I have a 2001 Aztec when the temp outside goes above 45 degrees and I am idling at a light the engine guage moves to the red. No check engine light goes on. If I keep the vehicle moving the needle moves down to the middle again. I had a mechanic look at it and he put a tempature guage on the engine and let it idle for 20 minutes, plus. The car guage showed it was hot but the mechanic guage said it wasn't, he told me that the problem was the guage it self. It is not reading accurate. He told me that it was ok to run the car because it was not really hot. I just purhcased the car 3 months ago it has 100,000 mile on it.
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Re: Engine Guage is showing Hot.
IT IS UP TO U, DO U TRUST THE TECH? ALSO YOU CAN INSTALL A MECHANICAL GAUGE AND SEE IF IT SHOWS NORMAL OPERATING TEMP (180F-235F), PLEASE NOTE THAT WHEN U ARE IDLING THE GAUGE WILL GO TO AT LEAST 3/4 SCALE BEFORE THE COOLING CAN COMES ON, THE FAN IS SET TO COME ON AT 220-230 DEGREE'S FAHRENHEIT.
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I believe they are located in the intake manifold somewhere. Make sure the one that tells the computer the coolant temp is ACTUALLY giving out the correct temperature. I had a bad one one time in a 1993 Ford F-150, 5.8L....... no check engine light came on but hard to start. The bad sensor was telling the computer it was 32 degrees F when it was almost 80 degrees outside.!!
Garbage in=Garbage out.
Here is a video link from Youtube. There are 2 sensors, 1 for the guage and the other tells the on-board computer how hot/cold the coolant is. The one for the guage has 1-wire and the other one has 2 wires.
Hope this helps, ask more if you need to. What kind of problem are you having? No heat inside? Guage needle not getting into the normal area?
Check the operation of the cooling fans at the radiator. While idling disconnect the coolant temp sensor at the top left (drivers side) of the engine. It will be a 2 wire connector near the thermostat housing. When disconnected the coolant fans should come on immediately, if not you have an electrical issue with the relays or blown fuse. Check the fuses first in the underhood electrical panel. Next swap the cooling fan relay with an identical one next to it, if the fan works the relay is open.
Because you have done so many repairs already I would most likely say that the gauge is defective. I would use a manual temp probe and probe the coolant temp after the car has reached operating temp. Coolant will be between 180- 230 degrees. If coolant temp checks out and you can see coolant moving in radiator and the vehicle does not overheat then you will need either a gauge or a coolant sensor. To locate the sensor it should either be mounted in the thermostat goose neck housing or the intake manifold.
A/C is all conditional upon ambient air temperature. If you are in a high heat area and getting 58 degrees fah., you are doing great. Take it on the highway and see how much further it goes down. The temp. inside is all relative to the outside temp.. That is the science of it. Let me know what your guage readings are and the temp where you are and I can tell you if you are doing good or great.
I would supect you actually have two problems going on here. First off it sounds like your guage is reading inaccuratly. When it is reading at one quarter it probably should be at the half way point. This is the normal operating range. The most likely cause is the temp sensor for the guage. When you pull a trailer and engine gets under a load the tempature sounds like its going up too high. Your engine light comes on because it uses a different sensor and is registering accurate tempature. I would start by comparing actual tempature of engine with what the guage reads, this can be done with a scanner or a heat gun pointed at the thermostat housing. I believe you will find a faulty sensor or possibly an outside chance of a bad guage.(but doubt it!)Once that is straightned out you will have to look at why is the engine getting too warm under load. I would start with radiator flow,A ristricted radiator either internally or externally will cause this. Good luck!
if you have high miles, 75k or more I would go ahead and have tempature sensor and thermostat it self change. I don't see battery cable would have any bearing to the temperatureguage or cooling process. Both switch work almost the same, at time it work well other time it read or work incorrectly because it a sign of unit becoming faulty. If the temperature sensor is faulty half of the time it well give you incorrect reading however if the temp sensor working properly and the Thermostat is not, you will also get a high temp reading due to the Thermostat is not working properly allowing the hot antifreeze to flow out from the engine to the radiator which cause the hot antifreeze to be remain lock up in the engine block. Thermostat suppose to open and close when it reach its temperature; at the same time I would also replace thermostat switch which operate the cooling fan. all three tend to go bad over times; replacing all three is a great ideas. Thermostat, thermostat switch and temperature sensor.
YOUR ENGINE OPERATING RATING TEMPERATURE SUPPOSE TO BE 190 TO 200 DEGREES. IF COOLANT SENSOR DEGREES IS SHOWING 190 OR 200 DEGREES IT WORKING.THAT RIGHT.IF ITS SHOWING 60 OR 80 DEGREES IT FAULTY. AND ENGINE WILL RUN POORLY.
Sounds like a faulty sensor, if the actual temp is 195/215. The ICM is processing the information it receives from the sensor and performs accordingly. A complete diagnostic scan would be helpful in determining the proper repairs needed to correct the problem. Good luck...i hope this helps, please rate me a fixya.