Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car says it's overheating even though it's not

asked by on

The temperature needle on my car's dashboard keeps going into the red. The car is not getting hot or it is not on long enough to get hot.

Hello. Most of the time if the temperature gauge shoots up to the red it is a worrisome problem. If it goes right up to the red right when it is started, then it may be a failing coolant temperature sensor or a connection at the sensor. If it is cold when you first start it and begins climbing, but yet the radiator is not getting hot or it gets hot fast, then you may have a failing thermostat or even a possible failing head gasket. A block test can be done to verify this. The main thing is to know exactly how fast it overheats. I would enlist the help of a certified mechanic that can diagnose your temperature gauge issue, like one from YourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: No coolant in the reservoir. Seen low coolant message. I added 2 quarts of 50/50 coolant. Still getting the message. How much coolant doe it need?

Hi there. For the coolant light to go out, you would need to have the coolant between the low line and the full line for the light to go out. If the coolant is low and keeps on being low,...

Q: Error message: 'Default Charge Battery'

The charging system on this vehicle is controlled through the engine computer and has a special fused wire that comes from the battery to the computer which may have been shorted and blown the fused wire. The wire should be...

Q: My car start and shuts right back off i can hear the fuel pump hum so what could it be keeping it from staying running

Hi there: In this situation, the engine will typically shut off due to restriction in fuel flow, a failure in the air fuel mixture or an ignition system malfunction. Due to the multiple possible causes, it's important to have a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...