A lot has been said (written :-) )
But just to be sure, in my particular case:
Everything seemed to work great with my 147 1.6TS (in Portugal)
The gauge was always at 90º flat!
I also agree that the engine should become warm as soon as possible, and then run constantly at the same temperature no matter what!
This is my first ever Alfa, and I'm not afraid to admit that I'm an Alfacondriac, from scratch! I bought the car on that assumption! SO... I tried my best to keep in mind some good practices:
- I turn on the engine, and wait a bit in parking before I go, whenever I can afford it. I listen to the idle engine, and listen to the unhealthy cam "phase varient" diesel rattle, until it fades away.
- I take a look at the temperature when ever I remember (often). It's more of an habit now, like looking in the review mirror frequently.
- I wait a little bit before turning off the engine. Listen to the idle engine noise, a keep an eye on the temperature, to see if everything seems ok.
This habits, made me realise:
- The temperature doesn't rise form cold to 90º as quickly as I would expect.
- After getting to 90º it stays there flat, as long as I keep within city, or town roads.
- Whenever I go to the highway, and start to run at steady (120kms plus) speeds, the temperature drops to 60ºc
- Stop the car. Leave the engine on idle, and I can see the gauge, steadily rise to 90ºc, and stop there!
Stuck open thermostat right?
Ps- Any chance this is related to engine light insisting in coming up.
I was told that the error recorded was something like "abnormal fuel/air mix" or "abnormal co2". Not completely sure.
After turning the light off (deleting), it would NOT come back on immediately. In fact it would stay off for a few weeks. It has been 3 times now that I pay to get it turned off. The funny thing is that the light has come on always when I was running on the highway.