3 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Temperature Gauge

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The temperature gauge in your vehicle is designed to indicate the temperature of your engine’s coolant. This gauge will tell you if your engine’s coolant is cold, normal, or overheating. It is an important dial that is located on the dashboard of your vehicle.

Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads High

If the temperature gauge reads high, it could mean your engine is overheating. Another reason your reading might be high is you could be losing coolant. A small leak or evaporation may cause your radiator to slowly lose coolant. A third reason your temperature gauge reads high could be because the thermostat is broken. If this is the case, you may need a coolant temperature switch replacement. The last reason the temperature gauge could read high is because of a water pump, or water pump gasket failure. If the water pump is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced by a professional.

Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads Cold

On most vehicles, the temperature gauge reads cold until the engine has run for a few minutes. If the temperature gauge still reads cold after the engine has warmed up, the gauge may simply be broken. Another reason the temperature gauge could read cold is if the thermostat in the vehicle stays open. With the thermostat stuck open, the engine can be overcooled, causing a low temperature reading. If this is the case, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

What to Do If Your Temperature Gauge is High

If your temperature gauge is reading high, it means your car is overheating. This is a very serious matter and you should never drive an overheating car. If your car starts to overheat, shut off the air conditioner and open the windows immediately. If this does not reduce the overheating, turn on the heater as high as it can go. If this still doesn't work, pull over on the side of the road, turn off the engine, open the hood carefully, and wait until the vehicle cools down. Never open the radiator cap while the engine is hot – coolant can spray and burn you. Once the vehicle has cooled, take the car to a mechanic right away so they can diagnose the problem. Cars are especially susceptible to overheating in hot climates, like what's common in cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Atlanta.

The temperature gauge is an important tool in your vehicle that shows the temperature of your engine’s coolant. Contact YourMechanic and have your car inspected for overheating if it reads too high, as this can cause serious problems.


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Thomas

11 years of experience
72 reviews
Thomas
11 years of experience
Ford Mustang - Car is overheating - Titusville, Florida
Thomas was great! Very knowledgeable and honest. Went above and beyond to perform his duties for his job. I will definitely get Thomas again, and trust any car I habe to him.
Ford Fiesta - Car is overheating - Orlando, Florida
Thomas was on time and friendly. He explained his findings in a way that made me feel confident in making a repair decision. I will would absolutely recommend Thomas and I will be using him in the near future.

Gustavo

15 years of experience
44 reviews
Gustavo
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Car is overheating - New Braunfels, Texas
Gustavo was very professional came on time diagnosed our van told us what the problems were and was very kind and professional about definitely recommend him 
Ford Focus - Car is overheating - San Marcos, Texas
He was efficient in checking for the cause of my car overheating. Offered me the best cost friendly solution after the inspection to help me get back on the road.

Chris

16 years of experience
335 reviews
Chris
16 years of experience
Mazda 6 - Car is overheating - Pearland, Texas
I thank Chris for his Professionaal attention that gave to me and my daughter concerning her car repair. Looking forward for him to repair her car and praying that the problem will be fixed.
Ford Edge - Car is overheating - Houston, Texas
Chris was very helpful and thorough in finding out and explaining what was really wrong with my truck.

Deane

9 years of experience
272 reviews
Deane
9 years of experience
Jaguar X-Type - Car is overheating - El Cajon, California
He looked at my car and realized the problem was something other than I thought. He took time to correctly diagnose the issue. He was personable and knowledgeable.

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