Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Temperature gauge not reaching appropriate temperature.

asked by on

My car has began to not get to appropriate temperature since it has started to get cold, the temperature of the car will not get above the quarter mark on the gauge. I replaced the thermostat over the weekend and thought that helped but didnt, if I sit in the car and press the accelerator the car will eventually get to temperature but once i start driving and the cold air hits the engine, it slowly goes back down to the quarter line. Any help would be very much appreciated!

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: When replacing thermostats, or if you are t...

When replacing thermostats, or if you are trying to diagnose a problem, the best thing to do is install the OEM (i.e., dealer supplied) thermostat. Assuming that the thermostat you got is "good" (i.e., opening at OEM specified temperature and not sticking open), there are two possibilities. Check cooling fan(s) to see if maybe they are stuck "on". Such could happen if the relay is stuck. The other possibility is the sending unit, that is the engine temperature sensor, and/or the dash gauge are misreporting the actual temperature. The sensor and gauge can be tested using factory specifications. In addition to get an approximate idea of what is going on, you can use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the housing, through which the coolant is flowing, at the temperature sensor. If you desire that a certified Mechanic perform these tests and repair the fault for you, please set up a mobile visit with YourMechanic. Please let us know how we can assist you further.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car won't start - 2013 Dodge Charger

Hi there. Fuel pressure would be a good thing to check out as lack of fuel pressure would indicate a failed fuel pump. Other things that may cause the vehicle to stall are a camshaft or crankshaft position sensor and...

Q: My car is overheating, what could be the cause?

This can be caused by a number of things, such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know, the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature by turning...

Q: Leaking top radiator hose? Leaking top radiator hose how to replace a leaking top radiator

If you have not done a job like this before you might want to consider watching a professional from YourMechanic do it for you, especially as the labor time is less than 1.5 hours so it's pretty economical. The first...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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...