How to Test a Temp Gauge

by Matthew Thomas

A broken temperature gauge can lead to expensive vehicle repairs. It is very important to test gauges to ensure they work properly, because an inaccurate reading can cause serious damage to the vehicle's engine or to the driver. Most gauges in today's cars run on an electrical system. With a few simple tests, you can determine whether there is any damage to your vehicle's temperature gauge.

Unplug the temperature gauge from the sending unit. This is usually located to the right of the engine.

Turn the ignition key to the "On" position. Do not start the car.

Ground the temperature gauge wire to the engine. You should use jumper wires to ground the temperature gauge.

Check the temperature gauge inside the car. The reading should be in the middle between hot and cold.

Turn the ignition key to the "Off" position.

Check the fuses inside the car. If the fuse connected to the temperature gauge is burned out you should replace it.

Ground the jumper wire connected to the sending unit terminal located next to the engine.

Turn the ignition key to the "On" position.

Check the temperature gauge inside the car. If the temperature now reads hot, then there is a open wire in the sending unit. You should immediately have the temperature gauge repaired.

About the Author

Matthew Thomas began writing professionally in 2006. He writes for a TV and film production company in New York and holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and television from Long Island University's Brooklyn campus.

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