Question about 1996 Ford Explorer

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Temperature gauge reading hot but engine not overheating

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Sounds like bad temp sender. If there's build up on it it will produce similar symptoms. Pull sender, inspect - if no build up - replace sender.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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Changed out water pump and thermostat and vehicle runs high temperature what could be issue?


Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads High

If the temperature gauge reads high, it could mean your engine is overheating. Another reason your reading might be high is you could be losing coolant. A small leak or evaporation may cause your radiator to slowly lose coolant. A third reason your temperature gauge reads high could be because the thermostat is broken. If this is the case, you may need a coolant temperature switch replacement. The last reason the temperature gauge could read high is because of a water pump, or water pump gasket failure. If the water pump is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced by a professional.

What to Do If Your Temperature Gauge is High

If your temperature gauge is reading high, it means your car is overheating. This is a very serious matter and you should never drive an overheating car. If your car starts to overheat, shut off the air conditioner and open the windows immediately. If this does not reduce the overheating, turn on the heater as high as it can go. If this still doesn't work, pull over on the side of the road, turn off the engine, open the hood carefully, and wait until the vehicle cools down. Never open the radiator cap while the engine is hot - coolant can spray and burn you. Once the vehicle has cooled, take the car to a mechanic right away so they can diagnose the problem. Cars are especially susceptible to overheating in hot climates, like what's common in cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Atlanta.
The temperature gauge is an important tool in your vehicle that shows the temperature of your engine's coolant. Contact YourMechanic and have your car inspected for overheating if it reads too high, as this can cause serious problems...

Reasons the Temperature Gauge Reads Cold

On most vehicles, the temperature gauge reads cold until the engine has run for a few minutes. If the temperature gauge still reads cold after the engine has warmed up, the gauge may simply be broken. Another reason the temperature gauge could read cold is if the thermostat in the vehicle stays open. With the thermostat stuck open, the engine can be overcooled, causing a low temperature reading. If this is the case, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Oct 28, 2017 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Turnsover but won't start on hot days


This is a tough one something like this should be handled with a diagnostic tool. Seeing that your temperature gauge is pined when the engine is cold, your temperature sender could be sending false readings back to the computer, although your engine is equipped with the separate temperature sender for the engine control module. I once repaired a problem with the ignition coil, it would fail when hot, and start working again when it cooled down. This solution is really shot in the dark, I would pick up a diagnostic reader, they're not that expensive. GOOD LUCK

Jul 02, 2014 | 1994 Chevrolet C1500

1 Answer

The temperature gauge goes up when car starts to HOT like its out of calibration. the engine is not overheating


check that the wire to the temp sender unit has not fallen off and is shorting out on the head/block. The power comes from the ignition switch through the gauge down to the sender unit and because the sender is a temperature controlled resistance unit the voltage is very low and so the gauge reads cold . as the temperature heats up , the resistance is decreased and so the voltage is increased though the gauge and the needle reads higher.. Hench if the gauge goes directly to hot on start up the wire is shorting out or the sender unit is faulty.

Mar 09, 2014 | Acura CL Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2002 dodge caravan sport overheated. It has a new radiator and hoses; we changed the thermostat and replaced the relay and pigtail for the cooling fans after it overheated but we still have the overheating...


Double check the thermostat and make sure the water pump is doing its job. To check the thermostat, simply take it out and reassemble the housing with out the unit. Run the engine and hopefully it will get warm to hot. If not check the pump.

Oct 16, 2013 | 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan

1 Answer

Heater is not getting hot and the temperature needle isn't working


First I would have said your thermostat is stuck open. But if the engine is overheating and the gauge reads cold the cooling system is probably empty. Or there may be alot of air pockets in the cooling system instead of all liquid coolant.
If the system was full and the water pump failed the heater might not work but the gauge would read hot.

Jun 25, 2012 | 2004 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

The temperature gauge reading of my nissan admax 2001 model is always too high. but im not experiencing overheating. what do i do?


If your temperature gauge is reading too high, it can only be one of two things: The engine is overheating or the gauge is "lying" to you. I would recommend first taking the temperature of the cylinder head with an infrared thermometer to determine which one it is. If the engine is actually as hot as the guge says it is, then you need to check your cooling system. If the engine is not as hot as the gauge says it is then you need to diagnose and repair your gauge circuit. (most likely an inaccurate temperature sensor)

Aug 29, 2011 | Nissan Sentra Cars & Trucks

4 Answers

I have a 1995 chevy caprice classic and it keeps overheating, I've changed the thermostat,water pump and I noticed my fans weren't on at all but when I unplug the water pump the fan cuts on.


Your cooling fan relays are controlled by the Engine Control Module (ECM). What you are unplugging is probably the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECT). The ECM will default to "fans on" if it loses the circuit to the ECT. (It loses it when you unplug it) This is why the fans come on when you unplug the connector. The engine might be overheating because the ECT may be malfunctioning and "lying" to the computer about what the actual engine temperature is. If this is the case, the ECM is not turning the fans on because it doesn't "think" it is hot enough to need them. Then again, you could have a faulty temperature gauge that is making you think the engine is overheating when it is not. (If it is boiling over, then it is OBVIOUSLY overheating and you can just disregard that last statement.)
Anyway, the only way to properly diagnose the cooling system on your vehicle is to access the live engine data and look to see what temperature the ECM is seing while you take an actual reading with an infrared thermometer or a pyrometer and compare the two. Yhe thermometer or prometer reading should be within about 5 degrees of what the ECM "thinks" the temperature is. If there is a larger error than this then the coolant temp sensor should be replaced. If the reading is within this range and the temperatur gauge reads hot when it is not, then the gauge should be replaced.
Since the fans come on when you unplug the sensor, you know that all the fan circuits are working and the ECM is capable of controlling them, so it almost has to be a computer INPUT problem, not an OUTPUT problem.

Feb 26, 2011 | 1995 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

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