Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How does the coolant temperature gauge work?

asked by on

How does the coolant temperature gauge work?

A: Keeping your engine within its normal opera...

Keeping your engine within its normal operating range is of critical importance. If the engine gets too hot, serious damage can result. The engine coolant temperature gauge in the dash of your car gives you the means to track that temperature and make sure that it stays within the safe range. The gauge runs from cold on the left to hot on the right. Under normal conditions, the needle should stay somewhere in the middle. If it starts edging into the red area to the right, it means that the engine is beginning to overheat.

Tip

If the needle gets into the red/hot zone, find somewhere safe to pull over. Turn off the engine and let it cool down.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine is leaking coolant on the top of the engine

This sounds like potentially a blown head gasket unfortunately. I would definitely not start or drive the car any longer until having it checked by a mechanic. When this happens, the gasket between the cylinder head and the engine block...

Q: No cold air from AC

If the AC is only blowing hot air then most of the time it is because the AC compressor is not turning on. The compressor will not turn on for a number of reasons, but the most common is low...

Q: How do you clear the MyKey system?

While the MyKey® system on your car can provide enhanced safety and peace of mind, it may be necessary to clear it eventually. After all, the point is to teach younger drivers responsible habits. Once they’ve learned, you should clear...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...