Temperature gauge going up and down - Hyundai Forums : Hyundai Forum
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#1 Old 10-30-2013, 01:36 PM
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Temperature gauge going up and down

Last week I noticed an erratic temperature gauge while I was in stop-and-go traffic. It would go from just below halfway to nearly the red in about 7 seconds, bob around, go down a bit, then up, back down to halfway and sit for a while, etc. etc. etc. I stopped, added a little water to the reservoir and car was fine for about 20 minutes but then it started up again.

Went I got home I checked oil and it was low. I added a quart. After this the car has been fine.

Until today. It did go into the red a couple of times and sat there for a few seconds. I was surprised there were no lights or warnings of overheating! I opened the hood when I got home and didn't get the impression that the engine was particularly hot (though the upper radiator hose was hot).

I read this might be caused by air pockets in the cooling system and I need to "burp" it by taking off the radiator cap, starting the car, running the heater, and then topping up the radiator when I see the coolant level go down.

I was going to burp it but I wanted to check people's opinions as to why there was no warning of overheating. Perhaps this is a sign of another problem?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 Old 10-30-2013, 04:46 PM
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I performed the burp. After the engine heated up I did see bubbles coming up occasionally for about 5 minutes. At one point the coolant level went down a little bit (just down the neck of the part the radiator cap screws into, maybe 1/2"). I did not witness anymore bubbles after this and the coolant level didn't change so after a few minutes I turned off the car and put the radiator cap back on. I'm not sure I did it right but hopefully

I'll report back if I still have issues, but if anyone has any other thoughts I'd appreciate it.
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#3 Old 11-02-2013, 01:29 PM
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FYI a thermostat failing can cause that... amongst various other issues.
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#4 Old 11-02-2013, 04:22 PM
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Elantra is horrible for coolant concerns..

Upper radiator hose to engine joint leaks, look at elbow hose below for signs of coolant or crusty debris on hose.

Upper radiator tank crack and leak opposite the upper hose fitting.. thermostat is about a maintanance item anymore.

Over heat an Elantra good enough to twist head, it over with, into replacement engine

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#5 Old 11-03-2013, 01:41 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

Any chance a failing thermostat could cause these problems in response to colder outside air? If the thermostat is causing the problem I assume I should replace it asap? (It hasn't happened since I did the burp, but it's also been warmer this week.)

I'll take a look at the hoses, though I'm fairly certain the radiator hoses were replaced (the place I bought it from did a bunch of work under a 30-day warranty), and I haven't seen any leaking coolant. I'll also look for cracks on the tank.

Last edited by rjsilva; 11-03-2013 at 01:43 AM.
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#6 Old 11-03-2013, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rjsilva View Post
Any chance a failing thermostat could cause these problems in response to colder outside air?
no. it's a closed system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsilva View Post
If the thermostat is causing the problem I assume I should replace it asap?
if it's the problem, yes. a failed thermostat can overheat and engine. i don't think you're there yet though.


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Originally Posted by rjsilva View Post
(It hasn't happened since I did the burp, but it's also been warmer this week.)
then stop worrying about it. the air in the system can easily cause the problem you had.

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I'll take a look at the hoses, though I'm fairly certain the radiator hoses were replaced (the place I bought it from did a bunch of work under a 30-day warranty), and I haven't seen any leaking coolant. I'll also look for cracks on the tank.
a good to do check. there's an easier one: keep an eye on the reservoir tank every now and then. if you have a leak, it'll drop. it goes up and down with engine temperature, but if its consistently dropping you have a problem.
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#7 Old 11-07-2013, 10:34 PM
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Today the temperature gauge started going up and down again. If this matters, it first started happening during stop-and-go traffic.

I can't say with certainty that I got all of the air out of the system since I've never "burped" the system before and didn't really know what to expect. Is it worth trying again?

Assuming it's burped properly and the coolant level is ok, is the next step replacing the thermostat?
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#8 Old 11-08-2013, 07:45 PM
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Garage
Are the radiator fans running when temp goes up?


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#9 Old 11-08-2013, 08:27 PM
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Either the fan the thermostat or the pump. have a pro check it out unless you are the handy one! You are risking overheating and potential catastrophic failure if you continue to watch it go crazy.
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#10 Old 11-08-2013, 11:16 PM
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I don't notice the fans coming on when the temp gauge goes up quickly.

A few minutes ago I replaced the radiator cap with a new Stant. I don't know how old the existing Hyundai cap was, but the new cap has a much greater sense of creating a seal. The old one twists on very easily. I'm going to burp the system again tomorrow morning.

When I was looking for coolant leaks on the ground (there were none) I noticed some slightly moist black stuff (see photos). I'm not sure what that part is but I know it's near the water pump. I touched it with my fingers and didn't notice any coolant smell, but I thought it was worth bringing up in case it's significant. I don't think the coolant level in the reservoir is going down and I haven't noticeable any coolant smell in general.
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Last edited by rjsilva; 11-08-2013 at 11:20 PM.
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