Coolant temperature is a very important thing to keep track of in your vehicle. Almost every vehicle sold in the US has a temperature gauge installed to make sure the driver has the opportunity to keep an eye on coolant temperatures. As vehicles and their engine control computers have gotten more advanced, the computer even tracks coolant temperatures and will set an engine code if the temperature gets too high.
Different vehicles are designed to operate at different temperatures to protect the engine and it’s components as well as allow it to operate at maximum efficiency. The coolant temperature is controlled by two things, your vehicle’s thermostat and the engine’s cooling fans. The thermostat is either a mechanically control valve or electronically controlled by your engine’s computer and opens to allow more coolant to flow through the radiator where it can be cooled. If the thermostat is fully open and engine coolant temperature continues to rise the engine cooling fans will turn on to increase air flow through the radiator and reduce coolant temperatures.
Most engines are designed to run with coolant temperatures between 160 degrees and 200 degrees. If temperatures in your engine stay too cool combustion will have to be too rich to keep things running smoothly. If temperatures get too hot the coolant can start to boil reducing its ability to cool the engine and possibly causing damage to the engine and its components.
What should my coolant temperature be? It should always be between the temperature your thermostat is designed to open and the temperature your cooling fans are designed to come on at. Your thermostat temperature should be listed in the parts catalog at your dealership and your local auto parts store may also be able to tell you what temperature thermostat your vehicle came stock with. Figuring out what temperature your cooling fans come on will be a lot more difficult.
Lucky, you may not have to worry about what temperature your cooling fans come on if you are sure your cooling system is working at peak efficiency. One way to make sure your cooling system is up to snuff is to get regular coolant flushes. Another way is to use BlueDevil Engine Cool to increase the heat transfer efficiency of your engine coolant. BlueDevil Engine Cool can reduce operating temperatures up to 25 degrees, making sure your cooling system is doing its job.
Another way to keep tabs on engine temperatures is to install an aftermarket coolant temperature gauge. Aftermarket temperature gauges can be much more accurate than factory gauges and can give you a better look at what is going on inside your engine.
For more information on BlueDevil Engine Cool and to pick up a bottle, stop by one of our partnering local auto parts stores like:
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17 responses to "What Should My Coolant Temperature Be?"
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I have a 08 Pontiac Grand Prix and the oil is going straight out the tail pipe and recently my car has came close to over heating when idling. So I’m guessing it’s either a blown head gasket or a cracked head. Any recommendations on what I can do? The car has over 200k miles on it.
Thank you for asking about your Pontiac Grand Prix. Unfortunately, we do not manufacture a product intended to stop oil from leaking out of the tail pipe. A hard part repair may be your best option.
What could be the reason my oil is leaking through the tail pipe?
Most likely, worn/cracked valve seals could be the cause for oil leaking through the tail pipe. The fact that you are not seeing smoke coming out of the tail pipe leads us to believe that you are losing oil so quickly that it isn’t being burned out but, rather just escaping.
What is normal operating temperature range for Audi a8 4.0 2015?
Coolant operating temperature*
The normal operating temperature range for your Audi A8 is between 195-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thanks for the information that you have giving me, I really appreciate its really helpful.
Thank you!! Could that also be the reason my car gets close to over heating?
Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so we can talk to you in more detail.
When my car starts early in the morning, while the vehicle is just on for 30 seconds and I pull my dipstick: smoke comes out . My engine from time to time need a little topping up with oil. My tail is black inside ….
If it is not an excessive amount of smoke, what you are seeing is fairly normal. If it is more excessive, it could indicate that the vehicle has worn/bad piston rings and should be looked at by an ASE certified mechanic.
I hope I don’t have to replace my partially plugged radiator. Hot days of summer and my temp gauge on interstate doesn’t stop going up. Since I did the cheap flush I can drive the interstate now with heater on and keeps temp gauge going to high. I hope I can drive interstate without heater being on. Shining flashlight inside radiator I can see what look like sticky build up at the thin ports on the sides.
I need to try it out first
Please keep us posted and feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any questions.
“It should always be between the temperature your thermostat is designed to open and the temperature your cooling fans are designed to come on at. “
What temperature should my cooling fans come on at!
Sensor switches available at 150, 170, 185, 190, 200, & 210F! Thermostats usually 180 F for carbureted engines. So on return radiator hose i should use 170F.
I have a 2003 silverado bought new…just had it flushed and hoses, thermostat replaced….ever since new vehicle ran at 200…now with new flush and thermostatt it is running at about 170…is this a problem? 5.3 motor
I have no heat or defrost in the front part of my car. I do have heat in the rear vents. My ac works great in all vents. What would be the reason for this. 2012 dodge journey
Thank you for asking about your Dodge Journey. The problem you’ve described would typically be explained by a bad blend door actuator. It could also be a valve in the coolant hose that is faulty, so it would be worth taking the vehicle to your local mechanic to have the issue properly diagnosed.