Dashboard Lights Show Engine Temperature Warning Light On

Engine Related Issues

By Rodney (Mechanics)

What should do when the Temperature Warning Light is ON

Your engine could be damaged when you insist on driving the vehicle when the temperature warning light is on. When the warning is is on, it tells the engine is running too hot (overheating). If the cooling system is working normally and it filled properly, the engine should not overheat. So, stop the driving and pull over then shut off the vehicle and wait for the engine to cool down.

How To Fix Low Coolant

Commonly when temperature warning light is on it means a trouble occurs, it happens when the cooling system gets an overload heat, and the cooling system not able to control the heat properly.

There a high pressure on the radiator that contains hot water, so DO NOT open the radiator cap. If you open the radiator cap, it will allow water and steam to blow out and burn you. Opening the cap is useless while the engine is hot, there’s nothing you can do, you’d better wait everything is cooling off.

Opening Radiator Cap
Opening Radiator Cap

Wait for at least 30 minutes or more and make sure everything has cooled down, then you can check the coolant level by opening the reservoir or the radiator cap. Over the cap put a rag, and turn the cap slowly and stop at the first detent. Doing this will release the residual pressure out. Until all residual pressure has been released, DO NOT remove the radiator cap entirely.

If coolant reservoir or radiator is low, add coolant or water on it. It advised to maintain the proper freezing, add a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze or premixed coolant, corrosion protection and boil over. However, if this is an emergency situation, you can add water, for now, later you can drain out some coolant and add antifreeze.

Check Coolant Level
Check Coolant Level

Coolant Leaks Checking

Coolant leaks could be the reason engine is overheating. Inspect visually the the cooling system, radiator and the engine for leaks is recommended. Radiator, heater hoses and hose connections is some common leaks point. However if there a crack in the engine and head (internal leaks usually cannot be seen), you need a testing tool for diagnose the pressure problem by testing the cooling system.

Keep Driving While The Temperature Warning Light is ON

Severe damage could happen when the engine is overheating, and you continue driving. It can make the head gasket and ring damage, detonation occurs and engine starting to knock, and caused the piston is damage. It happens because reduced clearance to the point where metal to metal contact occurs due to an excessive heat causing the internal engine parts to expand. The camshaft and pistons may seize or scuff, and the valve stems could be stick and gall.

Tremendous thermal stress occurs in blocks and heads; this is caused by severe engines overheating. It can lead to cracking or even worst a warpage. Usually, overhead cam engines that have aluminum heads will have this common problem.

Only late-model Cadillac using a Northstar V8 engine that can be driven safely while the temperature warning light is on. Engineer designed this vehicle has an engine control system that will deactivate half engine’s cylinders automatically if an overheating problem detected. By this system work, it will reduce the heat and the power generated by the engine, and internal cooling is done by a “dead” cylinder by pumping air through the engine. However, do not continue driving with engine overheating, “limp-in” mode on these systems designed to give you a time to drive the vehicle to nearest Cadillac dealer or service facility for repairs.