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9th Gen Corolla/1st Gen Matrix (2003-2008) 9th generation Corolla and 1st generation Matrix discussion.

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Old 10-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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06 Matrix temp gauge fluctuating

I have an 06 Matrix with roughly 169K, suddenly this week I noticed that the temperature gauge will go high like overheating and then drop back down to normal, then slowly rise and then go back down. There is no consistency on when it does it, sometimes happens right when I crank it up, sometimes after I have been driving for half hour during my commute. Sometimes when accelerating, sometimes when stopped. Can run the heater on open speed, defrost and doesn't seem to make a difference. Can't tell if the engine is actually overheating or if just gauge. Just got oil changed on Friday, didn't seem to make any difference, all fluids were full when had changed. Husband seems to think it is the thermostat, but can't find anything online that confirms.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A stuck thermostat can cause those sort of symptoms. Anywhere from not getting up to temp to overheating in a heartbeat. Only way to test this, is to pull the thermostat and see if it is stuck open. If it looks OK, then you'll need to test its operation, i.e., drop it into a water bath, heat it up and see that it opens at the correct temperature.

There are also number of other possible culprits here. From a faulty engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT), bad electrical connection(s), faulty ECM, etc. Have to do some diagnostic work to rule these out one at at time, whatever is left is likely the true cause of the issue.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whaleybug View Post
sometimes happens right when I crank it up
If it does it on a cold start then it's not the thermostat, not really overheating.
It's a bad temp sensor, shorted wiring or the gauge itself.
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