Why Is My Subaru Impreza’s Temperature Light Blinking? A Step-by-Step Guide to Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

As a car owner, seeing warning lights blink on your dashboard can be alarming. One of the most common warnings is the temperature light. If it starts blinking on your Subaru Impreza, it can mean that there’s a serious issue with your car. This article will provide you with the information you need to understand why it’s blinking and what steps to take to fix the problem.

Understanding the Temperature Light

The temperature light on your Subaru Impreza indicates that the engine is overheating. This light generally looks like a thermometer with wavy lines underneath it. An overheating engine can lead to serious engine damage, which can be costly to repair. Therefore, it’s important to address this issue as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Steps

If your Subaru Impreza’s temperature light is blinking, follow these diagnostic steps to find the root cause of the issue:

  1. Stop your car: If your temperature light is blinking, pull over and shut off your engine. Continuing to drive can cause serious engine damage.

  2. Check engine oil and coolant levels: Once you have turned off the engine, check the level of oil and coolant in your car. The coolant can be found in a plastic bottle near the radiator. Oil can be found by checking the dipstick under the hood. If they are low, add more until they reach the recommended levels.

  3. Assess your surroundings: Check your car’s surroundings. Look for any obvious signs of leaks or other visual issues.

  4. Try to identify the issue before calling a mechanic: If there aren’t any obvious visual issues, try to identify where the problem might be coming from. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Have you recently driven for a long time or uphill?

    • Is the temperature light only blinking when you use your air conditioning?

    • Does the light blink while driving at highway speeds?

    • Does the light blink while driving at a slower speed?

      The answers to these questions may help narrow down the problem and help save you some time and money at the mechanic.

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Potential Causes of Blinking Temperature Light

Once you have determined that your engine oil and coolant levels are normal, and there are no obvious leaks, there are few potential causes that you should consider:

  1. Coolant System Issues: An issue with your car’s coolant system can cause the temperature light to blink. There could be a leakage, the coolant could be old and dirty, or the radiator could be clogged.

  2. Engine Issues: If the temperature light starts blinking, your engine may be experiencing a problem. For example, a broken thermostat can cause the engine to overheat. Other engine problems that may cause the temperature light to blink include a damaged water pump or malfunctioning fan.

  3. Electrical Problems: The temperature sensor is a part of your car’s electrical system. If the temperature sensor is not working properly or if there are other issues with the electrical system, it can cause the temperature light to blink.

Fixing the Temperature Light Issue

Once you have identified the root cause of the issue, there are several solutions you can try before going to a mechanic:

  1. Replace Coolant: If you suspect that the issue is due to the coolant system, try flushing out the old coolant and replacing it with new coolant.

  2. Replace Thermostat: If a broken thermostat is causing the issue, replace the thermostat with a new one.

  3. Repair Engine: If there is an engine issue or coolant leakage, take your car to a mechanic for repair.

  4. Check and Replace Electrical Components: Have a mechanic check and fix any electrical issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I continue driving while the temperature light is blinking?

A: Do not continue driving while the temperature light is blinking. This can cause serious engine damage that can be costly to repair. Pull over and turn off the engine immediately.

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Q: What should I do if my Subaru Impreza’s temperature light is blinking?

A: Follow the diagnostic steps listed above. Once you have determined the root cause of the problem, attempt to fix the issue yourself. If you can’t fix it, take your car to a mechanic.

Q: How do I reset the temperature light once the issue has been fixed?

A: Once the issue has been fixed, start your car and let it idle. The temperature should now be within normal range and the blinking light should turn off automatically.


The temperature light on your Subaru Impreza is a warning that the engine is overheating. Follow the diagnostic steps to determine the root cause of the issue. If it is a coolant or engine issue, attempt to fix it yourself or take it to a mechanic for repairs. Don’t continue driving while the temperature light is blinking to avoid causing serious engine damage. With the right knowledge and steps, you can fix this issue and drive your Subaru Impreza safely again.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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