Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold (Causes & Solutions)

Did you notice that your car temperature gauge stays on cold even when the engine is warmed up, and you are wondering why and how to fix it? If so, you are on the right page because we have the answers you need.

The coolant temperature is an essential component of a vehicle, and monitoring it is necessary because if your engine overheats, it may lead to some damage.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about why your car temperature gauge stays on cold and the steps to take if an issue occurs.

Below are some other reasons why your car temperature gauge stays on cold.

7 Reasons why your Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

Reasons why your Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

 1. Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor

The most common reason your car temperature gauge stays on cold is a faulty temperature sensor that sends data to the cluster.

Some vehicles have two temperature sensors, and some have just one. Vehicle models that have only one sensor use it for both the temperature gauge and the engine control unit.

Vehicle models with two temperature sensors use one for the engine control unit and the other for the temperature gauge.

You can use a multimeter to measure the engine temperature sensor easily, but you will have to find the correct values.

You can get more information on the procedure from your vehicle’s repair manual.

If your vehicle has two sensors and you want to replace one of them, make sure to replace the one linked to the gauge.

2. Broken Wirings

Broken Wirings are another reason why your car temperature gauge stays on cold.

Suppose your vehicle has two temperature sensors and one specifically for the temperature gauge.

In that case, there will be a need to examine the sensor’s wiring to the meter or from the cluster connector and measure the ohm on the sensor.

There could be issues with the wiring between the ECU and the sensor if your vehicle has only one sensor for the two or when there is an issue with the wiring, particularly between the ECU and the temperature gauge.

Examine these components for broken wires.

Using a multimeter to measure the resistance from all directions is a better approach to discovering where the faulty wire is.

This procedure will require having some electrical knowledge; you will have to contact your automobile engineer to handle it to be on the safe side.

You may also decide to use your vehicle’s repair manual as all the information you need is there. Go through your car’s wiring diagram carefully, and you will know how to measure the wiring correctly.

3. Faulty Temperature Gauge/Cluster

A faulty temperature gauge is also another reason why your car temperature gauge stays on cold.

However, in modern vehicles, some temperature gauges are joined together with an instrument cluster.

In most cases, if you find a fault, you can permanently repair it by soldering or doing a temperature gauge replacement.

You may have to do an instrument cluster replacement in some other clusters. It is advisable to contact a professional to fix the soldering of your instrument cluster if you cannot do it yourself.

It is not common to have a faulty cluster, they are pretty expensive, and after replacement, it requires coding. So it is essential to consider other factors before considering the cluster replacement option.

If you know, you can examine the cluster temperature gauge using an Ohm tester.

4. Corroded Plug Connectors

Corroded connectors also can also be the reason why your car temperature gauge stays on cold. The clusters connector, the ECU connector, and the sensor’s connector should be cleaned and sprayed with electronic cleaner.

If you notice corrosion, it means there may be some issue with the sealing of the connectors; you will have to carefully examine it and either carry out a replacement to prevent further problems or do a permanent repair.

5. Bad Thermostat

The thermostat restricts the flow of coolant through the radiator. So if it gets stuck open, the temperature may not reach optimal.

However, this may cause your temperature to exceed the minimum point if you keep driving. The thermostat may be faulty if your car temperature gauge slowly goes up.

6. Air in the Cooling System

If air bubbles are on the sensor spot, the cooling system’s air can cause your temperature gauge to stay on cold.

Fluctuations in the indicator of the coolant temperature often indicate this.

Use a unique bleeding technique to bleed the coolant system if you feel it has some air. You can learn about coolant seeping here:

7. Broken Engine Control Unit

A broken ECU can be the reason why your car temperature gauge stays on cold. This fault is only possible if your vehicle uses one combined temperature sensor and two pins.

ECU, in some cases, can be an issue if the ECM receives the temp information first, sending the information to the cluster.

Use an OBD2 scanner in the engine control unit to check trouble codes and confirm if the ECU gets the temperature data.

If the temperature information is found in the ECU and not in the cluster, ensure they use a similar sensor. In this situation, there will be a need to measure the temp output on the ECU. It is advisable to let a vehicle electronics expert carry out the job.

If the ECU has no problem, replacing it is not an option because it requires coding and is often very expensive.

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

How to Fix a Car Temperature Gauge That Stays on Cold?

Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

The design of the temperature gauge of a vehicle makes them reliable. If the indicator gets faulty and doesn’t read correctly, the problem may be due to the engine’s internal malfunction.

Generally, the following systems may be responsible for most problems of the temperature gauge:

  • Bad wiring
  • Problems with connectors
  • Faulty coolant temperature switch
  • Issues with the radiator cap
  • Bad temperature gauge mechanism
  • Engine’s computer malfunction

You can resolve this issue by getting the radiator’s cap fixed first. This solution requires finding the car’s radiator, closing it, and tightening it properly. Check the temperature gauge to see if it’s working correctly.

If tightening the cap doesn’t solve the problem, it might be a more serious issue. There will be a need to contact an expert to help identify the main problem.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car Temperature Gauge That Stays on Cold?

When your car temperature gauge shows cold always, the origin of the issue determines the solution to the problem.

For instance, the repair cost will be cheap if the coolant temperature sensor causes the issue. It takes about $41 to $54 to replace the sensor. Also, remember labor costs range from $82-$104.

Alternatively, you will need $200-$270 to replace or fix any problem related to the vehicle’s temperature gauge. The price of repairing the meter differs depending on factors like the vehicle’s model, make, and year of production.

When your mechanic examines the car thoroughly and discovers the problem is due to a faulty thermostat. You will need $200 to $300 for the replacement. The vehicle’s model, make, and year of production equally affect the price.

For example, a Honda Accord thermostat is between $150 to $190, while you will have to pay up to 500dollars for a Jaguar XJ thermostat.

Can I Drive When the Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold?

Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

Your vehicle’s temperature plays a vital role in the performance of your engine and its safety.

The engine may be at risk if the temperature gauge stays cold, and a vital component is a reason for it.

There is a possibility of engine failure within a short time if your engine is overheating, and yet the signal remains cold.

You can keep driving even when the temp gauge is faulty, but you must take precautions and ensure you fix or replace it immediately.

You may have to stop driving in most severe cases because you don’t know when precisely the engine will fail.

If you are unsure what to do, contact your mechanic and seek professional advice. You should not avoid vehicle temperature problems and, as soon as possible, repair your car.

Also Read: What Does Check Gauges Mean? (Causes & Solutions)

Frequently Asked Questions – Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

Is it bad if my car temperature is cold?

Driving in the cold at all times will lead to higher fuel consumption. Also, there will be an increase in the number of carbon deposits on different components of the vehicle’s engine. Excess fuel getting to the exhaust is the most detrimental effect of supplying a fuel-rich mixture in a machine.

Can a car engine run too cold?

Yes, it can and can also run when too hot. For all engines, the optimal temperature is 200F.

What do I do if my car has a cold temperature light?

The cold temperature light is normal, and there is nothing wrong if it comes on when you start your car. You only have to allow your engine to get warmed up before moving.

What causes low engine temperature?

Some common reasons your temperature remains so low include: a locked fan clutch, faulty temperature sensor, or thermostat stuck open.

Conclusion – Car Temperature Gauge Stays on Cold

A faulty coolant temperature sensor is the most common reason your car temperature gauge stays on cold. It can also be caused by bad wiring between the cluster, a faulty temperature gauge, or a stuck thermostat preventing proper engine heating.

Dealing with your vehicle’s temperature gauge staying on cold at all times is not rare.

The primary function of the temperature gauge is to read and communicate the coolant temperature’s state, whether overheating, regular or cold.

If the gauge communicates a wrong temperature or reads cold always, the problem will most likely be from the cooling system or the indicator itself.

I believe by now you know the reasons your vehicle temperature gauge reads cold always, how you can resolve it, and probably how you can prevent it.

Always get the issue sorted immediately to avoid excess overheating, which may lead to engine failure.

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