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Why Is My Jeep Running Cold? Common Causes and How to Fix

Why Is My Jeep Running Cold? Common Causes and How to Fix

Jeeps are great vehicles for drivers of all kinds. They have advantages like their sturdy frame and tough engine. Sometimes though, we could see issues like the engines running cold.

The most common reason a Jeep will seem to run cold is due to a faulty thermostat not giving a correct reading. Other common issues are a lack of control air flow, lack of fluids, heating and cooling system issues, or the outside temperature is just too cold.

Each of these issues have solutions that can resolve your Jeep feeling cold. Read on to find out what causes this and how to fix it.

Why Is My Jeep Running Too Cold?

Winter is a popular time of the year for Jeeps. Around this time, people start to test their vehicle’s capabilities and see if it can handle off roading. It’s also a good time to do maintenance on your vehicle, because with Winter comes issues like your Jeep itself running cold.

Here are possible causes for your Jeep running cold:

  • Airflow. Airflow is the movement of air around the engine block. If airflow isn’t moving properly, then the engine won’t get hot enough and won’t run efficiently. A good way to check if airflow is working correctly is to look at the coolant temperature gauge. If the coolant temperature gauge is low, then the engine is not getting sufficient airflow.
  • Lack of Fluids. Sometimes, your vehicle needs a dose of transmission fluid. Colder temperatures will cause a decrease in the efficiency of your vehicle if these fluids run out, causing it to feel colder. You should always have fluids checked before for any issues.
  • Cooling System. The cooling system is responsible for keeping the engine warm enough to keep the pistons from overheating. If the cooling system is clogged or leaking, then the engine will overheat and shut down.

Mechanically speaking, vehicles need to stay warm so they can run efficiently. That’s because engine parts wear down during cold weather.

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Plus, cold temperatures reduce fuel consumption and the amount of fuel your Jeep uses. One good idea is to cover your Jeep with blankets and heavy coats when working on them in the cold, and check your temperatures.

Here’s a video showing issues with Jeep temperature:

What Does It Mean When Your Jeep Temperature Is Cold?

If your Jeep doesn’t have proper heat, you could risk several issues, like your Jeep stuck down in the snow, or risking your personal safety if it gets too cold. You’ll also probably end up paying more to fix it. That’s because mechanics can charge more money fixing these specific problems during the colder months.

A low temperature could be due to an issue with your thermostat—it could be broken or stuck in the “cold” position. Check into that by:

  1. Turning on your air conditioner for a few minutes
  2. If the gauge begins to rise, then you know it’s just a matter of changing out the thermostat.
  3. Jeeps need to stay at around 70 degrees for the drive in ideal situations.

They don’t need extremely hot temperatures to function, but you can be a good judge of how it feels when a Jeep is on. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for the Jeep.

How Do I Warm Up My Jeep?

Unfortunately, temperature affects how fast Jeeps work even when they’re in perfect conditions. In general, colder temperatures reduce the speed at his vehicle’s performance. This is because air conditioning reduces the speed at which your Jeep gets warm again.

To avoid freezing your Jeep, you should:

  • Heat your Jeep up with the heat setting
  • Run your Jeep regularly
  • Store it in a warm place like a garage when it’s not in use
  • Cover your Jeep when it’s not in use
  • Use camp stoves or heating pads for long periods of time

Extreme cold causes condensation on the outside of vehicles which can freeze onto your Jeep’s exterior. That condensation and ice damage can add up very quickly!

It’s also why people recommend keeping your Jeep around 70 degrees when working on them. The coldest area of the atmosphere is outer space and outer space is much colder than 70 degrees!

Why Isn’t My Jeep Engine Heating Up?

It’s a common misconception that you should heat up your engine before driving it. This is not true. The only time you need to heat up your engine is when it has been sitting for a long period of time—like overnight—and has become cold.

Contrary to popular belief, the best thing for an engine is to drive it as soon as possible in order to warm everything up. The oil needs to circulate through the system so that it can protect internal parts from getting too hot and seizing up.

So whether your engine is cold from sitting overnight or because you’re driving on a particularly chilly day, take off as soon as you can and avoid idling for the sake of warming up if you don’t have to.

When the temperature gauge does start to climb, however, this doesn’t mean that your engine temperature is hot enough. This just means that the gauge itself is starting to get warm enough to register higher than its lowest mark, which most gauges are designed to be able to do even at frigid temperatures.

You’ll want to keep driving until it reaches and maintains normal operating temperature, which is indicated by blue on the gauge (or “cold” on some older Jeeps).

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Concluding Thoughts

There’s nothing quite like the cold, brisk air of winter to make you long for your vehicle’s heater—except when that heater doesn’t work. If your Jeep’s engine temperature is cold and it isn’t running or driving well, you might wonder why it isn’t heating up. (source:

This effect occurs because cold air outside your Jeep doesn’t have proper airflow, with issues in fluids or cooling systems potentially contributing. In most cases, these issues are easily identifiable so you can be back to driving in crisp warmth in no time.

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