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02 taco, 4cy 2.2, 181000 on it. Just did service december so its fresh coolant. The water temp gauge was climbing very high yesterday, would get into the red then drop to 3/4 again. It was 105 outside temp and freeway driving but ive never seen the gauge that high before, it never goes above half usually. No steam at all. Look for radiator blockage? Bad sensor? Maybe it needs a power flush? Any ideas?
 

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Try replacing your thermostat, sounds like maybe it might be sticking causing it to get hot and then opening to let it cool down.

Mad Maxx
 

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might be, just drove to the beach (74) and it did it a few times too so the outside heat isnt it. would low coolant do that?
I'm not sure but I'd think that if it was from low coolant that it would do it all the time after the engine heats up and not fluctuate like a thermostat opening and closing and staying closed too long causing it to over heat and then opening up to allow it to cool back down.
 
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