We studied the effect of temperature on the friction-wear properties of poly(ether ketone) with a cardo group (PEK-C) with a XuanWu-3 pin-disc friction-and-wear tester. Testing conditions such as the temperature obviously affected the friction and wear behavior of PEK-C. As the ambient temperature increased, the wear of PEK-C increased, and there was a maximum value of the friction coefficient of PEK-C at a certain temperature. This phenomenon could be attributed to the effect of an adhesive–elastic property of PEK-C. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the size and shape of the wear debris of PEK-C varied as the temperature varied. The main mechanism behind the different tribological characteristics lay in the variations of the physical state on the friction surface of PEK-C due to the increasing surface temperature of PEK-C. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 93: 696–699, 2004