Q: My car keeps running hot then it cools down

asked by on October 06, 2016

My temperature gauge on my car will run cold, then hot, then cold again.

My car has 181523 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. There are two possibilities here: either the physical temperature of the engine is indeed fluctuating significantly, or the sensor and/or circuit that feeds the temperature gauge is malfunctioning. The sensor (and circuit) can be tested and, if necessary, a temperature data logger can be deployed to measure the engine temperature over time to see if the temperature is in fact fluctuating. If it is there could be an issue with the cooling system thermostat, water pump drive belt, radiator blockage and/or a malfunctioning cooling fan. YourMechanic would be pleased to evaluate the issue for you and identify the cause of the problem, that is whether it is electrical or something else.

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

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

My car cuts off when service park assist pops up. What can be causing this problem?

Hi there. The parking assist works with sensors around the vehicle to view any obstacles on the road to prevent any accidents. If the parking assist is stalling your vehicle, then the sensors are either dirty or damaged. I recommend...

Hi, I have a 2005 Volkswagen passet that is overheating, I took somewhere and I was told that the motor is blocked up inside so th

Hello, thank you for writing in. There is a possibility that the cooling passages can become clogged with old coolant, or a "stop-leak" type of product meant to seal leaks in the cooling system. The system completely depends on the...

My car won't start - 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Hello there, many different faults will cause the camshaft position sensor code to be seen on your 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Without knowing exactly what code is stored I can only offer general advice. If you have replaced the camshaft...

Related articles

How to Buy a Good Quality Radiator
The The numerous moving parts of a vehicle are certain to rub together, causing friction which generates a generous amount of heat. The motor oil that is being pumped in as lubrication can only do so much – it can’t...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Coolant Tube
Common signs include low coolant levels, visible coolant leaks, and engine overheating.
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid
Acura Acura returns from a spate of years devoted to the higher-end luxury market, and they do so in style with a car that practically invents its own segment. The ILX Hybrid is the half electric portion of the brand...