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  View original topic: Long drives, do we have to stop to cool it off?
stellavan Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:57 am

One mechanic told us, stop every 2 hours, for an hour, to let the engine cool. Another said, that's ridiculous.
Opinions?

Johnagon Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:04 am

ridiculous. That's my opinion. Air cooled, water cooled, if things are working correctly you should be able to drive for hours and hours and hours strait.

mordeaux Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:06 am

What is it? Air-cooled or WBX?

I know little of ACs. With the WBX it's nonsense. If you do stop after extended highway miles in a WBX, let the engine run a couple of minutes at idle before shutting down. This let's the cooling system bring the engine temp down appropriately before shutting down. The owner's manual gives this direction.

cheers,

mordo

Lanval Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:13 am

I've done both - I had a 71 auto that I drove basically non-stop over two days from Eugene, OR to Spokane, WA including some long uphill grades. Motor didn't overheat, never stopped to let it cool off.

Also drove a 72 from West Yellowstone to Eugene, OR, which I did stop periodically to let it cool... the difference? The 72 had been jury-rigged by the previous owner with a dual weber carb set-up that ran VERY inefficiently - the motor got plenty hot running down the freeway, and after a couple of hours of driving the dipstick was too hot to handle. Ouch.

If the motor is running as it should, I see no reason why you would need to stop, nor apparently did the VW engineers who built your car. On the other hand, if you're in 'limp-mode' running on a dying engine, then perhaps there is some merit to the argument. But if someone told me that I had to stop periodically, my next question would be "What's wrong with the engine, and why do you think THAT is the solution, rather than just fixing the problem at hand?!"

Best on your trip out here to the 'Westy' coast.

Lanval

79SuperVert Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:21 am

Even if you stop for a few minutes to "cool down" the engine, after you start driving again the temp goes back up pretty quick. I think your best bet is to make sure the engine is in tune, all the cooling bits are in place, and that you drive prudently, that is, don't lug the engine, don't drive at really high speeds on a hot day, and downshift when going up steep long hills so as to lessen the load on the engine. You should be able to go all day long if you drive that way.

mightyart Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:23 am

Find yourself a new mechanic quick and don't let him touch it again.
I will answer yout question with a question
How many vans do you think they would have sold if you had to give it a rest every two hours?
maybe a bunch in 1900, not many in 1980.
Our Vanagons were made for any man or woman regardless of mechanical ability to get in and drive it.
The most your had to do was check the oil put in gas and take it to the dealer for sceduled maintainance.
Your intelligance has been insulted, and hes given you a clue to his by even saying such a thing.

TSR53 Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:21 am

Actually, what happens when you stop is the engine gets heat soaked until all the components start to cool ~ roughly 1-2hrs ~ depending upon ambient and tarmac temps.

It will run cooler when air is moving through the radiator or over the heads.

I recently drove 2,800 miles from Vermont to South Carolina and back (two weeks ago when it was 98 deg/94 % humidity with AC on full) and we took several rest stops, lunch, bathroom, etc. I found that the engine did indeed heat soak and once driving, ran cooler.

My little trick when stopped? By pulling open the rear license plate down and propping a small pine cone between this and my Gary Lee rear ladder, let loads of hot air out while we were stopped for lunch or bathroom breaks. I guess if your real anal about it, a 12V evacuation fan placed right there to prop open would have been better. :wink:

Sodo Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:36 am

I think the best way to evaluate such advice is to look around. You would see hundreds of cars, stopping to cool down.

soreyes Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:00 am

TSR53 wrote: ...
My little trick when stopped? By pulling open the rear license plate down and propping a small pine cone between this and my Gary Lee rear ladder, let loads of hot air out while we were stopped for lunch or bathroom breaks. I guess if your real anal about it, a 12V evacuation fan placed right there to prop open would have been better. :wink:

Hey this trick is also good for hiding the plates from the law once they have caught up to you at the rest area!

TSR53 Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:07 am

That's funny!!!

"Well officer, I know that I was going Really Slow (say's so on the back) but please, please don't give me a ticket for roasting a pine cone!"

ps... somehow I've got to design the same flip down plate for my MINI Cooper S...

McVanagon Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:36 am

TSR53 wrote:
ps... somehow I've got to design the same flip down plate for my MINI Cooper S...

They USED to make something like that........ :wink:

TSR53 Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:07 pm

Here's my kewl tip...


DAVEURO Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:24 pm

That last pic has gotta be from the beautiful Northwset coast stellavan wrote: One mechanic told us, stop every 2 hours, for an hour, to let the engine cool. Another said, that's ridiculous.
Opinions? I think he was talking about a horse. Maybe he drinks beer. That's about how long I can go before I have to stop.

Tully Mars Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:42 pm

When I want to prop my License Plate door open.. I just use the cap to the expansion tank, wrap it in a paper towel and wedge it. When I am done...I now have a little towel piece to clean up the area.

Oh.. And I just did a trip to and from Baja to Colorado. It was 100 to 110 degrees in Ariz. and California sometimes. No problems in my 84 Westy. On a few of the long grades, the temp. gauge went up one notch past half way but came right back down on the down grades. I am generally amazed at how well the engine cooling system works even when the engine is basically maxed out.

lovedavdubs Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:19 am

TSR53 wrote: Here's my kewl tip...



:lol:


I try to give my 82 air a rest every 3-4 hours on long trips for as long as it takes the wife and I to stretch and use the can. :wink: I can't imagine resting one hour for every two on the road. Did your mechanic have a bong in his tool box or something?

TSR53 Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:03 am

You guys are too creative. So does this mean I have to bring up old bad habits? Shoot, I'll have to reorganize my portable toolbox to fit the tool you pull out first.

"Oh crap, my Volkswagen's busted - thank goodness I packed my bong".

Should fit great in my tool roll...

terryg Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:50 pm

lovedavdubs wrote: [Did your mechanic have a bong in his tool box or something?

If he did, he would have never said that. Those kind of quotes come from coke/speed freaks who will do anything for the money for their next quick fix. A bong is much better for long trips with only very necessary breaks..

regis101 Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:41 pm

Drive it like you stole it

?Waldo? Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:20 pm

The whole concpet is bass ackwards. The least wear and damage happens to the engine when it is at Normal Operating Temperature. As long as the engine is running correctly, it will last the longest if you cool it off the fewest possible times. The heat cycling and cold starts is what wears out an engine most, not operating it fully warmed up. The mechanic who said that is not qualified to work on legos...

Andrew

Alan Brase Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:05 pm

mightyart wrote: Find yourself a new mechanic quick and don't let him touch it again.
I will answer yout question with a question
How many vans do you think they would have sold if you had to give it a rest every two hours?
maybe a bunch in 1900, not many in 1980.
Our Vanagons were made for any man or woman regardless of mechanical ability to get in and drive it.
The most your had to do was check the oil put in gas and take it to the dealer for sceduled maintainance.
Your intelligance has been insulted, and hes given you a clue to his by even saying such a thing.
Very well said! In my 69 owner's manual, performance section, it says: maximum AND cruising speed. And nothing about giving it a rest. I think that phrase had disappeared by 1980.
If the engine is malfunctioning for any reason, it wold be far better to slow down than to ro faster and then rest.
Al



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