What Engine Temperature Should My Car Be

In order to maintain optimum engine performance, your car’s temperature must be maintained within a certain range. This guide will teach you what temperature is best for each engine type and how to determine it.

What is Engine Temperature

When people think of engine temperatures, they may think of the engine temperature gauge on their car or truck. But what is the actual engine temperature?

The normal operating temperature for a car engine is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest part of the engine is located just above the exhaust valves. This area gets very hot and can cause problems with the valvetrain and piston rings.

The goal of keeping your car’s engine temperature within a specific range is to prevent these issues. Your car’s manufacturer will provide a recommended range for your make and model, but you can also check your own vehicle’s manual. Generally speaking, your car should be in the range of 2,000 to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If it falls outside this range, you may experience problems such as:

• Reduced fuel economy
• Increased emissions
• Damaged components

How to Check Engine Temperature

When checking your car’s engine temperature, use a reliable thermometer. A good rule of thumb is that your car’s engine temperature should be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

What Causes an Engine Temperature to Increase?

An engine temperature can increase for a variety of reasons. Many of these reasons are out of the driver’s control, such as a blocked radiator or cracked head. Other causes of an engine temperature increase can be due to poor fuel economy, driving too hard, or worn out components. Some causes of an engine temperature increase can also be intentional, such as when a driver exploits a vehicle’s air-conditioning to increase their car’s thermostat setting.

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Ultimately, the cause of an engine temperature increase is not always clear and must be investigated further by the driver. However, knowing what causes an engine temperature to increase and taking preventative action can help keep your car running smoothly and help you save on gas.

What to Do If an Engine Temperature Goes Above The Maximum Operating Temperature

If an engine temperature goes above the maximum operating temperature, there are a few things you can do to prevent permanent damage and ensure a quick fix.

First, try to cool the engine by turning off the AC and opening all windows. This will let the engine cool down on its own.

If this fails, you can try to decrease the engine’s RPMs to reduce its heat output. You can also pour water or ice over the radiator to help cool it down.

If all else fails and your engine temperature still exceeds the maximum operating temperature, you may need to replace the engine.


When you’re thinking about what engine temperature your car should be running at, it’s important to keep in mind a few things. For one, the colder the engine temperature is, the less fuel your car will use. This means that if you’re driving a manual transmission or an older model car with a smaller engine, you might benefit from running your car at a higher engine temperature. Additionally, if you have upgraded your car’s cooling system and/or exhaust system, running your vehicle at a lower engine temperature can cause wear and tear on these components. So when selecting an engine temperature for your car, make sure to consider both fuel efficiency and longevity of mechanical components.

DynoCar is the best place to find information on all things cars, whether it be a car buying guide or how to change your oil. We’ve made finding and staying in touch with car information easy and fast.



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