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Coolant Temperature Switch/Sensor Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your coolant temperature switch/sensor replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your coolant temperature switch/sensor replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a coolant temperature sensor?

Generally, a coolant temperature sensor replacement costs around $141, with parts averaging around $23 and labor costs of around$118.
How long does it take to replace a coolant temperature sensor/switch? A typical coolant temperature sensor replacement can take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete—however, times will vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
Keep in mind: Not all vehicles have a coolant temperature sensor. Some vehicles have a coolant temperature switch, which is very similar, but it turns the engine’s cooling system fan on at specific temperatures to keep the engine cool. Sensors read your vehicle’s overall engine temperature and alerts your engine control module so it can adjust the air-fuel mixture as needed.
Here’s a table overview for fair price repair estimates for engine coolant temperature sensors and switches for different car models: 
Coolant temperature sensor/switch costs for different vehicles
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 20, 2024
Dodge Dart
$82
$22
$60
0.5 Hours
May 19, 2024
Honda Element
$81
$22
$59
0.5 Hours
May 16, 2024
Maserati Quattroporte
$77
$22
$56
0.5 Hours
May 15, 2024
Eagle Talon
$105
$36
$69
0.5 Hours
May 14, 2024
Hummer H3
$100
$36
$64
0.5 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my coolant temperature switch replacement and how much do those parts cost?

For a coolant temperature sensor/switch replacement, you will need the following parts: 
  • Coolant temperature sensor/switch: The coolant temperature sensor/switch is a temperature-variable resistor that measures the temperature of your vehicle’s coolant. This is a vital component of your cooling system, as the readings from this part can help prevent overheating. The average price of a coolant temperature sensor/switch is $35-$65 depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
You can buy coolant temperature switch/sensor parts for your car from auto parts stores such as AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and eBay. Three of our recommended brands for coolant temperature switch/sensor parts are Standard Motor Products, Delphi, and Bosch. Keep in mind that parts and brands may vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
For your coolant temperature sensor replacement, it’s best to purchase OEM parts as a result of their durability and overall quality. Although aftermarket products are generally more budget-friendly, in this instance, OEM coolant temperature sensors are relatively the same price, varying only in $10-$15—and you get added warranty.
Engine coolant temperature sensors (ECT) and switches can be purchased online at auto body and auto repair shops, like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, or at dealerships like Toyota. Additionally, online retailers like Amazon sell coolant temp sensors for different vehicle makes and models. Refer to your owner’s manual before purchasing to ensure that you select the right coolant temperature sensor or switch for optimal engine performance.

Where can I get my coolant temperature sensor/switch replaced?

With the rundown on 2,500+ vetted repair shops nationwide,
Jerry's GarageGuard™
can make the search for a mechanic to replace your coolant temperature sensor a lot easier.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from local shops using actual hourly rates. You’ll be able to budget for diagnostic fees and see reviews from previous customers to make sure you’ll be happy with your service.
Here’s a look at some of our vetted shops below—and you can download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
120 Reviews
Tisdell's Mobile Mechanic Services
address
(Mobile auto service), Dickinson, TX
Coolant Temperature Switch Sensor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$155
(Parts - $26, Labor - $129)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$75
183 Reviews
Grand Rapids Motorcar Service
address
2735 29th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Coolant Temperature Switch Sensor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$171
(Parts - $26, Labor - $145)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$160
170 Reviews
Florin Auto Center
address
2770 Florin Rd, Sacramento, CA
Coolant Temperature Switch Sensor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$140
(Parts - $26, Labor - $114)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$199.99
179 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Birmingham Center Point
address
2610 6th Ave S, Birmingham, AL
Coolant Temperature Switch Sensor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$145
(Parts - $26, Labor - $119)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my coolant temperature sensor?

When starting your car repair, your mechanic will first begin with an inspection of your coolant system and engine control unit (ECU), assessing it for damage. Once complete, your coolant temperature sensor replacement will be completed as follows:
  1. Disconnect battery: Before starting, your mechanic will disconnect the car battery to prevent potential shock or electrical issues associated with spilt liquids.
  2. Drain coolant: Next, your cooling system’s pressure cap is opened to relieve any residual pressure. Then, your mechanic will drain your coolant reservoir of any remaining coolant in order to easily access your coolant temperature switch or sensor.
  3. Remove electrical connector: Two electrical connectors are usually attached to your coolant temperature sensor, secured on by a safety clip. Releasing these clips will allow your mechanic to safely remove your temperature sensor. During this step, your mechanic will also check for corrosion. If corrosion is present, the sensor pigtail will be cleaned or replaced. 
  4. Remove coolant sensor: Coolant sensors are often held in place in two ways—using a threaded housing or a large C clip. Removing or lifting these pieces will enable your mechanic to remove the coolant temperature switch or sensor. 
  5. Replace: Once the coolant sensor is removed, your mechanic will replace it with a new sensor by completing these steps in reverse order. 
  6. Refill and test: After your sensor is installed and secure, the radiator drain valve is closed and your car’s coolant is refilled. A routine test will then begin, with your mechanic assessing the thermostat readings, temperature of the coolant, and leaks.  

What happens if I don’t replace my coolant temperature sensor?

Your car’s coolant temperature sensor reads the overall temperature of your vehicle’s coolant. Left unchecked, a faulty sensor can cause additional damage to your engine block. A malfunctioning coolant temperature switch/sensor can result in the following problems: 
  • Overheating
  • Head gasket leaks
  • Damage to engine hoses
  • Poor fuel economy

What is a coolant temperature sensor?

A coolant temperature sensor works to measure the overall temperature of your vehicle’s coolant. Once the temperature sensor or switch has a reading, it passes this information along to the engine control module (ECM) or engine control unit (ECU). The ECM or ECU uses that information to help it control a number of things, including: 
  • Fuel injection and mixture
  • Ignition timing
  • Radiator fan 
  • Dashboard temperature display
  • Transmission shifting
  • Valve timing

When should I replace the coolant temperature sensor in my car?

Coolant temperature sensors/switches should be replaced every 100,000 miles, but routinely inspected to ensure there is no damage or corrosion present. Common symptoms of a faulty coolant temperature switch or sensor are: 
  1. Engine overheating: As your car’s cooling system is designed to intake and expel intense heat from your engine, it’s important that the temperature of your coolant is correct. Inaccurate readings can trick the ECU into believing the engine isn’t hot when it is, leading to overheating.
  2. Check engine light: Faulty sensors can also ignite your dashboard lights—specifically the check engine light. Sometimes, an error code can also appear, hinting at a potential malfunctioning coolant temperature sensor.
  3. Black exhaust smoke: The coolant temperature sensor not only helps cool your car, but also aids the engine in deciding fuel-air mixture. Faulty sensors can result in overly rich fuel-air mixtures, causing black exhaust to come out of your pipes.
  4. Inconsistent temperature reading: This is one of the leading symptoms of a broken coolant temperature sensor. If you notice a fluctuating or erratic reading from your temperature gauge while driving, it’s likely the result of a coolant temperature sensor problem. 
  5. Difficulty starting car: Since the coolant temperature switch also works with the ECU, if a damaged coolant sensor is leading to a high fuel-air mixture, you may have trouble cranking your vehicle’s engine.

How often should a coolant temperature sensor/switch be replaced?

Your car’s coolant temperature sensor or switch should be replaced every 100,000 miles to ensure that your engine is operating at the accurate temperature. However, this varies based on the vehicle you drive—Volkswagen coolant temp sensors experience failure more often, for instance, so you may need to replace the sensor more frequently if you drive one. 
Consult your owner’s manual and mechanic to determine when to conduct your vehicle’s routine coolant temperature replacement.

Can I replace my coolant temperature sensor myself?

Yes, you can replace your coolant temperature sensor on your own. This type of replacement requires a mid-level knowledge of mechanical operations—but it is relatively simple to complete. If you’re unfamiliar with car repairs, or unsure of your ability to complete a coolant temperature sensor replacement on your own, contact a licensed mechanic. 

FAQs

No. If your coolant temperature sensor is damaged, do not drive your vehicle. Faulty sensors can contribute to overheating, as incorrect temperature readings are being passed to the engine. If you continue to drive your vehicle, you’re not only risking your safety, but you can also increase the damage done to your car.
Yes. If a coolant temperature sensor is malfunctioning or damaged, it can read hot, leading to problems such as stalling, rough idling and engine failure.
You cannot reset a coolant temperature sensor or switch. If you believe you have an issue with your coolant temperature sensor, you can test it by attaching your sensor to a multimeter and placing it in hot water. A low reading will tell you that your sensor isn’t working properly, and in this case, it’s best to call a mechanic for further assistance.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.