Temperature Gauges | What You Need to Know

The temperature gauge in your vehicle is designed to measure the coolant temperature of your engine. This gauge will tell you if your engine's coolant is cold, normal, or overheating. It's an important dial that's on your vehicle's dashboard. The temperature gauge of the car shows how hot the engine is. If the temperature gauge is high, your car may have a leaky coolant or a bad water pump.

There are basically two types of temperature gauges, electrical and mechanical. Nowadays, cars use electrical gauges, but not too many years ago, many used mechanical gauges that operated with the Bourdon Tube.

The Bourdon Tube

A Bourdon Tube is a thin metal — usually brass or copper — tube that is filled with easily vaporized fluid, usually alcohol. It's sealed on both ends. At the end of the gauge, some form of linkage is formed into a circle or spiral with its end attached to the indicator needle. The other end is fitted to a watertight connector which is in direct contact with the coolant in the engine.

Wondering if you should worry or not about overheating your engine? You should be extremely concerned, as an overheated motor can be much more than a problem. In extreme cases, the cylinder head, engine block or internal components can even be destroyed if a car with an overheated engine is driven even on a short distance.

Hot and Cold

If the temperature gauge is reading high, this may mean that your vehicle is overheating. Another reason your reading might be high is that you might lose some coolant. A small leak or evaporation may cause a loss of coolant. A third reason that your temperature gauge is reading high might be because the thermostat is broken. If this is the case, you may need to replace the coolant temperature switch. The last reason that the temperature gauge is reading high may be due to a water pump or a water pump gasket failure. If the water pump is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced so that it is best to have a professional look at the vehicle.

In most vehicles, the temperature gauge reads cold until the engine has been running for a few minutes. If the temperature is still cold when the vehicle is warmed up, the temperature gauge may be broken. Another reason for the low reading of the temperature gauge is that the thermostat remains open in the vehicle. With the thermostat stuck open, the engine can be overcooled, resulting in a low temperature reading. If this is the case, it may be necessary to replace the thermostat.

Going back to Gauges

But to know all this, whether your engine is running hot or cold, an accurate temperature gauge is what you need. Vivid Racing carries all the temperature gauge you need to read accurate information you need for your project car, weekend race car, restoration project, or your daily driver to always run smooth.

We can help. Vivid Racing was voted #1 in customer service nationwide!

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Buy online or give one of our world-class sales professionals a call at 1-480-966-3040 If you don't see what you are looking for.