What is Normal Engine Coolant Temperature?

engine coolant temperature
engine coolant temperature

Normal engine coolant temperature depends on a lot of factors.  Before we get into what normal engine coolant temperatures are, a better question you maybe should ask is what temperature is your engine really running at?

Does your car have a temperature gauge?  Can you really trust it? Many cars being sold today simply have a blue thermometer dash light that turns off once your car is warmed up and a red thermometer dash light that turns on if your car gets too hot.  Even your owner’s manual probably doesn’t tell you what temperature those lights turn on and off at.

One vehicle we test drove did have a temperature gauge closer inspection the gauge stayed centered even though the vehicle’s actual coolant temperature ranged from 140 degrees up to 230 degrees!

So how can you be sure of your engine coolant temperature?

  • If your car was built before 1996, install a mechanical coolant temperature gauge made by a reputable company
  • If your car is older than 1996 it will have an OBDII port.  Get a device to plug into that port to read the coolant temperature.  One of our favorites is made by Foseal and can be linked with an app on your phone like Torque which will allow you to see the value of various sensors in your car’s engine.

Now that you know what your car’s engine coolant temperature actually is, watch it for a few days in a variety of driving situations.  If you have an OBDII scanner, you may even be able to graph coolant temperatures in your app and track them that way.

The best place to start in comparing your vehicle’s normal engine coolant temperature to see if it’s correct is with your thermostat setting.  If you call your local auto parts store, like one of our partners below, they will be able to tell you what temperature your engine’s thermostat is designed to start opening.  This will likely be somewhere in the 160 to 190 degree range based on what your drive.

Another thing to consider when watching your engine coolant temperature is what the engine cooling fans are set to.  If you are driving slowly or stopped idling the fans keep enough air moving through your radiator to keep your engine cool.  Engine cooling fans may engage at one speed or multiple speeds and may kick on anywhere between 180 and 220 degrees. Ensuring your engine cooling fans are working properly is important to keep your car cool but usually doesn’t tell you much about your engine’s normal operating temperature so consider keeping your vehicle driving over 35 MPH when determining what temperature your vehicle operates at.

If it seems like your vehicle is running too warm, make sure your cooling system is working at peak efficiency by performing regular coolant flushes, checking for leaks and making sure your radiator isn’t damaged or clogged with debris.

If you’re sure your cooling system is working correctly, try adding BlueDevil Engine Cool to reduce your engine temperature up to 25 degrees!

You can pick up BlueDevil Engine Cool at one of your local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Canadian Tire
  • Walmart

Pictures Provided By:

engine_coolant_temperature.jpg – By Livijusr – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link

18 responses to “What is Normal Engine Coolant Temperature?

  1. Hi there.
    Thanks very much for the valuable information.
    I have chevy Malibu 2018, when driving in high speeds (130km+) the coolant temperature is 107°C then goes down.
    In normal speeds it is around 97°C.
    I wonder if the 107 is normal for the car.

    I have everything else normal and the car has no other problem, the check engine light is off.

    Best Regards


    1. Jaafar-

      Thank you for asking about your Chevy Malibu. It seems that the normal operating temperature range for your vehicle is between 190-225 degrees Fahrenheit, so the temperature you read still falls within the normal range.

      Thank you!


    1. Abigail-

      Thank you for asking about your Pontiac Solstice. While we don’t have your vehicle specific information, normal operating temperature for most vehicles can range between 190-220 degrees Fahrenheit.

      Thank you!


  2. What would be the ideal temperature range for a mildly modified 350 small block Chevy? Right now the engine runs between 190 and 210 degrees with Derale 4000 cfm electric mini fans. Is 210 degrees too high? Thank you.

    1. Giuseppe-

      For most vehicles, the normal operating temperature will range from about 195-220 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not sounds like 210 degrees is too high.

      Thank you!


    1. Rich-

      It appears the normal operating temperature for your Ford Escape ranges from 180-210 degrees Fahrenheit. Although on the higher end, it does sound like it is still in the normal operating temperature range.

      Thank you!


    1. Nashwan-

      If the temperature gauge keeps fluctuating, it could be the sign of a faulty thermostat. This is very inexpensive and the easiest component to replace, so it would be a good place to start.

      Thank you!


  3. I have a Chevy Malibu 2011 lt. And the my gauge stays at C does not even out . Do I have a leak ? Or faulty radiator ?

    1. Javier-

      Thank you for asking about your Chevy Malibu. Based on your description, you may have a faulty thermostat and/or faulty temp sensor. The thermostat is the least expensive and easiest to replace, so it would be a good idea to start there. If the problem persists, you may want to look into a temperature sensor replacement.

      Thank you!


  4. Hello! I have a 2019 Jeep Compass latitude. My coolant temperature gage reads 223F usually. Is this a normal temp? I guess a better question should be what temperature should I be concerned about? My dealer said it could go up to 230 but this just seems high to me?

    1. Charly-

      Thank you for asking about your Jeep Compass. There are vehicles that will have normal temperature ranges that are higher when compared to other vehicles. It would not be out of the ordinary if 223 degrees Fahrenheit was within normal operating temperatures for your Jeep, especially with it being a newer vehicle.

      Thank you!


  5. Hello my Dodge Dart engine 2400 I have the engine temperature up to 110 degrees Celsius after it starts to go down Is this normal

    1. Saif-

      Thank you for asking about your Dodge Dart. The temperature you mentioned seems a little high for your engine. Have you noticed any other symptoms? How many miles are on the vehicle? Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a little better understanding of your vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

      Thank you!


  6. I Have A 2012 Chevy Cruze 1.4 Lt with Turbo With 144,000 Miles & My Coolant Temp Goes To 233 Sometimes , Is That normal ?

    1. Cheryl-

      Thank you for asking about your Chevy Cruze. The temperature you mentioned seems a little high for your vehicle. Does it quickly go back down and kind of hover around that temperature? Have you noticed any other issues with the vehicle? It may be best to bring the vehicle to a certified ASE mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

      Thank you!


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