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My 2004 Elantra (a bit over 100,000 miles) was running hot--the temp, which usually ran about the middle of the temp gauge, suddenly started creeping up to about 3/4 of the gauge, especially when I was going up hills. Once or twice, it got to the red part of the gauge. (I promptly pulled over and shut off the car when this happened.) All along, there appeared to be enough coolant and it never spewed coolant or anything. Before this started happening, I noticed that when idling, the heater wouldn't blow warm air (it actually turned icy cold), but when the car started moving again, the heater air got warm--I didn't think too much of this at the time.
Once the temp gauge started creeping above the mid-way point (and hit the red mark twice), I took it to the mechanics, who replaced the water pump, timing belt and the thermostat on it (to the tune of nearly $600!). Driving it home from the mechanics, when idling, the heater air was nice and toasty. Once the car warmed up, I noticed that the temp gauge was running about midpoint (half way) like it usually did, but a quite few times (again, going up the hills), it was creeping closer to the 3/4 mark (but not in the red).
Is this normal, or does it sound like something isn't right with the thermostat (or god forbid, another part of the car)? I don't think this was "normal" before the thermostat went out (I'm thinking it hovered around the mid-way point on the temp gauge), but I can't be 100% sure. I'll call the mechanic again tomorrow to get his thoughts, but I didn't want to seem paranoid if this isn't something to worry about. Yet again, I don't want the car to run hotter than normal and have it do damage to the engine...
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