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

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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William

34 years of experience
517 reviews
William
34 years of experience
Kia Sedona V6-3.3L - Car is overheating - Peoria, Arizona
Williams did a great job He is very friendly and will explain everything in detail I hope to get service with him again.
Hyundai Azera - Car is overheating - Sun City West, Arizona
William knew right away where the problem was which was my AC fan.He agreed to fix it as soon as he gets that part...very professional.

Keven

7 years of experience
118 reviews
Keven
7 years of experience
Audi A4 L4-2.0L Turbo - Car is overheating - Tacoma, Washington
Keven did the job faster than expected and figured out the problem with confidence. Would highly recommend.
Ford Escape - Car is overheating - Sumner, Washington
Keven did an excellent job diagnosing my car. He also gave me pointers on how to do the repair myself when I mentioned that I was thinking about it. I would be happy to have him come back to do any future work on any of my cars.

Luke

17 years of experience
150 reviews
Luke
17 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 V8-6.2L - Car is overheating - Georgetown, Texas
Prompt. Efficient. Quickly diagnosed the problem. I will definitely ask for Luke if I need a mobile mechanic again.
Lincoln MKS - Car is overheating - Austin, Texas
Arrived earlier than quoted and was very knowledgeable. Luke was extremely professional and communicates well.

Andrew

15 years of experience
499 reviews
Andrew
15 years of experience
Nissan Versa L4-1.6L - Car is overheating - Vancouver, Washington
Andrew was early to our scheduled appointment and was knowledgeable and able to diagnose my problem quickly.

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