I have a 1996 GMC Suburban. The past week or two temperature gage seems to be malfunctioning. After only about 5 minutes of driving the temp gage will shoot up and then shoot back down. It will shoot up to the red zone, stay there for a minute or so and then rocket back down to below normal. Even though the gage shoots into the red zone, the truck never over heats. Never hear any hissing, never see steam and seems to perform just fine. We used to pull over when it got to the red zone but now we just drive through it because it always comes back down without incident.
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check that you have a thermal switch to switch on the fan and not a temp sender unit. One completes the curcuit when a set temp is reached ,the other is a resistance unit that lowers the voltage which in turn reads hotter on the gauge.
This is happening because you got it right!! It is perfectly normal for the temp gage to indicate those readings. Here's why...
The thermostat has to be heated to its set point, say 195 degree's, before it will open. While it is doing that the engine temperature sensor is "upstream" and it takes a little longer for the thermostat to react. The old thermostat may have had a lower set point or was just weak.
CHECK GAGES light (1) indicates a potential engine failure(low oil pressure, low coolant, coolant overheating) has occurred. · Check gages and shut down engine. Gages should read as follows: Oil pressure 5 to 10 psi (34 to 69 kPa) at idle; Water Temp gage below 230 degrees (110 C).
· Check engine oil level (Para 2-11) if OIL PRESS gage indicates low reading. Check coolant level (Para 2-11) if Water Temp gage indicates high reading. Notify Unit Maintenance if levels are low.
If CHECK ENGINE light (2) is on, check engine oil pressure gage (3) and water temperature gage (4). If both indicate normal, proceed with mission and then notify Unit Maintenance. If either one does not indicate normal, stop engine immediately and notify Unit Maintenance
located the temp sending unit check that its pluged in, if it is unplug it and ground the wire to something metal (with the switch on) and see if the gauge moves if it does then your temp sending unit is bad and needs replaced
Is it just the gauge or is the engine coolant temperature varying? Does the heater seem to vary in temperature when it is on. It could be a couple of different things. One could be a malfunctioning temp sending unit, it has lost its calibration. Two, your thermostat is cycling open and closed from a weak return spring, worn out. Make sure coolant level is correct and the mixture is 50/50. Let me know. Regards,
The outdoor temp sensor is just inside the grill when you opent the hood. The part cost around $76 and kind of looks like a electrical plug receptacle. There are little clips holding the old one in that need to be held apart to dislodge it, slip the new one in, and you're done. Took about 5 minutes.
engine coolant temp. sensor is probly cracked it will cause the idle to race, car may smoke, and at time could be hard to start.. It is about 15 dollars, and it is located on the right side of the head if you are looking at the engine.. pull it out you will be able to see if the tip of the ceramic tip is cracked.