One of the most important regular checks that a motorist should make is the temperature of the coolant system water. This is undertaken by reference to the water temperature meter or temperature gauge. The water temperature meter consists of a sensor element which is usually located around the top of the engine’s cylinder head. The sensor sends temperature readings to the water temperature display on the dashboard.
When a vehicle is first started up the water temperature reading should indicate that the coolant system water is cold. It should then rise to somewhere around half way between hot and cold as the engine heats up. High readings can indicate one of several issues. These include a blocked radiator, a collapsed radiator hose, cylinder block problems, a lack of water in the system and problems with the water pump or the thermostat. Consistently cold readings when the engine has warmed up are indicative of problems with the thermostat, gauge or sensor element.
The consequences of overheating the engine can be disastrous and expensive and it is therefore vital to keep the water temperature meter in good working order. If any of the parts of the meter fail, especially the all –important sensor, they should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid potential future problems.