Cold start and temperature gauge reads hot?

Mackenzie Fulton

Asked by Jan 04, 2015 at 06:28 PM about the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So, it's cold today.  -6 F and with windchill it is -21 F.  I started my car today no prob
and it was revving high to warm itself up.  Then the temp gauge leaped from cold to hot,
and I panicked and shut the car off (the car was running for probably a minute).  I'm
thinking it was just the super cold temperature messing with the sensor as my phone
has been left in the cold but battery diagnostics read it as "overheat," but I know more
about computers and phones than I know about cars (and I can feel the real
temperature of a phone easier than an engine), so I played it safe in case I was wrong.  

So, why did the gauge do that?  Is it something I should be concerned about or would it
have fixed itself if the engine were allowed to run longer?

6 Answers


it might have been that the sensor was confused minus 21 is damn cold ....// the only other thing is to check the coolant level and make sure it is full..and retry it again ......I really think its a freaked out sensor or even a freaked out pcm (power control module) aka computer which relays the coolant temp by a bus massage to the BCM (body control module) anther computer that tells the gauge what to do which is electromagnetic two computers later :)

Best Answer

Looking at those temps sure makes me thankful for lower alabama weather.


LOL I think anything in that kinda cold will act funny...not fun

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Mackenzie Fulton

Haha, last year it was -10 F with -40 F windchill. And it wasn't just for a few days, it was like months. It's been a lot warmer this winter.


I spent four years in Fairbanks Alaska. Beautiful place but way to cold for me in the heart of winter. Sorry I don't have anything to add about your issues.

Mackenzie Fulton

My dad started the car for me, and he said it didn't happen to him. Probably just a fluke, but thanks so much for your input! :)

Your Answer

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