Why Is My Car’s Temperature Gauge Needle Moving Up and Down?

If your car’s temperature gauge needle is moving up and down sporadically, Shums Auto Repair advises that the thermostat may be malfunctioning. When the thermostat gets too old, which is usually after seven to 10 years, it may no longer be able to detect the engine’s temperature correctly. Consequently, it may release engine coolant when the engine doesn’t need it and failed to release the coolant when the engine does need it. This will leave your engine’s temperature fluctuating between hot and cold while you drive your automobile. This is just one sign that the thermostat is going bad. Here are other signs.

Corroded Thermostat Housing

Pop the hood and visually inspect the thermostat. Look for corrosion on the metal housing. If you see any corrosion, your thermostat has a small leak that is causing the coolant to pool around it. When this happens, the coolant begins to eat through the thermostat housing. This is because the housing is made of metal. It’s important to replace the thermostat at this stage of the corrosion; otherwise, you may end up with coolant spots on your garage floor. We will talk more about this next. If your car is an older automobile, take the time to inspect the thermostat regularly.

Leaking Engine Coolant

As the coolant eats away at the thermostat housing, it will eventually develop holes in it. This can cause coolant to leak onto the garage floor. It’s important that you avoid driving your automobile if it is leaking engine coolant. The reason why is that the coolant level will be too low in the engine to keep the temperature under the maximum temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Check your coolant level to see where it’s at. If it is low, have your vehicle towed to our shop so we can find the coolant leak and fix it. In this case, fixing the leak would be replacing the thermostat.

Overheating Constantly

Finally, your engine will overheat constantly if the thermostat has gone bad. The cause of the overheating could be that the coolant levels are too low due to a leak or that the thermostat is not releasing the coolant into the engine. If the latter occurs, your engine will overheat within 10 to 15 minutes of driving your automobile.

Shums Auto Repair in Philadelphia, PA, is here to help, so call us today if your car, truck, or C/SUV is having any of the problems discussed above. The sooner we replace the thermostat the better.

Photo by bizoo_n from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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