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My Temperature Gauge Needle Is Bobbing

If the temperature gauge needle on your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s dashboard is bobbing up and down, Rick’s Auto Center advises that it’s time for a new thermostat. The average lifespan of the factory thermostat is a decade. If your vehicle is older than this, the thermostat is going to go bad sooner rather than later. Do not worry. We are the best auto shop in Hamden, and we can test the thermostat to see if it is malfunctioning. If it is, we can replace it. We are going to list the signs that the thermostat is going bad below so you know what to look for in your automobile.

A Rusted Thermostat Housing

The thermostat has two jobs. First, it keeps track of the engine’s temperature. Second, it releases the coolant through a valve once the engine needs it. The thermostat is a critical part in your vehicle’s cooling system, so it is protected by a metal housing inside the engine. If the thermostat starts to leak slowly, the coolant will puddle around the housing and corrode it. Consequently, a rusted thermostat housing is a sign that the thermostat has a leak and needs to be replaced.

Coolant Spots or Puddles

It’s better to replace the thermostat when it has a slow leak rather than allow the corrosion to eat through the housing. If the corrosion chews enough on the metal housing, the coolant leak will become much worse. Consequently, one morning, you may back out of your garage and see coolant puddles on the garage floor. This reduces the level of coolant in the engine and causes it to overheat. We will talk more about the engine overheating below.

Erratic Temperature Changes

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the temperature gauge needle is going to bounce up and down if the thermostat is malfunctioning. The reason why is that the thermostat is not releasing coolant into the engine steadily. Rather, it is not working properly and releasing coolant into the engine sporadically. This will cause the engine to suffer from erratic temperature changes.

Constant Overheating

Finally, whether the coolant level is too low or the thermostat is malfunctioning, a faulty thermostat will make the engine overheat all the time. In fact, most engines overheat within 15 minutes of being started. This is because the thermostat does not send coolant to the engine.

Rick’s Auto Center in Hamden, CT, would be happy to help, so bring us up today so we can schedule an appointment for your vehicle.

Photo by bizoo_n from Getty Images via Canva Pro