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Temperature Gauge Higher than Normal

Just wondering if this is anything to be concerned about. I have a 2006 Saturn Vue. It has just over 80,000 miles on it. The temperature gauge has always registered just below the “second mark” once the car is warm. As of last week, the gauge is now registering slightly past the “second mark.” So, higher. It is no where near the “red” zone, and nothing seems to be wrong, but it has me concerned. I took it in for service and they said “it is still well within the normal range, don’t worry about it.” But I think something made the gauge go higher, and I am concerned about a problem lurking. Am I being a Nervous Nellie? I love my Vue and want to take good care of it.

If it’s not overheating and the coolant is full, there isn’t really anything to fix.

Read the owner’s manual’s schedule of maintenance. When is the cooling system supposed to be serviced, ie. flushed and filled? 5 years seems to be an average limit with these extended life coolants of today. Your right at it. Old coolant, an old thermostat, and a dirty radiator can cause more heat to be retained and less heat expelled.

Personally, I would also be a nervous nellie about it since it may mean that your cooling system isn’t working as well as it used to and my own assumption would be that it will go downhill from here. (It could also just mean that your coolant temperature sensor is on its way out).

It is true that there is no harm done as long as it stays out of the red. But I would watch it carefully.

How many miles are on it and how often has the cooling system been serviced? As a GM vehicle there is a good chance that it has spent its life on DexCool. DexCool is known for sludging up the cooling system especially if left for the recommended 5 yrs/150K miles. The sludge is something like a sticky, rusty looking residue that can clog cooling passages such as those in the radiator. Perhaps one part of your radiator has started to clog up.

In any case, like I said, I’m a nervous nellie about this kind of thing. I would get it off of DexCool, and maybe do a couple of cooling system flushes in reasonably quick succession. I’d then go to a 2yr/24K interval for servicing the cooling system. The consequences of overheating are just too dire for me to want to mess with.

I would also suggest making sure it is not a little low.