Why Does My Car’s Temperature Go Up and Down? The Science Behind It

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Why Does My Car's Temperature Go Up and Down

If you’ve ever been in a car that suddenly seems to be getting too hot or too cold, you may have wondered why it happens. What’s going on inside the car that makes the temperature change? In this blog post, we will explore the science behind why your car’s temperature goes up and down. We’ll also discuss some tips for keeping your car at a comfortable temperature!

why does my car’s temperature go up and down

There are a few reasons why your car’s temperature might go up and down. One possibility is that the temperature gauge is defective and isn’t accurately reading the true temperature of the engine. Another possibility is that there is something wrong with the engine itself, causing it to overheat or underheat.If you’re experiencing significant fluctuations in temperature, it’s a good idea to have your car checked out by a mechanic to determine the cause.

What Temperature Is Normal For A Car, And What Are Some Common Reasons It Might Go Up Or Down

The ideal temperature for a car is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. 80 degrees or more can cause the car to overheat, while temperatures below freezing can cause the engine to freeze.

Some common reasons the temperature of a car might go up or down are:

  1. The engine is overheating – this can cause the temperature to rise significantly. Symptoms of an overheating engine include a hot dashboard, a low coolant light, and steam or fluid leaking from under the car. If you notice any of these symptoms, pull over and call a tow truck immediately.
  2. The air conditioning isn’t working properly – if the AC is on but not blowing cold air, this can cause the interior of the car to get very warm very quickly.
  3. There’s something blocking the airflow to the radiator – this can be anything from leaves and debris to an animal crossing in front of the car.

What To Do If Your Car’s Temperature Gets Too High Or Too Low

Although we rely heavily on auto technology and “smart” features for our vehicles these days, sometimes we find ourselves asking: What should I do if my car’s temperature gets too high or too low? Luckily, the answer is simple. Here are a few safety guidelines you can follow when your vehicle experiences such weather conditions:

Car Temperature Too High:

Check the Engine

It may sound like common sense, but make sure that your engine is actually turned on and that nothing looks out of place or broken. A busted hose or belt could potentially cause the car to overheat and will need immediate attention. Turn off the engine and keep the car’s hood open.

Turn on the AC

Once you’ve confirmed that your engine is off, it’s safe to turn on the air conditioner (if you have one). You can also roll down your windows if that’s an option. This may help you cool down faster depending on where you are and what resources are available to you at the time of discovery. Just make sure to keep the vehicle in park with the parking brake engaged (and safely away from traffic) so no one gets hurt while trying to fix this problem! And don’t forget about any pets or kids who may have been riding inside your car either, as they too could be affected by the heat.

Call for Help

If none of the above suggestions work for you, it’s time to call a professional to come help. Do not attempt to fix your car yourself if you suspect the problem is serious–this could put you in danger and also cost you more money in the long run. Get someone out here immediately!

Car Temperature Too Low:

Check the Engine

Turn off the engine, wait for a few minutes, and then try again before going any further with these steps. It may take a few tries before it starts up again if there’s a minor issue that was causing problems at first. If anything looks broken or malfunctioning near your engine, this would be an ideal time to have it looked over by a professional so they can check for other problems as well.

Use a Heater to Warm Yourself

If you have a heater, use it to warm yourself up if the temperature in your car is too low and you can’t start the engine right away. Roll down your windows if necessary to let out some heat so you don’t suffocate before help arrives (obviously make sure there’s no traffic or dangerous conditions nearby first).

Call For Help

If none of these steps work for you, it may be time to call for professional help once again. Sometimes issues like this are simply beyond our capacity to fix ourselves, but that’s why we’ve got professionals on hand! They’ll get there lickity-split and sort everything out.

The Different Parts Of A Car’s Cooling System And What They Do

Cooling systems in cars are as important as their engines. Without cooling, the engine would overheat and destroy itself within seconds. For this reason, cooling systems should not be ignored or taken for granted by car owners.

The first step is to understand how a cooling system works inside a typical automobile without getting too technical about it. This should help first-time and even veteran drivers alike to better enjoy and maintain their vehicles. Parts of a Car’s Cooling System:

Aluminum radiator

The radiator transfers heat from the water into the air flowing through its fins; coolant then flows through passages between these fins where it picks up that heat from the fins before returning to the engine.


Allows coolant to flow through the engine until it reaches a certain temperature, after which it blocks the flow of coolant and closes itself for a predetermined period before reopening

Water pump

This forces the coolant inside to circulate through several parts of the cooling system, including the radiator.

Water passages

These are found throughout the engine block and cylinder head. They allow for proper circulation of liquid throughout these components on their way to and from various functional areas of an engine.

Fan belt or serpentine belt

The fan belt turns the engine fan which circulates air over the radiator to cool it, while the serpentine belt turns other components in the cooling system, such as the water pump.

Thermodynamic oil cooler

Oil is circulated through this device after exiting an engine’s crankcase. This helps cool that oil for return to said crankcase before reaching temperatures that could damage it.

 Fan (electric or mechanical)

It draws fresh air into a car’s internal combustion engine; also assists in maintaining elevated coolant temperature.

Transmission fluid cooler

The Cooler unit responsible for transferring heat away from transmission fluid; often contains multiple “oil-to-liquid” heat exchangers within its structure (more than one set of tubes carrying hot and cold fluid in and out).

A Heat exchanger in a car’s cooling system

There is more than one type of heat exchanger found in today’s automobiles. These help transfer heat away from liquids throughout the engine to allow for proper functioning.


This exchanger transfers heat from compressed air exiting an engine into liquid coolant within the same system that that air passes through on its way “out” or to be recirculated back into at an intake manifold; usually located at the front end of a vehicle’s cylindrical air conditioning condenser unit.


This exchanger transfers heat from hot oil entering a vehicle’s lubrication system and transfers it into the liquid coolant in a vehicle’s cooling system; usually located inside an engine’s oil cooler unit (s)


This exchanger transfers heat from water entering into automotive heating and air conditioning system usually found within the same device that contains an automotive heater core (which is often located at the front of a vehicle’s firewall on the passenger side). An important note about this type of exchanger, which can also be found in an automotive radiator, is that it uses coolant flow through its tubes to help cool down surrounding metal surfaces while hot water or steam passes through.

Mechanical fan versus electric fan

Electric fans are more efficient than their mechanical counterparts. The biggest difference between the two is that electric fans are connected to the car’s battery while mechanical fans are connected to the car motor or some other power source.

Prevention Is Key – Here Are Some Tips To Keep Your Car’s Temperature In Check

Keeping your car’s temperature in check is an important and necessary step to keeping yourself and others safe. Whether you’re taking a road trip or commuting daily, it’s always best to be smart about how you manage the heat in your car. Here are some tips on how to prevent dangerous temperatures while inside your vehicle:

  1. Don’t leave pets or children unattended. It might seem like common sense, but this rule of thumb cannot be stressed enough. Pets can suffer from heatstroke if left in a warm, enclosed space such as a hot car. Children also have difficulty regulating their body temperature in comparison to adults, so they should never be left alone in a vehicle during even mild weather conditions.
  2. Make sure all passengers have cooled off before re-entering the car. If you’ve just enjoyed your day at an amusement park, pop into that frozen yogurt shop, or have returned from a long walk in the sun, it’s probably best to let everyone in your vehicle cool off for 15 minutes before getting back inside. It doesn’t need to be any longer than that–just enough time for folks’ body temperatures to level out after their physical activity outdoors.
  3. Car windows should remain slightly open if possible. Keep your windows cracked (only about four inches) during hot weather conditions, even if no one is inside your vehicle. This will help maintain air circulation and keep the temperature down within the car itself. Be sure that half of each window can still roll up fully in case you decide to close them entirely.
  4. Using the sunshade is another great tactic for preventing overheating. If you’re facing your sun visor towards the windshield, it helps deflect heat waves away from where you are sitting. Just make sure not to place any objects on or near your dashboard because they might burn or melt after time.
  5. Avoid parking in direct sunlight if possible. This goes hand-in-hand with number 4, so follow this mantra: “sun on one side of me, car on the other.” Parkin areas that receive less exposure during hot weather conditions by steering clear of spaces under trees and shrubs (they can trap heat). While it may cost more money to rent a covered space, it’s definitely worth it to prevent extreme discomfort and the risk of an accident or injury.

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