Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What do I do if the temperature gauge moves into the red?

asked by on

What do I do if the temperature gauge moves into the red?

A: Your Accord is equipped with a temperature ...

Your Accord is equipped with a temperature gauge that shows you how hot or cold the engine coolant is. During normal operation, it should stay in the middle of the range. If it moves into the red, though, you need to do something immediately. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pull off the road in a safe location.

  2. Put the car in park (or in neutral with the parking brake on if you have a stick shift).

  3. Turn off all accessories (air conditioner, radio, etc.).

  4. If steam is coming from under the hood, turn off the engine. Do not open the hood until the steam has stopped.

  5. If there’s no steam visible, watch the temperature gauge. If it begins to drop immediately, chances are good it was overloaded (driving in hills, towing a trailer, etc.).

  6. If the temperature gauge drops, wait until it reaches normal and then get back on the road.

  7. if the temperature gauge does not drop, turn the engine off.

  8. Open the hood (if there’s no steam).

  9. Inspect the radiator hoses and other components for a leak. (DO NOT touch any components – they’re hot!).

  10. Any damaged components (radiator hoses, radiator, reservoir, etc.) must be replaced/repaired before you can drive the car.

  11. If nothing appears damaged, check the coolant level in the reservoir. Top it off (above the minimum mark).

  12. If the reservoir was completely empty, you may need to top off the radiator too. Wait until it is cool to the touch to open and fill it.

  13. To fill the radiator: Crank the engine and turn your heat on full. Now, fill the radiator until coolant is just below the level of the neck. Top off the reservoir as well.

  14. Replace the radiator cap.

  15. Run the engine and watch the temp gauge.

  16. If it cools down, check the reservoir and top it off to the max line. You can continue driving.

  17. If it does not cool down, do not drive the car.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: When I try to take my lug nuts off my aftermarket rims, i end up scraping the rims,what size lug do i need so i wont do this again

There are many possible sizes of sockets depending on the rim design and types of lug nuts used. Most aftermarket rims will use the same size lug nuts as original but require a thin wall type socket. Take the vehicle...

Q: Power window not working

The problem could be in the switch or the motor / regulator. It could also be a fuse. You will have to see if the motor is receiving power when the switch is pressed. If so, the motor is bad....

Q: My GMC Acadia 2013 is blowing hot air and the AC is on

Unfortunately your 2013 GMC Acadia is known for having bad rear evaporator cores. So that sounds about right. I can't comment on needing the blower motor though. Does the rear air blow at all? These cars are also known to...

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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control 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...