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Coolant temparature reading

i have a 2005 dodge neon i don’t trust the temperature gauge and i am not sure whether it’s overheating or not but after reading the DIY section on the car talk website i would like to take an accurate reading while the car is running as suggested by the car talk guys. does anyone know what the normal running temprature range for a dodge neon is?

Why do you think it is overheating? Do you know what the thermostat is rated (temperature)and what is recommended for your car? Do the cooling fan(s) come on?

180-220F

If the engine has a 192 degree thermostat, the coolant has to get this hot before the thermostat will open. Once the thermostat opens, it’s the job of the rest of cooling system (radiator, fan, water pump) to keep the coolant temperatures under control. This is dependant on a couple of factors. The ambient temperature and whether or not the airconditioning is being used. So on a hot day with the airconditioning being used, the coolant temp can get as hot as 230 degrees.

Tester

You’re smart to want to check the actual temperature, but can you tell us the symptoms? Perhaps we can help.