Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My hot temperature light is blinking and the temperature is below the C mark. Is it safe to drive home?

asked by on

I was driving home from work when the temp gage dropped to below the c and the hold light started flashing. Am I able to drive it home?

My car has 94086 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. The coolant temperature sending unit is malfunctioning and sending the vehicle the wrong information or the gauge on the dash has failed. The sending unit could have burned inside causing the computer to think that the engine is overheating. Also, the sending unit could have failed making the gauge read cold only and not register. The gauge in the dash could have failed causing the meter to register cold all the time. To see if your engine is overheating or not, open you hood and feel the upper radiator hose. If the hose is very hard and very hot to the touch, then the engine may be overheating and the gauge is malfunctioning. If the upper radiator hose can be squeezed a little and it not that hot, but has some heat to it, then the engine is operating normally and the temperature sending unit (sensor) has failed. If you hear any gurgling sound, then the engine is overheating to the point that its boiling the coolant. If there is no sound, then the engine is not boiling the coolant. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you with your coolant sending unit and indicator lights.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My hot temperature light is blinking and the temperature is below the C mark. Is it safe to drive home?

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: My car shakes and sometimes turns off.

The mechanic that looked at the vehicle is partly correct in that the repairs cannot be known until the problem can be verified and diagnosed. If the problem cannot be verified then you will have a hard time getting a...

Q: oil pressure on 80 what can be the problem?

The best scenario is if the oil pressure sending unit is simply bad. The sending unit can be tested and/or you can simply tee in a known good gauge to rule the sending unit in or out as the cause....

Q: What is wrong with my car?

Hi, it sounds like you are having a few issues with your car. The P0117 code you received is the coolant temp sensor failure. Although your gauge is not reading high, with the coolant temp sensor failing, the gauge will...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...