Q: 2004 Acura TSX Temperature Gauge Rises To Near Hot in Idle

asked by on March 11, 2018

MY 2004 Acura TSX starts up normally, however when I run into traffic either in town or on road trips, the temperature gauge rises significantly. There have been two times where it continues towards (H)ot and well in those two instances, I turned off the car (1 - at a drive thru, 2 - in very bad traffic). So thankfully, I was able to keep the car off for a few minutes before turning it back on. After the first time temperature reached H, I took it to get its oil change done and they told me some coolant was sprayed inside the car. Between these two instances there was about a 7 month period. During that hiatus though, a relative had my car and would take it on very short drives, basically just to work and noticed temperature rising but never near H. Now that I got it back, I've taken it on 4-9 hour road trips and well temperature is completely normal (1/3) when driving at a constant speed but instantly rises at long stop lights and heavy traffic.

My car has 165000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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It is very possible that your electric cooling fans are beginning to fail. The electric cooling fans are intended to keep the engine cool while it is idling and at a stop. When the vehicle is being driven at higher speeds, air is forced through the radiator there for cooling down the engine. Air is not forced through the radiator when the vehicle is stopped. Therefore if the fan is not functioning, it is very likely that the temperature gauge would rise when the vehicle is stopped. I would recommend having your electric cooling fans inspected by a qualified professional to determine if they are functioning properly.

The most common causes of overheating include low coolant level (including that due to leaks), a faulty thermostat, a plugged radiator, a faulty radiator pressure cap, collapsed hoses, non functioning cooling fans, and a faulty water pump or drive belt. Certain engine faults, such as a leaking head gasket, poor engine running condition or exhaust blockages can also cause overheating. An important thing to keep in mind is once an engine has overheated, you should replace your engine cooling thermostat because episodes of overheating can damage the thermostat. If the thermostat is damaged, and left in place, that can set the stage for future cooling system problems. If you desire that this overheating problem be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine overheating diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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