Inaccurate factory temp gauge?

Discussion in '1970 - 1973 Specific' started by weim55, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. weim55

    weim55 Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Same exact problem on two cars, a '70 and a '73. Temp reads low (below 100 engine) as it should with the engine cold. With the engine at operating temp (verified 195 with a lazer thermometer) the gauge is buried past 250. Ohmed out both sending units as the engine builds temp and the are OK. Verified them to be correct for year of Camaro with factory gauges. Anyone else encounter this problem?

    Steve weim55 Colorado
  2. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Ontario, Canada
    Those gauges were never accurate. They were meant to be a warning when you near the red zone. Get yourself a mechanical or electric gauge and place it where the clock is. I had a mechanical one for about 34 yrs before the capillary tube leaked out the gas from constantly hitting it when reading plugs. This time I bought an electric AutoMeter LED water temp gauge and it’s dead on.

    BTW, the 2-1/6” gauge fits perfectly where the clock is cause many
    Yrs ago, I had my oil pressure gauge in that spot and it looked
    very good. I had a piece of sponge with a hole in it for my
    mount sopport and it worked well keeping it in place.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  3. fvdillon

    fvdillon Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2000
    Steve, I have the same problem with my 72 Z, be nice to figure out the problem. Jim
  4. Jeff L - 1970 Camaro Z28

    Jeff L - 1970 Camaro Z28 New Member

    Nov 14, 2017
    Same with my temp gauge but always reading low. I replaced the sensor and gauge. Plan this winter is to replace the sensor wire complete to the gauge. If it still doesn't work, might be time for a different gauge. i'll keep you posted.
  5. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    My temp gauge was accurate when new. It sat right around 200. After a couple of years, I switched out the 195 thermostat for a 180, and the gauge read lower as it should, but to me it seemed that it was somewhat lower than it should be. Without a lot of numbers on the gauge it can be difficult to "guess" the exact temperature.

    I see that today's vehicles have pretty much solved the problem of innacurate temp gauges by removing all numbers and replacing them with C - - - - - - -H. That way you can't complain that they are 20 or 50 or more degrees off because they aren't telling you any more than an idiot light would tell you.
  6. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Ringgold, GA
    I've changed sensor location from head to intake, and it's extremely accurate; when it's cold and not running. :rolleyes:

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