Subaru Engine Coolant Temperature Light: Why is it Illuminated?

What does it look like: A thermometer with wavy lines, or it may even say “temp” or “engine overheating.”

What color is it: Yellow, orange or red.

What does it mean: This warning light indicates when your engine is too hot and there is a risk for engine overheating, as detected by your Subaru’s computer. Engine overheating can cause significant damage to you Subaru if not quickly remedied.

What to do when it comes on: When your vehicle starts, this indicator light will illuminate and then go off. If the light stays on after start-up, an issue with the coolant temperature sensor has been discovered. Many times this is caused by improper coolant fluid level, or a leak due to a cracked hose.

If the engine temperature warning light comes on while driving, turn your vehicle’s heater on the highest level, and turn every other system off in the car, until you can safely pull over and turn the engine off. Doing this will lighten the load from the engine and circulate the remaining coolant through the radiator and heating core to help remove heat. Let your Subaru cool down and wait at least 30 minutes to check the coolant level. This waiting period is important for your safety because the radiator hose and cap need time to cool down. DO NOT open the hood while the vehicle is hot.

If the coolant level is low, you can add some water. If the light disappears when you restart the vehicle, proceed to the nearest Subaru repair shop for proper inspection. If the light remains and your vehicle is severely overheating, do not try to drive, call a tow.

What steps need to be taken to turn light off: Once you get to your neighborhood Subaru service center, your #Subaru mechanic will perform a complete coolant system inspection to see if a leak is present, or what the cause is, and repair it.

To prevent further issues, have your Subaru’s coolant system checked regularly, along with keeping up with other preventative maintenance measures.