2008 Chrysler Pacifica heat hand

Tiny
RICHARDADDISON
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 CHRYSLER PACIFICA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 99,000 MILES
As soon as we start the car the heat hand jumps all the way up into red
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 7:04 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Are you saying the temperature gauge goes all the way to "hot" as soon as you turn on the ignition switch? If so, that is likely a problem with the instrument panel. To be sure, have your mechanic connect a scanner to view live data and see what the coolant temperature sensor is reporting to the Engine Computer. If it's reading properly, the instrument cluster has the problem. If it's reading hotter than the actual temperature, the computer should be turning on the radiator fan. If the fan isn't running, the engine likely isn't actually overheating.

You didn't list the engine size so I can't look up the wiring diagram for your car.
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
RICHARDADDISON
  • MEMBER
Eng is a 3.8 and the fans start running when its started it also dings like when the keys are left in the switch
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 8:14 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The running radiator fan suggests the Engine Computer is what thinks the engine is overheating so it's turning the fan on. The instrument cluster is simply displaying the incorrect information it's being told by the Engine Computer.

The only thing you can try yourself is to unplug the coolant temperature sensor, then use a small piece of wire to jump the two terminals together in the connector to see if either condition causes a change in the gauge reading. If it does, suspect the sensor but that would be very uncommon.

In the past, testing this circuit was real straight-forward and easy. An unplugged sensor sent the gauge to full-cold, and jumping the two wires together sent it to full-hot. The problem is with the Engine Computer involved, either condition tells the computer it can't believe the sensor's readings so it assumes an overheating condition and turns the radiator fan on to protect the engine in case it really is overheating. It's a safety system built in to prevent damage from overheating in case it does occur and the computer is unaware of it.
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Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 9:31 PM
Tiny
RICHARDADDISON
  • MEMBER
Where would this sensor be located
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Sunday, April 5th, 2015 AT 4:42 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Coolant temperature sensors are on or near the thermostat housing, and that is at the end of the upper radiator hose.
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Monday, April 6th, 2015 AT 5:16 PM

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