Exactly. There is no way the needle will reach 90C when driving normally and especially in cold weather. There was a big discussion here (SLO) that the not original alfa stats (Alfa ricambi/magneti marelli) did not open when they should and they lasted only a year or so until they got stuck (were permanently open/closed)...that's why they are so cheap compared to original alfa parts.
Again: if the stat is working properly the temp should climb up slowly to lets say 60-70C and then drop a bit as the stat opens and sends cool water into the engine. The temp must then reach 83-85C for the CF1 and about 88C for the CF2. If you have a CF1 engine the stat will never let the engine run on 90C, except if you're driving like mad or in heavy traffic, but then as it goes past the 90 mark, the stage1 fan has to cut in and cool it just under 90 again. If the temp goes over 100 the stage2 fan has to cut in (both fans with high speed operating)
Not sure about the CF2 engine, but i guess the temp has to go a bit higher than with CF2.
Edit: just remeberd something: the alfa stats show real time coolant temp changes and not the "german and french" way of showing temp, where the needle is stuck on 90 after just 37,5687 seconds of driving. My engine needs like 10 minutes (not sure if it really is 10 mins but a long time) in this weather to really warm up to over 80C, and about 5 minutes in hot summers (but the temp still drops when the stat opens and send coolant into the engine). My stat is an original alfa part which costs 100€ (whereas the non original is half that price) and is now 2 years old nad still works the same as the day i've bought it.
Last edited by Alexzver; 09-12-09 at 17:36.