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Ask the mechanic: How do I change a coolant temperature sensor?

The coolant temperature sensor is a vital component of any automobile. It relays the current engine temperature to the car's computer. This means it helps get your car started on cold days, and it also keeps the temperature regulated, which prevents overheating. In older cars, it's referred to as the choke. You can tell if its time to replace it because your car may be running more sluggishly, and you might have problems with it overheating. It's an easy part to replace, and today we'll give you the rundown on just how to do it.

How to change a coolant temperature sensor.

  1. Open the hood of the car. Make sure it's secure so that it won't fall down on you.
  2. Locate the sensor. It's usually at the front of the engine block near the pulley system, and in some cases you might need to remove the fan shroud in order to see it. It will have an exposed terminal with a single wire attached.
  3. Remove the wire. Be sure you check just how the wire is attached and remove it carefully so as not to damage the connector. You can pry off the clips with a screwdriver, but be sure not to break them.
  4. Find the sensor. It's installed similar to a spark plug, so use a ratchet wrench with a deep socket to get the sensor out. Once you have it out, clean the area and threads with a shop rag and ensure any debris is removed. This will allow for a clean installation of the new unit.
  5. Insert the new sensor. Twist it by hand as far as you can. Then get a torque wrench and tighten it down. Be sure to check your vehicle's owners manual to get the proper torque setting.
  6. Clean the wire leads and reattach the wire to the sensor. Then crank up your vehicle and let it run for a bit while you monitor the temperature gauge and listen for any engine fluctuations.

  7. This is a relatively simple procedure, but if you encounter any additional issues or have any difficulty with the process, take your vehicle to one of the experienced mechanics in Sydney at Reliance Auto Centre.

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