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Old 08-17-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
therobvolta
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Temp gauge stuck on cold??? ECT??

My temp gauge is stuck at cold no matter how long I drive. I have driven over 2 hours and it is still stuck at cold. Yesterday I took a test light and plugged it into to wire that goes to the coolant temp sensor and it went up on the gauge in my dash. So I assumed it was the coolant temp sensor (the one next to the distributor) So I replaced it, well this did not fix my problem.

The other day when I had the tubes that connect to the air box off of the throttle body, I seen that my ECT sensor was broken....the one with the two prongs.... It was not even connected. So I connected it but it is just hanging on there and I dont think it is really working right. Sometimes when I start it it takes a real long time to fire up.....so here is my question......

Would a bad ect sensor cause this? Do I need a new thermostat? I know I need a new fan clutch because it is sloppy. But if i needed a new thermostat wouldent it be stuck at high?? Any help would be appreciated thank you in advance...
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
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Did you/have you pulled codes? Having the ECT unplugged will give you a code, but not a CEL if I remember correctly.
Maybe you got a bad temp sensor, as your gauge works. You can test the new temp (dash temp) sensor with a soldering iron, plug in the sensor (one wire), and heat it (the end that goes into the manifold water passage), also ground the sender (a jumper cable on the threads will work) if the dash gauge works when you used a test light or when you ground it, but not when installed, the dash gauge and the wiring to it should be good.
Did you use a bunch of thread tape on the threads? The sender gets it ground through it's threads. Don't overtighten it, it has tapered threads, the tighter it gets, the bigger it gets, until you overtighten it and crack the intake manifold.
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Last edited by Mikey350; 08-17-2012 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Added info about grounding and thread tape
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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I replaced the temp sensor. And plugged the test light into the temp sensor plug and the gauge worked. I pulled the codes. But I don't have an obd1 reader so it's just the check engine light blinks. And I can't figure them out.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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most of the time, a thermostat will stick open and not allow the coolant to get up to temp. Mine was doing the same thing and it was the thermostat.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therobvolta View Post

The other day when I had the tubes that connect to the air box off of the throttle body, I seen that my ECT sensor was broken....the one with the two prongs.... It was not even connected. So I connected it but it is just hanging on there and I dont think it is really working right.
start off fixing the things that you know are broke. I would fix the ect connector and change out the ect sensor as well while your in there.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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X2 ^

The ECT = engine cooling temp sensor http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+ is a fuel manager at cold start and normal operation so any isssues with it could actually prevent starting, you'll notice the harness side connector "unsnaps" and comes apart like an Off Road weather pack style so you can either go to the JY and find one el cheapo or buy a pigtail at the auto store for a bit more $$$, unsnap and resnap assuming there's no damage to the wries leads. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+

If you replaced the "brass style" http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+ temp guage sending unit and it the needle is still off then it's either a voltage issues thru the lead wire or the dash gauge is fubar which can be replaced with a mechanical gauge for better accuracy....

After running the engine, the top radiator hose should be hot indicating the thermostat is working correctly otherwise it's either in backwards or fubar and if replaced get the correct OEM degree, mine's a 195* and make sure the radiator cap is also in good shape...



Good Luck ~
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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A '92 Bronco has two (2) coolant temp sensors- one for the computer, and one for the gauge.

The sensor for the computer has two wires, one green and red, the other gray and red.

The sensor for the gauge is a single wire, colored red and white.

If you take the wire off of the gauge sensor and ground it (the wire, not the sensor)- which is what you did with the test light, if you had it hooked to a ground- the gauge should move to its max hot reading. If it does, the circuit and gauge should be fine. Check the ground at the sensor body by doing a voltage drop test to the battery. It should read "0.00", or pretty damn close. You may have a bad sensor out of the box; it happens more than you might think.

If I remember correctly, temp does not effect fuel trim until the vehicle is in closed-loop, but I would still fix that two-wire sensor and connector that's broken, anyway. Temp is one of the biggest inputs for fuel trim, and with that sensor disconnected your gas mileage is probably in the toilet.

Oh, and my wife is from Appleton, too.

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Old 08-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Check to see if the PO removed the T-stat
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #9
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I appreciate all of your help.. APPLETON in the house!

The top coolant hose gets hot. When I tested the wire for the temp sensor it didnt MAX out the gauge it just brought it to about half way. I guess I will fix the ect sensor and see where I am at.

Thank you so much everybody. I truly love this forum.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKossarides View Post
X2 ^

The ECT = engine cooling temp sensor http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+ is a fuel manager at cold start and normal operation so any isssues with it could actually prevent starting, you'll notice the harness side connector "unsnaps" and comes apart like an Off Road weather pack style so you can either go to the JY and find one el cheapo or buy a pigtail at the auto store for a bit more $$$, unsnap and resnap assuming there's no damage to the wries leads. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+

If you replaced the "brass style" http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+temp+sensor+ temp guage sending unit and it the needle is still off then it's either a voltage issues thru the lead wire or the dash gauge is fubar which can be replaced with a mechanical gauge for better accuracy....

After running the engine, the top radiator hose should be hot indicating the thermostat is working correctly otherwise it's either in backwards or fubar and if replaced get the correct OEM degree, mine's a 195* and make sure the radiator cap is also in good shape...



Good Luck ~
Thank you!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #11
JKossarides
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Your welcome Brother, hope you get it all sorted out.....
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therobvolta View Post
I appreciate all of your help.. APPLETON in the house!

The top coolant hose gets hot. When I tested the wire for the temp sensor it didnt MAX out the gauge it just brought it to about half way. I guess I will fix the ect sensor and see where I am at.

Thank you so much everybody. I truly love this forum.
If the gauge only went to half with a good ground on the wire, the problem isn't with the sensor, it's with the circuit and/or the gauge itself. That gauge should be pegged to the hot side with that wire grounded.
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Is he STILL arguing this? I put him on my ignore list years ago, so I don't have to read his ranting.
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Years? He's only been here since February of this year.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
therobvolta
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Yeah, I replaced the ect sensor now too with no luck :( I guess it MUST be the gauge
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:19 AM   #14
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I replaced my idiot temp/oil pressure gauge with a mechanical - more trustworthy.
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