What is a coolant temperature switch (sensor) replacement?

Your mechanic will replace your vehicle’s coolant temperature switch or sensor in order to:
  • Ensure your engine is being cooled properly to avoid overheating
  • Prevent erroneous ignition timing
  • Make sure your engine’s air-fuel mix is calculated correctly

How is a coolant temperature switch/sensor replaced?

If you fear your car’s coolant temperature switch or sensor needs to be replaced, pay a visit to a reputable and qualified mechanic. They will take the following steps to inspect and replace the switch/sensor if needed:
  • Verify that the coolant temperature switch or sensor needs replacing
  • Drain coolant from the system
  • Disconnect defective switch or sensor from the connector, and then separate and remove it from the manifold
  • Install a new switch or sensor by fastening it to the mounting hole in the manifold and reconnecting it to the system’s electrical connector
  • Refill coolant
  • Test system for proper operation

What are the signs that a coolant temperature switch/sensor needs replacing?

The following is a list of the most common signs that your switch or sensor might need replacing:
  • Check Engine Light is on
  • Your engine has overheated
  • The coolant fan runs inconsistently
  • Your engine idles noisily, misfires, or stalls
  • The coolant temperature is unstable

How important is it to replace a faulty coolant temperature switch or sensor?

It is vital to replace a defective coolant temperature switch or sensor as soon as you can. Otherwise, you run the risk of your cooling fan acting erratically, and your engine overheating as a result.
An engine overheating can lead to severe engine damage, and this will be much pricier to repair than simply replacing a faulty temperature switch or sensor.
A properly functioning coolant temperature switch or sensor tells your engine control module the information it needs to properly determine your engine’s proper air-fuel mix. If this mixture isn’t correct, your car’s fuel economy will suffer, your engine may underperform, or it may cease to function entirely.

Tips

Some tips when considering whether to replace your coolant temperature switch or sensor:
  • A defective switch or sensor can shorten the life of your motor’s cooling fan
  • Some vehicles have separate sensors that display the engine’s temperature—this is displayed on the temperature gauge on the dashboard

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