Q: Car takes about 20-30 minutes of driving to reach operating temperature

asked by on

My car takes extremely long to reach operating temperature. And when it finally does reach it, it seems to drop down to the first quarter of the thermostat gauge while I'm driving. For example, I'll drive somewhere 15 minutes away, I'll get there and my cars temperature gauge hasn't left the first quarter. But if I turn the car off and turn it back on 5 minutes later, it will say that my temperature is right in the middle (operating temp). My heat works fine and is hot it just doesn't blow from the center fans for more than 30 seconds. It comes out good and hot from the windshield vents and foot vents.

My car has 132000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Replacing the thermostat should solve this problem. The thermostat is supposed to keep the cooling water from circulating through the radiator until the engine reaches operating temperature. The reason your temperature seems to rise when you park the car is that until the engine fully warms up, different parts of the engine are at different temperatures. When you shut off the engine and the coolant stops circulating, the heat in the warmer parts of the engine distributes to the cooler parts until everything is almost uniform. As soon as you start the car, the coolant circulates again and sends that heat out through the radiator. It’s important that your engine reach proper operating temperature for best performance and efficiency. If you don’t want to take on the job yourself, YourMechanic can send a technician to your home to replace the thermostat and check out the rest of the cooling system for you at your convenience.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car takes about 20-30 minutes of driving to reach operating temperature

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: Car overheating due to nonworking fan

The fan on your vehicle is an electric fan. It comes on as needed to help cool the radiator when the coolant reaches a pre-determined temperature. This is usually around 220 degrees. Fan motor failure is common and not a...

Q: Service Engine Soon and ABS light on. Won't pass smog check.

The problem may be the reluctor wheel. This is what the sensor reads as the wheel turns. If one of the teeth on the wheel are damaged or missing, the sensor will not be able to determine speed. The problem...

Q: Engine squealing when idling

Hi there. A squealing noise is a common sign that the rotating parts such as your belts are slipping on their pulleys. A worn belt will make this noise due to the loss of tension and gripping ability of the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...