2004 Chevrolet Suburban Temperature gauge

  • 5.0L
  • V8
  • 80,000 MILES
The temperature gauge has spun all the way around and points down. It will some times come back to around 160 degrees when I try starting it and keep clicking the ignition key.
I changed the temperature sending unit, but that didn't help.
Is the gauge itself bad and if so how hard is it to change
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, September 5th, 2014 AT 1:34 PM

1 Reply

More than likely it's a simple mechanical issue. If they're using the same type of gauges everyone else went to, it is a "stepper" motor with a pointer on it. A computer places the armature in a specific setting through four electromagnet coils. If something happens to make the gauge jump for an instant, and it goes over half-way around, the next time you start a cold engine that armature will go back to "cold", but it takes the shortest route, which can be clockwise. With speedometers and tachometers you simply drive or rev the engine more than half scale, then the pointer will find its way there, then follow the speed back down.

With a temperature gauge, if you have two separate temperature sensors yet, one for the Engine Computer and a different one for the gauge, the one with a single wire is for the gauge. You might be able to unplug it and ground that wire while the ignition switch is on. When you unground it, the gauge should go back down the right way.

You can remove the crystal and physically push the needle back to its proper position. Most scanners have a gauge test menu that commands the gauges to go to various positions. Doing that will bring all of them back down. Some vehicles have a test sequence that is initiated by pressing certain switches in the right order.
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Friday, September 5th, 2014 AT 8:32 PM

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