Automotive

Check Engine Light On - Something to do with Thermostat

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  • Jul 29th, 2013 5:14 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton

Check Engine Light On - Something to do with Thermostat

Hi. Have an '06 Fusion.

Light has been on for the better part of 2 years now. Three times I have had it diagnosed for free while doing something else at the shop. The reading says:

** Continous Memory Codes-Fix Last **
P0128 Coolant Thermostat


My mech briefly explained I may need a new thermostat. So I emailed 9 dealerships asking how much it is for a new one. Only 1 replied. By the way, this is standard for dealers in Canada and US, which I noticed from 7 years of owning this car and that's why I have to email so many of them just to get a response. The vast majority of dealers don't respond to emails even though I'm trying to give them business.


Anyway, the response was:


Good afternoon,
Hope this helps, you may have to bring the vehicle in for a diagnosis.

Description
Indicates that the thermostat monitor has not achieved the required engine operating temperature within a specified amount of time after starting the engine.


Possible Causes
· Insufficient warm up time

· Low engine coolant level

· Leaking or stuck open thermostat

· Inoperative engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor

· Inoperative cylinder head temperature (CHT) sensor


Diagnostic Aids
Refer to Section 1, Thermostat Monitor for system information.

Thank you.




So this didn't help me much since I don't know how to interpret this and I don't want to spend the money for them to diagnose.

Any ideas what this means and whether it's possible I may just simply need a new thermostat and any mech can install this? Or do you think I have to bring it back to my mech for them to look into this further before advising me what I need to buy and how much labour it will take to install?

I have to do my drive clean by Sept. and even though I could try and reset it and do the drive cycle, I figure I should get it fixed since I'm thinking of changing cars.
20 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 12, 2008
2678 posts
313 upvotes
Newmarket
any mechanic can install a thermostat. a replacement is really easy to do if you're going to DIY.

shouldn't cost too much from a local mechanic. dealership may be substantially more.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
Thanks. Are car thermostats something you can buy after market or do you need OEM?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 10, 2011
1637 posts
218 upvotes
THORNHILL
A thermostat should not cost more then $10-15 as a part. Most mechanics charge $60-70 installed.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
Thanks. I just called my mech and he said about $80 to install.

He said he's pretty sure a new thermostat will make the problem go away.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
25443 posts
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Ottawa
rhymobot wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 2:43 pm
Thanks. I just called my mech and he said about $80 to install.

He said he's pretty sure a new thermostat will make the problem go away.
That is about right. 20 bucks for the part, 1/2 hour labour and taxes. The price may go up is the coolant needs to be replaced.
Having said that, if the thermostat is not the problem, as the diagnostics have noted, you may have to get the sensors replaced.

Now, regarding your statement in the opening post. I understand why service departments do not respond to your type of questions. Everything that goes on in a service department is charged to a work order, that includes the time of the technicians and service department. You got a response from one dealer and they were hoping that through the goodwill diagnostics, they may get a new client. No, you took this info, which cost them money to get for you , ad came on the internet looking for someone to do the job for you. They gained noting except perhaps more questions form you in the future. Do not be mad if they do not respond to you in the future, you cost them time and, time is money. what is more interesting, if you do as they say and it does not make the light go out and stay out, who will you be upset with? The mechnic that did the work for you, with information you got from another source, on the cheap or with the dealer that responded for you and interpreted your codes for free?
"some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” Winston Churchill
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 23, 2009
719 posts
99 upvotes
Halifax
rhymobot wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 1:37 pm
Hi. Have an '06 Fusion.

Light has been on for the better part of 2 years now. Three times I have had it diagnosed for free while doing something else at the shop. The reading says:

** Continous Memory Codes-Fix Last **
P0128 Coolant Thermostat


My mech briefly explained I may need a new thermostat. So I emailed 9 dealerships asking how much it is for a new one. Only 1 replied. By the way, this is standard for dealers in Canada and US, which I noticed from 7 years of owning this car and that's why I have to email so many of them just to get a response. The vast majority of dealers don't respond to emails even though I'm trying to give them business.


Anyway, the response was:


Good afternoon,
Hope this helps, you may have to bring the vehicle in for a diagnosis.

Description
Indicates that the thermostat monitor has not achieved the required engine operating temperature within a specified amount of time after starting the engine.


Possible Causes
· Insufficient warm up time

· Low engine coolant level

· Leaking or stuck open thermostat

· Inoperative engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor

· Inoperative cylinder head temperature (CHT) sensor


Diagnostic Aids
Refer to Section 1, Thermostat Monitor for system information.

Thank you.




So this didn't help me much since I don't know how to interpret this and I don't want to spend the money for them to diagnose.

Any ideas what this means and whether it's possible I may just simply need a new thermostat and any mech can install this? Or do you think I have to bring it back to my mech for them to look into this further before advising me what I need to buy and how much labour it will take to install?

I have to do my drive clean by Sept. and even though I could try and reset it and do the drive cycle, I figure I should get it fixed since I'm thinking of changing cars.
Ever hear of a phone? Call a couple close by dealerships (parts dept) and ask for price for thermostat for your year/make/model. Pick from lowest price and take to your mechanic to install. Can't get any easier than that.
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2006
1977 posts
195 upvotes
Orleans
Just go to the dealership. Talk in person.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
Seanhfx wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 4:58 pm
Ever hear of a phone? Call a couple close by dealerships (parts dept) and ask for price for thermostat for your year/make/model. Pick from lowest price and take to your mechanic to install. Can't get any easier than that.
Ever heard of email? It's often faster to type one sentence and then wait for the response if it's not urgent. Faster than calling receptionist and then getting transferred through and hoping Parts picks up, which sometimes doesn't happen because they are busy.

And of course, it takes the same amount of time to go on their website to find their phone number as it does to find their email address.

And now it's a matter of principle. Whichever dealer replies to me, I go there, especially since I am always driving around Brampton, Mississauga, and Oakville every week.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
Poulet wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 5:07 pm
Just go to the dealership. Talk in person.
For something serious, then yes, but not for most things. That takes too much time.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
Pete_Coach wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 4:44 pm
That is about right. 20 bucks for the part, 1/2 hour labour and taxes. The price may go up is the coolant needs to be replaced.
Having said that, if the thermostat is not the problem, as the diagnostics have noted, you may have to get the sensors replaced.

Now, regarding your statement in the opening post. I understand why service departments do not respond to your type of questions. Everything that goes on in a service department is charged to a work order, that includes the time of the technicians and service department. You got a response from one dealer and they were hoping that through the goodwill diagnostics, they may get a new client. No, you took this info, which cost them money to get for you , ad came on the internet looking for someone to do the job for you. They gained noting except perhaps more questions form you in the future. Do not be mad if they do not respond to you in the future, you cost them time and, time is money. what is more interesting, if you do as they say and it does not make the light go out and stay out, who will you be upset with? The mechnic that did the work for you, with information you got from another source, on the cheap or with the dealer that responded for you and interpreted your codes for free?
Interesting points, but here's the reality of the situation. In this case, it's the ONE AND ONLY dealer that ALWAYS responds to my emails. I have emailed Ford.ca and told them how much appreciate them because the majority of other dealers are the opposite of these guys. Not only do they respond, they actually protect my seats every time while other dealers have left grease stains. The also have the lowest price for parts and service and both service advisors I have talked to through the years are friendly and supremely professional. They are the dealer I have actually used the most even though they are 20 minutes away from me.

And I never actually asked them for a detailed report. I simply asked something to the effect of "my diagnostic said P0128 Coolant Thermostat so I believe I need a new thermostat (which my mech told me). how much is it for this part?". he went out of his way to give me the detailed report, which i replied and thanked him for, when all i was asking for was the price of the part, which he then told me in the 2nd email.

Since my mechanic already told me 2 weeks ago when I was there that I most likely needed a thermostat and that should make it go away, then obviously he's the one I'm going to come to if the problem is not resolved.

Now how do you explain when I only get 2 responses from 5 emails when I asked if they had my colour paint pen in stock and how much? Simplest of questions and an easy 10 bucks. Who did I end up getting it from? The only dealer that always replies because they were one of the two. Since my local dealers in Brampton didn't respond I didn't get it from them. I waited till next time I passed through that area of Mississauga to get it.

Or how do you explain when my car was under warranty and I obviously was only going to go to dealer, so many never responded when I emailed to ask when is a good time to drop off the car and if they could shuttle me to the train station to go to work? At first I would email the original dealer and not get a reply. Then again and no reply. So I call and make appt. But then the same dealer has twice left grease on my beige velvety seats. So I would email other and get no replies. Then it got to the point I had to email 5 or more dealers to get one response.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
25443 posts
2676 upvotes
Ottawa
rhymobot wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 6:01 pm
Interesting points, but here's the reality of the situation. In this case, it's the ONE AND ONLY dealer that ALWAYS responds to my emails. I have emailed Ford.ca and told them how much appreciate them because the majority of other dealers are the opposite of these guys. Not only do they respond, they actually protect my seats every time while other dealers have left grease stains. The also have the lowest price for parts and service and both service advisors I have talked to through the years are friendly and supremely professional. They are the dealer I have actually used the most even though they are 20 minutes away from me.

And I never actually asked them for a detailed report. I simply asked something to the effect of "my diagnostic said P0128 Coolant Thermostat so I believe I need a new thermostat (which my mech told me). how much is it for this part?". he went out of his way to give me the detailed report, which i replied and thanked him for, when all i was asking for was the price of the part, which he then told me in the 2nd email.

Since my mechanic already told me 2 weeks ago when I was there that I most likely needed a thermostat and that should make it go away, then obviously he's the one I'm going to come to if the problem is not resolved.

Now how do you explain when I only get 2 responses from 5 emails when I asked if they had my colour paint pen in stock and how much? Simplest of questions and an easy 10 bucks. Who did I end up getting it from? The only dealer that always replies because they were one of the two. Since my local dealers in Brampton didn't respond I didn't get it from them. I waited till next time I passed through that area of Mississauga to get it.

Or how do you explain when my car was under warranty and I obviously was only going to go to dealer, so many never responded when I emailed to ask when is a good time to drop off the car and if they could shuttle me to the train station to go to work? At first I would email the original dealer and not get a reply. Then again and no reply. So I call and make appt. But then the same dealer has twice left grease on my beige velvety seats. So I would email other and get no replies. Then it got to the point I had to email 5 or more dealers to get one response.
You do not need to justify your actions.
I am just telling you why they generally do not respond to those types of emails.
Some dealers have an appointment app or a page on their site for appointment or, call, as you did. Dirty seats is a different issue and you should have resolved that at the time...and if you did, it has no bearing on this discussion and the point is moot.
It is the same as the people on this forum that complain about dealers not answering their emails when they want the lowest price of a car. Really, negotiate over the internet?
In your case, you say "your" mechanic diagnosed it weeks ago and you went to him . Why did you email dealers? To confirm what "your" mechanic diagnosed? (rhetorical).
Anyway, my $0.02 was only to tell you why they don't respond.
"some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” Winston Churchill
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2012
117 posts
Brampton
I was at the mech to get my window regulator replaced, which I thankfully got some advice from on this forum. At the same time I asked him to do the diagnostic, which he would do for free like he always has the past 2 years. Then he gave me the printout. Since it was Saturday and they close by noon, he didn't have time to order my part from his rush service contact and then install it. He too is also 20 minutes away from me so I only get work from him on Saturdays when I'm in Mississauga at my gf's place. And every Sat. since I've been at cottage. Anyway, I asked the dealer for the price of the part not for them to diagnose it over the net. He voluntarily replied with the extra detail but didn't provide the price at first. As well, my mech simply gave me a print out and didn't do a proper diagnosis because they didn't have time that day. So when I go 8 days from now with part in hand, he will have a closer look.

And as for dirty seats, the same dealer did it twice. That's enough for me to stay away from them. Then another dealer did it. Not relevant to this specific issue but relevant to my opinion of the carelessness and laziness of dealers in general.

And I agree that those people who try to negotiate over the net need to learn life lessons. There is a certain decorum that should be observed when doing business, on both ends. But when it comes to a simple request for a simple part, I really think they should take the 2 minutes to look it up in their system and reply to me, especially since I'm trying to give them business.

And I don't want anyone to think I'm some eternal pessimist. I have actually made multiple posts giving credit to certain businesses for their good prices and level of service. I have come to appreciate these things more and more over the past couple of years when I realize just how poor service can be for so many other places.

I do agree with some of what you're saying by the way. Another theory given on this forum for this very topic is that there's many old fogies working the parts or service desks who just have not embraced the internet and they can't be bothered to use the software or internet on their computer. Or they put if off and say I'll do it later and then simply forget.
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Dec 11, 2003
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Toronto
2 years you lived with an issues that would have taken minutes to figure out online and nothing to fix, I wonder if you've done any real damage to your car caused by your laziness??
--------------------------------------------------------------

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May 10, 2005
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rhymobot wrote:
Jul 26th, 2013 7:06 pm
...........

................

I do agree with some of what you're saying by the way. Another theory given on this forum for this very topic is that there's many old fogies working the parts or service desks who just have not embraced the internet and they can't be bothered to use the software or internet on their computer.
Or they put if off and say I'll do it later and then simply forget.
I guess I have to interject with some real business rules here. The fact is, having to hire people to answer emails and internet inquires with only a small hope of gaining a client is not good business. Also, it is not just hiring a person to handle internet inquires, it is having that person going around the shop, interrupting techs or staff to get a response that may answer the question. Considering the person responding to the email is just a layman, they would not have the experience to properly filter the responses. Employers are trying to reduce overhead and generate revenue, hiring such a person is a gamble and not worth the risk.
The comment about old fogies is pure garbage, regardless who put forth that theory. In fact, if you look at the personnel at most dealerships, the people behind the counter have little or no automotive experience and, spend more time on their iPhones than with the customers, that is a common complaint.
"some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” Winston Churchill
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