Q: my heat gauge goes up when idling then comes back down when driving

asked by on

My heat gauge goes up all the way when my car is idling and then comes back down as soon as i start driving. It returns to normal operating temp.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds as though you are probably having an issue with the cooling fan(s). The primary function for the cooling fan(s) is to push/pull air through the radiator at low speeds, or at a stand still. When stationary, there is not sufficient air flow through the radiator to cool the liquid in the cooling system and keep the engine at the proper temperature. There could be a problem with a clogged radiator, but this issue would normally be observed whether stationary or moving. Without knowing the model of the vehicle, and the engine it is equipped with, I don’t know if it is a belt driven cooling fan, if it is electric, or if it is mechanically driven. In any event, I would have the function of the cooling fan diagnosed. If this is something that you feel you could use a hand to diagnose and/or repair, contact a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com.

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. my heat gauge goes up when idling then comes back down when driving

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: Won't start after warmed up.

Hello. If the vehicle starts after being allowed to sit for a while, then it may be possible that the issue is heat-related and goes away once the car cools down. If the vehicle will start with starting fluid, then...

Q: my check engine light came on a few weeks ago and said it was coolant issue light went out and a few days ago it came back on

Your vehicle has less than 60,000 miles and inasmuch as you mention a possible fault in the engine cooling system, you should check for warranty coverage under Chrysler's 5 year/60,000 miles powertrain warranty. If you are not covered under the...

Q: Fan doesn't come on unless defrost is on.

Hi there. I am assuming you are referring to the radiator cooling fan. If it works when the AC or defrost is on and not when the engine starts to warm up, then that can be a circuit issue or...

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...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.