Q: Temperature needles moves to "hot" when idle but goes back to "cold" when moving.

asked by on

Our temperature needle always goes to the red line when we are idle, only. If we are moving, it stays closer to the "c". If we stay idle and the needle goes to red the low coolant light comes on and keeps dinging until we move again. As soon as we move, the needle moves. There is never any smoke coming from the hood nor does it ever smell as if it's running hot. Also, our heat starts blowing cool air when idle. Today, the vehicle started shaking. Could all of these problem be related?

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The engine temperature fluctuating as it is can be caused by a number of components or problems. If the cooling system is restricted, coolant flow may be reduced at low engine speeds (idle) and be better when moving. If the cooling system has not been serviced for a long period, coolant passages in the radiator, heater, and engine may be restricted enough to limit coolant flow. Low coolant level can cause similar symptoms. Also, electrical issues can cause the vehicle to run hot at low speeds. If the radiator cooling fan is not turning on, the temperature will rise until you begin moving again, getting air flow through the radiator.

Have a certified technician diagnose the running hot issues as soon as possible. Running hot can cause performance issues as well as severe damage to the engine.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Temperature needles moves to "hot" when idle but goes back to "cold" when moving.

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: Fuel injection issue - 2005 Buick LaCrosse

Hi there. Your vehicle has a sequential fuel injection system. When the computer detects a fault, it converts to port fuel injection (bank to bank/limp mode). The most likely cause could be an electrical short in the odd bank of...

Q: High fuel consumption and the scanner cannot read the O2 sensor(Bank1 sensor1, on the neck of the exhaust line)

The problem sounds like you have a scanner that is not totally compatible with your vehicle. You may need to try a different scanner to see if the new scanner can access the computer data stream to monitor the fuel...

Q: Service Park Assist light came on while driving and the car disabled me from pushing on the gas. 2009 Buick Enclave

Hello - first task is to get the problem codes that may or may not be illuminating the Check Engine light. The Parking Assist issue is limiting engine power to avoid big power surges while parking. This may require service...

Related articles

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...
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...