03 Vibe Base Temp gauge fluctuates/idle surges

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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:46 pm
Location: Biloxi, MS

03 Vibe Base Temp gauge fluctuates/idle surges

Post by basist4 » Tue May 14, 2019 3:18 pm

03 base model Vibe w/ auto trans...No CEL displayed on dash...

Once the car has been driven for a while and the engine is up to temp, the temp gauge falls from Normal range (mid-gauge) to ZERO.
When in falls, the car stutters and hesitates when trying to accelerate.

If i'm sitting at idle (parked) and the Temp Gauge drops, the idle definitely goes way up!
So I know the computer reads the Temg gauge at zero (cold) and puts more fuel and ups the idle believing the engine is cold (which it is not).

any idea what is causing it and possible fix actions to take?

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Re: 03 Vibe Base Temp gauge fluctuates/idle surges

Post by jolt » Tue May 14, 2019 9:14 pm

Are you low on coolant? Is there air in your cooling system? This could make the temp gauge jump around. One of these comes in handy to work the air out of the cooling system to make sure you have it full; https://www.amazon.com/EPAuto-Radiator- ... B01I40ZQWE

When was the last time you replaced the coolant? If you use the sealed funnel to fill the system, watch for bubbles or a tiny steam of bubbles coming out of the funnel once the air has been bleed out of the cooling system with the engine running. If you continue to see air coming out of the coolant, it could be a sign of a leaking head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. If the engine has been over heated it is highly likely that the head gasket is leaking or the head is cracked. You may also have an electrical wiring issue but check the coolant in the radiator first. The coolant used in these cars should be pink in color. If the color is not pink then you have some more problems as it either has the wrong antifreeze in the car or it could be a sign of compression leaking into the cooling system which can change the color of the coolant.

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Re: 03 Vibe Base Temp gauge fluctuates/idle surges

Post by zbyers » Wed May 15, 2019 3:29 am

I'd check the coolant level like Jolt suggested.

Even though the CEL isn't illuminated, try hooking up a code reader and see what codes it pulls. Sometimes the condition isn't enough to illuminate the MIL, but throws the code as a pending issue that a code reader can pull.
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