Temperature skyrockets when idling (98 Chevy Cavalier)

I’ve noticed recently my temperature gauge will skyrocket into the red zone when my car is idling or I’m in stop and go traffic. My A/C is usually on when I notice this but I’m not sure there is any correlation. Any ideas on what might be causing this? Thanks for your help!

your cooling fan may not be turning on. Could be the fan motor or fan switch. When it’s idling and running hot pop the hood and see if it’s working.

Also, when the engine is cool, open the radiator cap and check the coolant level. A low level can cause overheating. Any time the A/C is turned on, an engine cooling fan(s) should come on.

It sounds like you’re doing this repeatedly. If so, this is very bad for the engine.