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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday while driving on the highway I noticed the temp gauge was at 60C when it used to hover just over 80C.

Initially I thought the thermostat might be stuck open but then in stop-start traffic it rose and the fan kicked in just below 80C on the gauge (used to kick in at 90C or so) so now I think the gauge might be reading low.

This may be a coincidence but I recently repaired the chassis earth on the engine side of the false firewall behind the coolant tank - it broke off when I tried to tighten it (seemed to be tack welded/soldered to the false firewall) so I drilled a small hole and bolted it through the false firewall. This earthing point has 2 black wires and when it was disconnected all the gauges went to max on the instrument panel.

I'm fairly sure that earth is good now, what can cause the temp gauge to read low? Or is my logic bad and something in the cooling system is faulty?
 

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Grounding to the false fire wall won't give you a good ground. The false fire wall is removable and doesn't make good contact with the rest of the body.
There is a grounding point just forward of the coolant overflow tank on US cars that will give you a good ground. I'm guessing EU cars are grounded there also. It has the ground strap from the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Grounding to the false fire wall won't give you a good ground. The false fire wall is removable and doesn't make good contact with the rest of the body.
Hmm, there are at least two other ground points on the false firewall (near the one I mentioned earlier, but on the other side of the false firewall) which I assumed were factory (they look factory) — has the PO maybe done some bad rewiring?

There is a grounding point just forward of the coolant overflow tank on US cars that will give you a good ground. I'm guessing EU cars are grounded there also. It has the ground strap from the transmission.
Yep, I’m familiar with that grounding point. These wires won’t reach to it but I could splice to make them longer I suppose…
 
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