Temperature Gauge Rising but Car Not Overheating (Causes & Solution)

The function of a car’s temperature gauge is to measure and tell you the engine’s temperature at any time and alert you if you’re getting too close to overheating.

Occasionally, however, they may give off inaccurate readings for various reasons.

For example, temperature gauges have been known to overheat themselves when left unattended for long periods, causing them to read beyond what would be considered normal.

This article will discuss why you might see a temperature gauge rising but car not overheating problem on your car and what to do when you notice this.

We’ll also go over why it’s possible that your engine may run hot but won’t necessarily reach or go beyond its maximum operating temperature.

Finally, we will explain what to do if your car is overheating and other interesting things about engines and their optimum operating temperatures!

Let’s get started!

Reasons for Temperature Gauge Rising but Car Not Overheating

Here are the reasons in detail why your car might have a temperature gauge rising but car not overheating problem

1. Faulty Temperature Gauge

A faulty temperature gauge is one of the main reasons you might notice your car’s temperature gauge rising but car not overheating.

For instance, a temperature gauge needle can be damaged if it is trapped in an area of high temperature. Many gears inside your car’s temperature gauge also impact how well this needle works.

If you notice that there are issues with getting steady readings from your temperature gauge, it could be one of the many possible causes.”

In addition, If a car’s radiator cap is not securely fastened, the temperature gauge might indicate that the engine is overheating when it is normal.

Again, if your car’s temperature gauge is faulty, it might indicate that the temperature is rising when everything is normal.

2. Bad Temperature Sensor

A Bad temperature sensor is another reason you might notice your car’s temperature gauge rising but the car not overheating.

The temperature sensor measures the engine’s temperature in your vehicle; A faulty temperature sensor often displays wrong readings on the temperature gauge.

So, if your car has this problem, the temperature gauge might emit a false warning and indicate that the engine is overheating.

This may explain the experience you get when driving, and the temperature gauge keeps fluctuating.

Temperature Gauge Rising

3. Damaged Head Gasket

If you notice your car’s temperature gauge rising but the car not overheating., it could mean that a leak has occurred in the seal between the engine block and the cylinder head.

If this seal leaks coolant or oil, it could cause one or more of these problems. When you notice any head gasket blown symptoms, have your mechanic inspect your vehicle and replace the defective part as soon as possible.

If you don’t fix it quickly, it could result in more costly repairs in the future

4. Bad Water Pump

The water pump is an important part of your vehicle’s cooling system. If it isn’t functioning correctly, your car’s cooling system will not transport coolant properly past the hoses.

This can affect all of your car’s engine cooling systems, causing it to become hot.

In addition, if you experience a leak or flood with your car’s water pump, it can cause your vehicle to overheat.

4. Low Coolant Level

If your vehicle’s coolant reservoir level is lower than usual, it can make your car run hot.

When you have a coolant reservoir empty, your vehicle will begin to malfunction, and the car’s engine will overheat.

Overheating can cause problems with other parts and components of your car. You’ll want to fill up yet another canister with radiator fluid or keep extra on hand to prevent this from happening.

You must monitor the coolant levels regularly to ensure these reservoirs are filled with the proper amounts of fluid.

If not, driving your vehicle may end up causing damage soon enough, and before long, these parts may fail without warning.

5. Using the Wrong Coolant

Ensure that you use the correct coolant or mixture of water and coolant in your vehicle.

Do not mix different brands or types of coolants since this could cause working problems with your vehicle’s cooling system.

If you are unsure whether to change your coolant, you usually recommend taking the car to a mechanic for servicing purposes.

The coolant will become corrosive over time due to oxidation and wear out after being in an overheated state several times.

Therefore, it is highly dependent upon you to regularly perform scheduled maintenance on your car’s engine cooling system.

Temperature Gauge high but Car Not Overheating

6. Faulty Radiator Fan

The radiator fan in your car is responsible for removing excess heat from your car engine by reducing the vehicle’s coolant temperature.

If there is a malfunction in the fan, it won’t be able to do this, and this can create an unsafe condition because the radiator will get too hot.

There have been reports where fans come on when they aren’t supposed to. This can cause problems that result in an unstable reading on your temperature gauge and fluctuation in temperature!

Related: Radiator Repair Options And Which You Should Choose

7. Broken Hoses

A hose’s function is to transport coolant from one point to another. Unfortunately, the hose can be exposed to excess heat, and when it does, the inside of the hose becomes thin, unable to properly manage the flow of the coolant that runs through it.

When you have a leaky hose, there is an escape of coolant and prevents an efficient transportation stream as there is not enough contained in the hose.

This issue will also often result in a rise in your car engine’s temperature due to insufficient cooling that would have otherwise been able to pass on by a properly functioning basic automotive system without any problems occurring.

When your car is overheating and your coolant reservoir is full, you should check the hose enabling coolant to flow into the radiator from the reservoir.

If this hose is torn, you will have a constant leak of coolant – and over time, there won’t be any more left in your radiator either.

8. A damaged thermostat

The thermostat is a vital component of a vehicle’s cooling system. This essential part ensures coolant doesn’t get pumped around the system too much when it isn’t needed.

Unfortunately, when the thermostat experiences damage, it won’t have the ability to pump coolant into the radiator when required.

This may cause an increased temperature inside a vehicle’s running engine.

What to do When You Notice a Temperature Gauge High But Car Not Overheating Problem?

why is Temperature Gauge rising but Car Not Overheating

A diagnostic reader for OBD-II is required to diagnose the exact problem if you notice your car’s temperature gauge rising but the car not overheating.

This can be very helpful in identifying if there are any electrical faults like bad sensors causing this issue.

After using a diagnostic tool and you notice that the temperature gauge sensor is bad, take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to replace it.

Also, if the temperature gauge needle is bad, it might need a replacement too

Also Read: Car Overheating When Idle? (Here Is What to Do)

How to Fix the Temperature Gauge Rising but Car Not Overheating Problem

The most common reason you notice your car’s temperature gauge is high but car not overheating is a faulty temperature sensor.

The temperature sensor is located at the bottom of the vehicle’s radiator on most vehicles. If you have trouble locating your vehicles

Here are the steps for replacing this part and fixing a temperature gauge rising but car not overheating

  1. If you have been driving, allow the car to cool down for about 20-30 mins
  2. lift the vehicle using a car jack to access the part.
  3. You will need to remove the radiator cap.
  4. Drain every coolant from the car’s radiator. You can get more information about doing this from your car manual
  5. Unplug the temperature sensor’s wiring.
  6. Take the temperature sensor out of the vehicle.
  7. Put the new temperature sensor in.
  8. Replug the wiring connector.
  9. Verify that all the coolant connectors are secure.
  10. Remove the jack to lower your car.
  11. Turn the ignition on.
  12. Check the temperature gauge and be sure that it is reading correctly
  13. Take your vehicle for a test drive to confirm that the problem has been fixed
  14. if the temperature gauge is reading correctly; then you are done

Check our this video for more tips on how to carry out this replacement procedure

Conclusion

It is now clear why you may see a high reading on your car’s temperature gauge even though your engine is not hot.

Low coolant levels most commonly cause overheating engines; however, you know there is a possibility that the temperature gauge may display inaccurate readings.

If your gauges seem to be providing inaccurate readings, you’ll want first to try fixing their visible problems. If the problem stems from a broken gauge, you may need to replace it.

If either needle is stuck or the temperature sensor has failed, you will also have to replace them for accurate readings to be provided again.

It is important to verify the temperature sensor and the mechanical component of the temperature gauge if the engine doesn’t appear to be overheating yet the readings are high.

If everything checks out, but your car still isn’t performing the way it’s supposed to, then it might be that your engine was indeed overheating.

Make sure you get your car system evaluated to prevent your car from undergoing severe damage.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

Leave a Comment