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Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold – Reasons and Suggested Repairs!

Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

If you are reading through this article, you're probably dealing with your car temperature gauge stays on cold all the time. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Your temperature gauge is responsible for communicating with you and letting you know what your coolant temperature is. This gauge will tell you whether the coolant is cold, normal, or overheating.

It's important to maintain a perfectly running temperature gauge to save and protect your vehicle's engine. There are many situations where this temperature gauge might stay on cold all the time, and if that happens, the problem might be very serious, and you must take care of it as soon as possible to prevent engine failure. 

This article will help you understand different reasons for your temperatures gauged not functioning properly and what to do about it.  

What is the temperature gauge, and what does it do? 


Your temperature gauge is one of the very important devices when it comes to the cooling system. This case is responsible for letting you know what the coolant's temperature is.

For instance, the temperature gauge will tell you if the coolant is normal, cold, or overheating issues.

You must maintain a perfectly running temperature gauge to ensure that the cooling system is functioning properly and prevent complete engine failure issues due to overheating. 

What are the different reasons for car temperature gauge stays on the cold? 


Your car's temperature gauge must not stay on cold all the time. It must change by the change of the coolant's temperature.

When the car temperature gauge stays on cold, the problem is either with the cooling system or the temperature gauge itself.

There are very common and specific reasons for their car temperature gauge stays on cold, including

  • Problems with the engine coolant temperature sensor 


When your car's temperature gauge stays on cold, the first thing that should come to your mind is a problem with the coolant temperature sensor itself.

This sensor reads the coolant's temperature and sends it to the temperature gauge to display the value. If the sensor is not reading and measuring the coolant's right temperature, it will send faulty signals to the temperature gauge and make it either stay on cold all the time or not even change at all. 

  • Issues with the temperature gauge or cluster 


Once you confirm that the coolant temperature sensor is in good condition, you can move on to the next possible reason for the car temperature gauge stays on cold, which is problems with the car temperature gauge itself or the cluster.

If the temperature gauge has problems in some vehicles, you can replace this gauge only. However, in some more modern vehicles, the temperature gauge is integrated into a bigger instrument cluster. If the gauge is having any problem, you might need to replace the entire instrument cluster to get repaired. 

  • Faulty sensor wires 


The temperature sensor reads and measures the coolant's temperature and sends it through signals to the temperature gauge. These signals go through a certain wiring system. If there is any issue with the wiring system that does not allow the signal to make its way from the sensor to the temperature gauge, the temperature gauge will not perform properly and will not display the right temperature.

In that case, it's very common for the temperature gauge to keep displaying cold temperature even if your vehicle is running and the engine is overheating the cooling system.

This problem is very critical. If the engine increases the heat without the gauge reflecting the reading, your engine can get into overheating without you knowing, and this results in complete engine failure. 

  • Problems with the cooling system thermostats 


If you confirmed, there are no problems with the temperature gauge itself, and with the sensor connecting to the temperature gauge, you can move on and debug issues with the cooling system itself.


The 1st and most important thing you need to look at is the cooling system thermostat. This thermostat is responsible for controlling the flow of the coolant from and into the radiator. As the coolant temperature increases, the thermostat opens and allows the squad to pass through the radiator to drop its temperature.


If the thermostat has a problem and got stuck open, the coolant will continuously pass through the thermostat had no will not reach the optimum operating temperature. In other words, the coolant will stay cold all the time, and that's why your car temperature gauge stays on cold all the time. 

  • Bad and corroded connectors 


If the connectors between any component within the cooling system and between the temperature gauge and the sensor wear out, it's very common to deal with problems of car temperature gauge stays on all the time.

You must maintain perfectly connected and clean connectors within the cooling system to ensure correct signals transfer and communication between the car's computer and the cooling system.  

  • Air making its way to the cooling system 


Your cooling system must have a certain amount of coolant to perform properly. If air makes its way to the cooling system somehow, the cooling system will not have the right pressure and will not heat up properly.

In other words, if the coolant has many air bubbles in silence, the engine will not be able to heat it, and it will stay cold all the time. As a result, the car temperature gauge stays on all the time. 

  • Problem with the engine control units 


In very uncommon situations, problems with the engine control units might result in an improper reading of the temperature gauge.

This unit, also known as the ECU control unit, is responsible for monitoring the overall engine's performance and ensuring accurate communication between the engine and the different sensors.

If this unit has significant problems, most engine internal processes will not function as usual and you might deal with the temperature gauge not reading the actual coolant temperature. 

How to fix a bad temperature gauge? 


Temperature gauges are designed to make them very reliable, and most of the time, if the temperature gauge does not read the correct reading, the problem could be related to an internal issue with the engine itself.

In general, most temperature gauges problems are related to these systems:


  • Issues with the coolant temperature switch
  • Problems with the wiring
  • Issues with that connectors
  • Problems with the temperature gauges mechanism
  • It was with a loose radiator cap
  • And finally, problems with the engine's computer 

To get the problem resolved, you can start by fixing the radiator's cap. In other words, go ahead, locate the vehicle's radiator, close it properly, and make sure it's securely tightened. Then, check if the temperature is gauge is back to normal.

If tightening the radiator's gap did not help resolve the problem, it could be a little more serious. You might need to visit a professional mechanic to help you identify the culprit.

How much does it cost to replace a problem with a car temperature gauge that stays on cold all the time? 


Well, repairing the problem with temperature gauge stays on cold all the time depends on the source of the problem.

For example, if you confirmed that the problem is happening due to the car coolant temperature sensor, repair costs can be slightly cheap. Usually, this sensor can be replaced between $41.00 and $54. Keep in mind that you need additional repair costs related to labor, ranging from $82 to $104. 

On the other hand, if you confirm that the problem is related to the temperature gauge's issues, you can replace it for somewhere between $200 and $270. Of course, the temperature gauge price differs significantly depending on your car's make, model, and year. 

Assuming that your professional mechanic told you that the problem is happening to a bad thermostat, you need to replace the thermostat for somewhere between $200 and $300. Again, the thermostat's price differs by your car's make, model, and year. For instance, if you're looking to buy a Honda Accord thermostat, expect to pay between $150 and 190 dollar. However, if you're looking for a Jaguar XJ, the thermostat price can get up to $500. 

How to diagnose my car's temperature gauge? 


Before you go to the professional mechanic and assume it's the temperature gauge causing the problem, you can make some diagnosis and confirm the problem yourself to save some money.

Here is all that you need to do to diagnose your temperature gauge:

  • Locate the temperature gauge in your vehicle by referring to your vehicle's owner's manual. If you don't have a copy of the manual, you can download a soft copy from the Internet or get a hard copy from your professional mechanic. Usually, the temperature gauge is located somewhere on the right side of the engine. 
  • Take out the temperature gauge by unplugging it from the sending unit. 
  • Using your key, turn on the ignition and do not start the vehicle 
  • Using a jumper wire to the ground, ground your temperature gauge to your vehicle's engine 
  • Now, review the temperature gauge reading from the inside of your vehicle. At this moment, this gauge must read somewhere between hot and cold.
  • Using the ignition key, put it on the off position now 
  • Take a look at the fuse that is connected to the temperature gauge. If you notice that any of these fuses are burned out, you must replace them to get the temperature gauge function properly 
  • Using the jumper wire, go ahead and connect to the sending in it, which is located somewhere next to the engine 
  • Again, rotate the key in the ignition and put it in the on position 
  • Take a look at the temperature gauge reading inside the car. If you notice that the gauge is reading hot, there is a high chance that one of the wiring connecting to the sending units is not in good condition. If that's the case, you must get it replaced as soon as possible

Can I drive when the car temperature gauge stays on all the time? 

As you might notice, the temperature is very important to your engine's performance and for its safety.

If your course temperature gauge reads cold over time and the problem is related to a very important component, you might be risking the engine.

Your engine might be overheating, and the signal is not making its way to the car's temperature gauge. In that case, your engine might fail within a very short time.

While problems with the temperature gauge should not preventing you from driving your vehicle, you must be wise and never risk it and get it repaired as soon as possible.

In some difficult situations, you might not move your vehicle an inch because the engine failure can be very soon.

In that case, you must consult a professional mechanic and ask him whether you need to drive or till your vehicle to his repair shop.

Whatever the reason and whatever the situation, ignoring problems related to cars' temperature can be very costly. 


It's not very rare to deal with a car temperature gauge stays on cold all the time. The car's temperature gauge is responsible for reading the coolant's temperature and ensuring that it communicates with you and lets you know whether the coolant is cold, normal, or overheating.

When the temperature gauge does not provide the right temperature or stays cold all the time, it's most likely an issue with the temperature gauge itself or the cooling system.

This article highlights the main causes for car temperature gauge stays on cold all the time. Also, we provided you with different suggestions on how to deal with this problem and get it resolved as soon as possible. 

Whatever the problem was, you must get the problem repaired as soon as possible to prevent dealing with engine overheating issues that could cost you too much money. 

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