When it comes to maintaining the health of your vehicle, there is one important thing you must not ignore – your car’s temperature. To monitor your vehicle’s temperature, you have your temperature gauge to look at. The temperature gauge is pretty straightforward. It shows whether a vehicle’s engine is hot or cold and indicates a safe zone in between. While some gauges have a digital readout that shows actual temperature, others simply have a light indication for hot and cold temperatures.
What do you need to know about car temperature gauge?
Paying close attention to your car’s temperature can spare you from unwanted and costly damage. Read on and learn everything you need to know about your car’s temperature gauge.
Normal engine temperature
The ideal engine temperature should be somewhere between 195 and 220 degrees. An engine is operating normally when the needle points at the center or near the center of the gauge. Don’t worry if the needle does not exactly sit in the middle of the gauge. The important thing is that you are familiar with what reads as “normal” for your car.
There may be times when the gauge reads higher than usual and it’s normal, especially during a particularly hot day. As long as the needle does not continue to move up while you’re driving, it’s not something that should be considered alarming.
Reasons why the temperature gauge reads high
If your temperature needle goes up and reaches the red zone, it could be an indication that your engine is overheating. Another possible reason is that you might be running out of coolant due to a leak or evaporation. Also, consider a possible broken thermostat or a water pump gasket failure for a high-temperature reading.
In situations when your engine overheats, be sure not to continue driving. Don’t even dare driving short distance as it may possibly lead to serious damage to your car. The best thing to do is to have your vehicle assessed by a reliable auto mechanic.
Reasons why the temperature gauge reads low
A high-temperature gauge isn’t the only reading you should pay attention to. There will be times when the needle on the gauge points to the colder side. When this happens, it could mean that the engine needs a few minutes to warm up. But if it still reads cold after minutes of driving, there could be a problem with the gauge itself or the thermostat might be malfunctioning. Either way, the best thing to do in this case is to have your car checked.
Steps to take when the temperature gauge is high
A high-temperature gauge reading is an indication of an overheating engine. Be sure to stop driving when this happens and consider this a serious matter. When the vehicle overheats, open the windows immediately and shut off the air conditioner. Also, try turning on the heater as high as possible if the first step does not reduce the overheating. But, if these things do not work, it would be best to pull over on the roadside, turn the engine off and let it cool down by opening the hood. Make sure not to open the radiator cap while the engine is hot. Once the car cools down, take it to your trusted mechanic immediately to have the problem diagnosed.
How to avoid overheating
There are plenty of ways to keep your car from overheating. First, make sure you have enough coolant. A leading cause of an overheating engine is low coolant or antifreeze. Also, make sure that your coolant is fresh. Then check your drive belt because it is the one responsible for coolant circulation. Also, inspect your radiator cap. It maintains the pressure on the system to prevent overheating.
The temperature gauge is one of the important tools that shouldn’t be overlooked for both brand new and pre-owned cars. Use this guide to avoid severe damage to your engine. For more information on used cars, please visit The Auto Warehouse.