The coolant temperature sensor is a key part for the optimal performance of your vehicle, ensuring the car runs safely and securely. While you operate and drive your car, the engine goes through continuous engine combustion. This can make it overheat and potentially gain too much friction while driving, especially during warm temperatures and the day time.
To keep the engine cool and prevent overheating, the engine coolant temperature sensor can determine if the coolant is working properly in your car, using different fluids and liquids through the engine. You might also know that overheating can affect engine performance, and cause the engine to break down over time. To keep things cool, the water is passed through the pipes to maintain temperature, showing the importance of your engine coolant temperature sensor.
What is your engine coolant temperature sensor?
As we know, the coolant temperature sensor, which is also known commonly as the coolant temperature switch, isa key part of the engine system. This sensor can help analyze and manage the enseigne manager system by monitoring the temperature of the engine’s coolant. The coolant is a liquid that is mixed with water to keep the radiator from freezing or overheating in extreme weather conditions or conditions within your engine.
Also known as antifreeze, coolant comes in many different kinds of types and is made for various types of engines and cars. It is important to know what specific coolant variety is correct for your car so that you get the right variety.
Once the engine coolant temperature sensor measures the temperature of the coolant in the engine, the next step is that the coolant temperature sensor operates using electrical resistance to determine the precise temperature. This signal taken by the engine coolant temperature sensor is then sent to the car’s computer so the proper changes can be made to the engine’s timing and fuel calculations for optimal performance.
If the computer and the engine is not working right and determining the engine coolant temperature, then this can be a way that you can tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad. The car’s computer is also in charge of turning back the engine performance settings if it detects that the engine temperature is too high and can cause overheating. This is done in order to prevent any further damage to the engine that can occur from excessive friction and heat within the engine system.
How does the coolant temperature sensor work?
The engine coolant temperature sensor works by reading the engine functions. The ECT sensor is located near the engine thermostat, which calculates the temperature within the engine. The engine coolant temperature sensor measures the temperature provided by the thermostat and the coolant. The recorded temperature from the engine is then transferred to the ECU, which then adjusts the engine functions accordingly. If you can tell that your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad, then you will notice your engine overheating.
The onboard computer also functions by opening and shutting down the cooling fan depending on the temperature reading and the controls. This computer determines the exhaust gas recirculation and the fuel combustion process.
Usually, the location of the coolant temperature sensor will be located directly behind the coolant pipe. In most modern cars and vehicles, this is present behind the right cylinder head that is located right underneath of the air intake pipe. Different kinds of cars and manufacturers, dependent on the make, model, and year of the car have different ways of placing the coolant temperature sensor that differs depending on the car design.
Some vehicles contain more than one temperature coolant sensor, and sometimes these different engine coolant temperature sensors are used to send signals to the dashboard and the engine control unit within the engine system. The use of multiple engine coolant temperature sensors is optional, with only one coolant sensor necessary to send signals to both of the desired receivers.
Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement Cost
The average replacement cost of the coolant temperature sensor is between $100 and $220, with the labor cost averaging around $40 and $140, while the parts itself usually run you about $50 to $80. The coolant temperature sensor is not as expensive compared to other key components of your car’s engine system and other sensors that are installed in your vehicle. The average cost for most vehicles of the coolant temperature sensor replacement cost for parts ranges between $55 and $80. However, the lower end of the coolant temperature sensor price can go as little as $35, while the high end of the coolant temperature sensor parts price is around $90.
Symptoms of a Failing Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor
Since the temperature plays such a crucial role in engine performance calculations, a problem with the coolant temperature sensor being bad cau quickly translate into engine performance problems. Usually, an issue with the coolant temperature sensor will cause various symptoms and alert the passengers and driver of a potential problem. This is akey way of how you can tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad.
Poor Fuel Economy
One of the first symptoms that is widely noticeable and easy to see that there is a problem with the coolant temperature sensor is a poor fuel economy and reduced gas mileage. If the coolant temperature sensor goes bad and becomes damaged over time, this can lead to the wrong signals being transmitted to your car's computer. In addition, the coolant temperature sensor will not be able to do the correct fuel and timing calculations that are necessary for proper fuel economy.
Furthermore, it is not very uncommon for the coolant temperature sensor to fail and be damaged, sending a permanent signal to the computer. This can cause the computer to consistently read that the engine is cold, and result in a higher usage of fuel even when it is not necessary. A reduced fuel economy is a clear way to see that your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad.
A second sign that the coolant temperature sensor is not working correctly and the coolant temperature sensor is bad is an overheating engine. Although the engine overheating can be due to various seasons, a poor coolant temperature sensor is a main root cause. Along with this reason, the other causes of engine overheating and excessive friction is too little coolant, cooling system leaks, broken water pump, radiator issues, the oil being too low, thermostat failure, issues with hoses and belts, and the heater core being plugged up.
The coolant temperature sensor can also fail in the way that it causes the car to send a consistently hit signal to the car. This can cause the car’s computer to incorrectly compensate for a lean fuel mixture, resulting in consistent overheating, engine misfiring, or engine knocking.
Black smoke from engine
If you are wondering how you can tell your coolant temperature sensor is bad, black smoke pouring out of the exhaust pipe is a sure way to see that there is something wrong with your engine’s cooling system.
If the fuel mixture in your vehicle is too rich to the point where the fuel can’t be burned properly in the combustion chamber, this can lead to the fuel being burned in the exhaust pipes and causing black smoke to emit from the exhaust pipes. In the worst cases regarding your engine’s coolant system, the black smoke could mean you can no longer safely drive your car.
Faulty readings from the coolant temperature sensor can cause your car’s engine to miscalculate the fuel to air mixture within the engine. When the air to fuel ratio for the mixture of the engine is not in the correct proportion, and if the fuel mixture is too lean or too rich, the fuel will not be able to properly burn within the combustion chamber.
As a result of the miscalculations, the fuel will burn within the car’s exhaust pipes instead of where it should, which then causes the exhaust torelese the black smoke from the engine pipes. If the amount of black smoke emitting from your car is excessive, then you should not drive your car and you should tow your vehicle to a mechanic.
Check Engine Light
Another symptom that is easy to see in your car from either the driver or the passengers is that the illuminated check engine light will appear on your dash, showing how you can tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad. For some types of cars, depending on the make, model, and year, the computer can turn off a Check Engine Light if it notices an issue with the sensor’s signal or circuit. The check engine light will stay on until the problem is fixed.
As you can see by these clear symptoms and how the coolant temperature sensor affects various parts of your car, the coolant temperature sensor is one of the most important pieces in the engine management system. It plays a key role in determining and analyzing calculations that affect engine performance. This means that if you are wondering how you can tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad, you should definitely get your vehicle checked by a professional technician.
Poor Engine Idling
Due to a faulty engine coolant temperature sensor, the fuel mixture will adjust according to the calculations that the senor puts forth. This can cause the engine to vibrate uncontrollably or shake when the car is idling at a low speed or driving slowly. This can lead to other power losses within the car, and strange behaviors, like loud noises and thinking coming from beneath the hood.
How can you tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad?
In order to diagnose a faulty engine coolant temperature sensor, you need to have the proper tools and information. When your check engine light turns on, your engine is overheating, or you experience some of the other symptoms of a bad coolant temperature sensor, then you should use a diagnostic tool to help you fix the issue.
When the check engine light turns on, the best way is to start with threading the trouble code memory in your vehicle. You can do this at home and save money on a mechanic’s prices by utilizing your own OBD-II scanner. If you do not have one of these scanners at home, you can buy one for a relatively inexpensive price.
With a good OBD 2 reader, this tool can also be used to check the live parameters and the parameters of the cool temperature sensor. Check that the temperature of the coolant temperature sensor is around 80 to 90 degrees celsius when the engine is hot and running.
To do this check of the engine coolant temperature sensor correctly to determine if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad, you should use the wiring diagram and find out what ohms you should have at a specific temperature in order to properly check the function, which can be easily done using a digital multimeter.
Another way to get this procedure done is to use the following steps to diagnose your engine coolant temperature sensor. First, locate the coolant temperature sensor in your car by referring to your manufacturer's specific service manual. Next, connect the digital multimeter to the coolant temperature sensor by connecting the problem of the terminal end of the sensor to the solid grounding. Take note of the readings and analyze the data.
After this, start the engine and let it run continuously for a few minutes, noting the initial readings of the sensor while the engine is cool, and then doing the same procedure once the engine gets hot. Find the difference between the readings, seeing the difference according to the engine temperatures. If the readings of the difference is more than 200 ohms, then your coolant temperature sensor is not nbad. If the reading of the ohms is less than 200 ohms, this is how you can tell if your coolant temperature sensor is bad.