why does my car temperature gauge not work

The coolant system is designed to keep the engine at a near constant temperature. If the temp is too cold it affects fuel ecconomy and performance. If it is too hot engine parts overheat and get damaged. The thermostat does this by opening and allowing hot coolant into the radiator to be cooled. When the coolant temp is low it closes and allows the engine to warm to the designed temperature. The are three most likely causes. A defective thermostat that stays open. This allows the coolant to flow thru the radiator and actually overcools the engine. It could also be a defective gauge ot sensor. The other cause is a defective coolant fan relay. If the radiator fan runs constantly it can also overcool the engine.
remove the sensor wire and ground it, the temp gauge should move to HOT. That would mean your gauge at least works.


If it does not you may have to replace your instrument cluster. If it does move than consider another different sender. Make sure that it is one for a gauge not a temp light. Also, make sure that your engine block has a strong ground, You could temporarily connect a jumper cable from the negative of the battery to the engine block. Let us know what you get. As for the engine light, have your vehicle scanned. Since we do not know where you are, in the US Autozone offers a free OBD scanning.


Let us know what you find. Disconnect Sensor - Ensure temperature sensor connector is in good condition. Turn ignition off. Disconnect coolant temperature sensor. Turn ignition off. If temperature gauge indicates cold, go to next step. If temperature gauge does not indicate cold, go to step 3). 2. Bypass Temperature Sensor - Connect a jumper wire between the 2 pins of temperature sensor harness connector. If temperature gauge indicates hot, replace coolant temperature sensor. If temperature gauge does not indicate hot, go to next step. 3. Check Red/White Wire For Short To Ground - Turn ignition off. Disconnect instrument cluster harness connector C237.


Measure resistance between instrument cluster harness connector C237 pin No. 9 (Red/White wire) and ground. If resistance is greater than 10 k/ohms, repair/replace instrument cluster. If resistance is less than 10 k/ohms, repair short to ground in Red/White wire. Check gauge operation. 4. Check Red/White Wire Pink/Orange Wire For Open - Turn ignition off. Disconnect instrument cluster harness connector C237. Measure resistance between C237 pin No. 9 (Red/White wire) and pin No. 5 (Pink/Orange wire). If resistance is less than 5 ohms, repair/replace instrument cluster. If resistance is greater than 5 ohms, repair open Red/White or Pink/Orange wire.

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