Friday, September 23, 2011

How far should a car thermostat go before it is unsafe?

My car recently started overheating and acting funny so I took it in and was told I needed to replace my thermostat and get my radiator flushed. I did both. The car has not overheated since then, but the thermostat on the dashboard goes up pretty high. It hasn't gone all the way to top to over heat, but it has been pretty close. It seems to go down when I go faster, but if I slow down at lights and such it creeps up high. I don't honestly know if I my car did this before and I am just being paranoid because I never paid any attention to it before.

Am I being paranoid? How high can the temperature gauge in the dashboard go before I should be worried? I am supposed to be driving a 6 hour trip this weekend (one way) and I don't want to get stranded. I am also moving cross country next month and would like to know if this is going to affect me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
How far should a car thermostat go before it is unsafe?
not good dude, your not paranoid.

your car cooling system has a problem. you should have it looked at ASAP.

it could be a number of things like... bad water pump, or maybe the cooling fans are not operating,
How far should a car thermostat go before it is unsafe?
your thermostat should have heat rating 195 degrees probably. If it goes any higher its not good or you have another problem
could be your electric fan is not coming on, there is a thermo fan switch located in the rad on most cars , you actually refer to the temperature gauge as the gauge on your dash
sounds like your radiator is wearing out. The extra air flow when you're driving is what cools off the engine...that's the giveaway. I'd also check to see if your fan is working.
Make sure you had the right thermostat replaced, there is a summer stat and a winter stat. newer cars only take one size. If it is installed backwards, it will give you trouble big time. I have seen mechanics put it in upside down, it will work but not very well.

Check your water pump, it may look and feel good but it may be slowly failing.The bearing and or bushings wear out Anything past 3/4's on the gauge on your dash, be worried. A low grade Antifreeze can cause it, check your hoses, upper and lower for softness or mushy, if they feel hard replace them, even tho you don't use the heater, check those hoses as well. Even tho you had the radiator flushed, it may be weak, I always replaced mine with a new one, not rebuilt. If you over heat you could blow the transmission and even burn up the engine, Always pay attention to all your gauges, they are there to warn you.
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