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Q: My car's thermostat gauge is not functioning right.

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When I go to start my car the thermostat gauge don't go up like its not heating the car. When we got an oil change from jiffy lube they said we need new water pump , belt, and possibly get new thermostat also . but nothing is leaking and had the belt looked at it was fine so what could be the problem cuz sometimes we smell a burning smell and our gas seems to be going real quick. Please help me understand what's going on? Thanks

My car has 174000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The temperature gauge may not go up to operating temperature if your engine thermostat is stuck in the open position. If the thermostat is stuck open your engine may never get up to normal operating temperature and this will cause the engine computer to run the engine richer than normal causing the fuel mileage to drop.

In order to verify the thermostat is not closing you will need to start the engine when it is cold and monitor the upper radiator hose to see if it stays cool to the touch for about 2 to 3 minutes then will all of a sudden start getting hot. If the hose stays cold and gradually gets warmer as time passes up to about ten minutes if you still only still feel a warm hose then the thermostat is stuck open and needs replaced.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come diagnose your car and service your thermostat if proven to be faulty.

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