Q: When heat is on temperature gauge goes towards cold. When heat is off it goes back to being in the middle. 2001 Buick Regal

asked by on

When I put on the heat when the engine is warmed up the temperature gauge goes from in the middle of cold and hot , down one quarter towards cold. When I turn off the heat it slowly rises back to being in the middle of cold and hot.I took the car to Firestone 4 months ago to change the coolant and I remember seeing red or pink fluid. This car takes Dexcool which I'm told is orange. Is it possible the shop put in Toyota fluid which I've been told is red and if so am I making the situation worse? Do I need to have the fluid flushed again? Do I have air in the radiator? Do I need a thermostat? Thank you.

My car has 63834 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there - the temperature gauge behavior you describe would indicate that you need a new thermostat. The thermostat should keep engine temperature within a close range - close to the center of the gauge from a visual point of view. The fact that turning on the heater allows the engine to cool down indicates that the thermostat is not doing it’s job. It’s impossible to know what the service center put in your cooling system prior, but you are correct - Dexcool, the GM-recommended coolant, has an orange tint to it, and should be used in your engine. I would recommend having your thermostat replaced by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, replace your thermostat, refill your cooling system, and bleed it. Your temperature gauge should remain centered from then on, and you can be sure the correct coolant will then be in your engine.

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. When heat is on temperature gauge goes towards cold. When heat is off it goes back to being in the middle. 2001 Buick Regal

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 right back side lights and blinker are not working. my question is how do i check the fuse

Hello, and thank you for writing in. To check the fuse you must check the electrical resistance, or take a look at the filament inside to make sure it is not broken. This filament is the fine piece of metal...

Q: Do you think with what I have described that that is the problem

Hi Future. Thanks for the follow-up question. Based on the symptoms you're describing, I would assume you have multiple issues beyond the crankshaft position sensor. The thing about engine codes is that they are simply recording facts on systems that...

Q: When in high RPMs engine drops in power and feels like it’s misfiring

A real time scanner is necessary to look at actual engine operating data and that will usually reveal enough clues to pinpoint the fault. Although the throttle control system is a common trouble area with reduced power or loss of...

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...
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...