just a message light that came on when the fuel level is low? But I do recall that was already covered to death in another thread...haha! Bottom line...I love my XC90 as is!!!
Older Volvos have both the message and gauge. It's not a question of one or the other. Both are easily possible and should be on every new car.

In my real life road trip scenario, an XC90 would have most likely ruined my trip.
 

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Some of us have been trained to "scan the instruments", such as oil pressure, oil temperature, cylinder head temperature, exhaust gas temperature and flight instruments ;) every [2] minutes or more depending on the phase of flight. In today's world of aviation, these have become digital for newer aircraft; but, then I still fly some older models, too, with analog. The idea with gauges is that you can see something happening and start reacting (e.g., by opening cowl flaps, increasing fuel mixtures, reducing power) and planning for an alternate airport, if needed. It is simply harder for some us to want to change our mindset when transitioning from a plane to an automobile (or from days of the past).

With our automobiles, we don't have many options to adjust anything except to find an exit or pull out of the roadway and stop. Thus, maybe the warning lights are sufficient if they come on reliably early enough before damage is done. I like Gorm's use case with the T8 in northern climates. The water temperature, oil pressure, remaining fuel/range, speedometer and RPM (for ICE) are likely the most important.

Maybe a nice future enhancement and option for the instrument display would be the nostalgic gauges (analog or digital) - nicely presented, organized and configurable.
Another thing you can do if the car is overheating is turn the heater on full blast. The car's heater gets its heat from the engine coolant. That will pull some heat away from the engine and give you a little more time to pull over or get to an auto parts store. Can't do that with just a light.
 

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Another thing you can do if the car is overheating is turn the heater on full blast. The car's heater gets its heat from the engine coolant. That will pull some heat away from the engine and give you a little more time to pull over or get to an auto parts store. Can't do that with just a light.
Sorry but that is not good advice. You can have the heater blasting at full speed on HI TEMP and it will not be enough to reduce any damage occurring to the block if you have loss of coolant or oil or a thermostat that grenaded itself.

DO NOT DRIVE and turn engine off if you get an overheating message (gauge or no gauge).
 
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