My temperature gauge quit working. What could it be?
Temperature gauge doesnt move on my 09 Chevy aveo
I unfortunately am no mechanic but things I would get tested are your
I apologize that I am not certified to give you more concrete answers.
First of all and most importantly, check to see if the coolant is full when the engine is cold. If the coolant is low and to the point it is not touching the tip of the temperature sensor, it will delay the signal to the gauge and the engine may be to the overheat level before the gauge moves. Do not check the coolant when the engine is hot (you could get burned). Do not add coolant when the engine is hot (you can crack the hot parts when the cold water hits them) .
It most likely is the temperature sensor has failed or the temperature sensor wires are damaged (rodent damage). So first thing is check the coolant level in the morning and top off as needed. If it was low then you have a leak and must get it looked at to find and repair the leak. If it was not low on coolant then the wires need to be inspected.
Now if you take the vehicle to a repair shop or the dealer and they find that mice ate the wiring (rodent damage), they are going to tell you the harness will require replacement and if the rodent damage is in multiple locations then it is true, the harness will require replacement. Okay now this damage, in the insurance world, is known as an “Act of God” and is covered under your Home Owners Insurance if you have that and you park inside the garage. So if the repair shop calls you and rodent damage is cause, tell them do not move any of the wires and let them know you are going to call your insurance company. The insurance company will schedule and inspection with the shop.
On all vehicle since the early to mid 80’s, a sensor failure or OPEN or SHORT in the wiring will leave a “CODE” stored in the vehicle Electronic Control Module (ECM) diagnostic memory leaving the “Check Engine” light illuminated. The second step in diagnosing a failed temperature gauge after checking and topping off the coolant is to plug a code reader into the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) connector and retrieve any CODE stored. If you don’t have a code reader, I think this can be done at most auto parts stores across the country except California, and sometimes for free.
Also for almost all brands of automobile and truck, locate the temperature sender and unplug the connector. If it’s a two wire sender install a small wire (jumper wire) from one of the connections points in the plug to the other connection point in the same plug. If it’s a one wire sender ground the wire to a know good ground. Turn the key to the ON position and the temperature gauge should go all the way to the HOT end of the gauge. If this occurs, then the temperature sender has failed and the gauge, ECM and wiring are all good. Replace the temperature sender, top off the coolant and plug the connector back in. Start the engine and watch to confirm the repair is complete. Clear any CODE stored and if you have no way to clear the code, most ECM’s will eventually clear it automatically after a certain number of “Cycles” and no failure has occurred. A Cycle is when the engine is cold (has been off for 8 hours or the coolant temperature is within 10° of the air intake temperature) and started and driven or run until the cooling fan turns on and then the engine is turned off and an 8 hour off time has passed.
NOTE: If the vehicle has a three wire connector, a wiring diagram will be required in or to jumper the connector correctly. Generally the third wire is the one that illuminates the RED warning light located in or near the temperature gauge and sometimes turns on an addible signal to bring your attention to the dash cluster.
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