How to tell if your gauge (temp) is bad?


Asked by momsvan Jan 14, 2013 at 06:30 PM about the 2004 Chevrolet Venture LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Have replaced thermostat and water pump. Engine gets hot but radiator stays cold. Can't tell if fans work. Tried running with AC on but fans still did not move. No air in lines. What do I do now?

8 Answers


Don't know about the cold radiator could need flushed. To check the fans unplug the temp sensor and the fans should come on automatically and continue to run until you plug the sensor back up. If they don't you may have a bad fuse or bad fans. If they do come on (hopefully) try replacing the temp sensor. Some cars have 2 temp sensors. One is for the gauge and the other is a switch to turn on the fans. If your gauge goes up and down it's probably ok if not change the sensor.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
SNo Whyt

Sets to use to check your van when overheating occurs: 1. Open the radiator on the Venture after the van has cooled off and shine a flashlight into the radiator to check the coolant level. If the level is low, add the proper coolant/water mixture to fill the radiator. Crank the Venture's engine and run the vehicle until the coolant begins to circulate and check the level again. Using the flashlight, check the radiator tanks and the radiator hoses for leaks. 2. Check the radiator cap by removing it while the Venture is cool and observe it closely for rips, tears or bubbles, which may diminish a tight seal and allow steam or coolant to escape from the radiator. Replace the radiator cap and start the engine, then check for leaks around the cap once the vehicle begins to warm up. 3. Observe the front and rear of the Venture's radiator for any damage to the radiator's surface, including cracks, breaks and/or clogs from road debris. Areas of particular concern for cracks and breaks are the seams of the radiator and the hose connectors since the Venture uses a plastic radiator. Check the radiator while cool and again while running and warm. 4. Turn off the Venture and allow it to cool until the radiator can be touched by hand. Test the radiator by hand, feeling along the outside from top to bottom. If the radiator is warmer at the bottom, it is functioning properly. Use an infrared thermometer, running it along the surface of the radiator from top to bottom to make the same assessment. 5. Remove the Chevy Venture's radiator cap and attach a pressure tester to the top of the radiator, then attach the radiator cap to the pressure tester, which will test both the radiator and the radiator cap. 6. Squeeze the upper and lower hoses on the Chevy Venture, checking to see if the hoses are firm or soft. A firm hose is still in good condition, while a hose that is soft and easy to squeeze had more than likely been damaged. Ventures are known to over heat...always keep and eye on your guage and check your fuilds frequently.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

"Have replaced thermostat and water pump. Engine gets hot but radiator stays cold." No one had addressed this yet. Either the thermostat is bad, the thermostat is up side down, or the water pump is not pumping. You're not going anywhere until that radiator is cooling the engine.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

did you replace fan clutch.? Louigi62000


It sounds like a blockage somewhere. Thermostat in correctly? You should be able to tell if the fans are running. Shut off the motor, then turn the van back on but don't crank the motor. You should be able to hear the fans running. Check the connections if they are not. Fusees need replacing. If you have electric fans, there is no fan clutch. Is the water pump the correct one? There are two types, one goes one way, the other is reversed and pushes the liquid the other direction depending on the type of belt drive you have.


to check your temp sensor start car and unplug the wire going to the sensor if the fan starts its probably working. you can also check the volts on the wires its pretty low voltage, 3 on cool engine and 5 on hot something like that. it will change with car temp,then its working,dont replace. i had my car overheat and did all this. it was the engine cooling fan.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Actually, We have had this problem. All you have to do is loosen a bleeder valve on top of the engine to let the air out of the line. It seems the water pump just spins air otherwise. Solved our frustrating problem. (loosen while cool with engine running, tighten after coolant comes out.)

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Jp Aquino

im from philippines in a tropical country where temp goes hi... i have a venture 2002 model i have a overheating problem 1line before 3/4 of gauge i usually park at side street spray d radiator of a water while running to down i notice 1 fan doesnt turn on on d drivers side only the other side is turning i hope d gasket is.not damage or leaking ... cause 1 line before 3/4 reach in temp gauge thats the highest i ever my venture reach... tom il go to mechanic to check the fan and add a. additional aux fan to front of radiator making it 4 aux fan to avoid heating probs

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