Temperature gauge dramatically spiking when turning left

Asked by Guru9DTKTX Oct 31, 2020 at 09:33 PM about the 2000 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1997 Subaru outback.

Due to corona / loss of job / personal sickness / family illness I do
not have much disposable income to pay for this to be fixed unless
absolutely necessary.

I have had issue with the coolant reservoir emptying quickly but I
have not been able to narrow down a leak.

Yesterday when idling I notice the A/C was ambient temperature,
then it suddenly kicked in and was quite cool. At this stage I noticed
the car was getting warm and I made a move home to cool it down.

But this didn't work. Every time I made a left turn the temperature
gauge would spike. Just left. Not right.

I let the car cool and took it her a run around 4am when it was
cooler. Same thing, it warmed up to normal (just below midway
point) within about 2km of leaving home. Was perfectly fine until I
took a left turn and then the gauge spiked. This continued to
happen for every left turn. While going right or straight had no direct
effect but I did notice the temperature would slowly decrease as
would be expected. Coolant and oil levels were at optimum before I

I'm wondering if I have an airpocket as something is obviously
happening with the reservoir. Or a blockage? Or could there be an
issue with the temperature sensor - but I did not think it would be
this as the problem is consistent. Same with a faulty thermostat -
the error only started yesterday but the temp gauge in the car
always responds normally and always stabilises around midpoint.

Please help. Thanks

1 Answer


Sounds like an electrical problem to me. Check the wiring going to the coolant temperature sensor. If the wiring is damaged and touching something metal, on left turns, it will ground the temperature gauge and force it to the hot side of the gauge. This will also shut down the air conditioning because the computer thinks the engine is overheating. Hope that helps! Jim

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