I have a 6 year old Ford Contour that has 55,000 miles. The last two years my temperature gauge has been acting funny. This happens mostly during the summer when I run the A/C. The gauge will come up to temperature and then "bounce" back to below the "C." Sometimes, it won't even move off "C," and then all of a sudden, it will move up to normal (even though the car has been running for a long time). I have tested the thermostat and a control that sits on top of the thermostat housing. Both checked out fine. I'm guessing that it is just an electrical problem because the car runs fine and I don't overheat. What do you think the problem could be? I have a Haynes repair manual and I would try the repair myself if it's not too difficult.
It sounds like it could be one of a few problems. Some of which you seemed to already have ruled out, but I will enumerate anyway for the rest of the readership.
Attempt to locate the sensor that signals the dashboard gauge. Before removing it from the engine, disconnect the wiring harness from it to ensure that it is the correct one. Bring it with you to the auto parts store. I can almost guarantee that if you don't, you will get the wrong one.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
If you have a question for Bob send it to: . He's able to answer many of them personally and we'll include the best questions in future issues of The Dollar Stretcher.
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