How Long Does a Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) Last?

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The coolant temperature switch (CTS) provides you with alerts when the engine temperature is rising or when it is overheating. It is also called the coolant temperature sensor, and it is an important part of keeping you safe and your vehicle running well.

Coolant from inside the cylinder heads and engine block absorbs heat from the cylinders while your vehicle is running. The CTS detects these changes in temperatures and alerts the powertrain control module (PCM). The message the sensor sends to the PCM affects the overall operation of the engine because much of the fuel, emissions, ignition, and drivetrain functions are handled by the PCM. Therefore, these functions are affected by the operating temperature of the engine.

If the PCM gets a cold reading from the CTS, the injector pulse width is increased to create a richer fuel mixture. This prevents hesitation while the engine is warming up. Once the engine is warm, the PCM reduces the mixture to make it leaner. The PCM cycles the cooling fan on and off to make sure the engine stays cool and to prevent it from overheating. The PCM cycles this by using information from the coolant temperature sensor.

The coolant temperature switch can go bad over time, whether it is due to wear and tear, or an electrical issue. At some point, your coolant temperature switch may need to be replaced by a professional mechanic.

Since the CTS can go bad, you should be aware of the symptoms it gives off before it completely fails.

Signs your coolant temperature switch needs to be replaced include:

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
  • Trouble starting your vehicle even after reaching normal operating temperature
  • Your vehicle fails an emissions test
  • You vehicle is constantly overheating
  • The temperature sensor is not consistent and behaves erratically
  • Check Engine Light comes on
  • Engine stalls or has a rough idle

The CTS is an important part of your vehicle, because without it, your engine will run poorly and overheat on a regular basis. Eventually, if left as is, the engine will go bad and the vehicle will become inoperable.


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Recent Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

201

Rating Summary
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Jonathan

33 years of experience
360 reviews
Jonathan
33 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser - Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Very detail oriented and proficient in fixing my automobile-great sense of humor and honest about other issues with my vehicle.
Ford Focus - Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) - New Port Richey, Florida
Professional, courteous with complete competence. Ahead of schedule and very efficient. A pleasure.

Claud

6 years of experience
90 reviews
Claud
6 years of experience
Mazda 5 - Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) - Fraser, Michigan
Claud has been a real pro with all the work he's done on our Mazda 5. He was able to correctly diagnose the engine temperature problems we were having and didn't try to upsell us on solutions.

Theodore

14 years of experience
1075 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Chevrolet Corvette - Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) - Redmond, Washington
Theodore was superb and a delight to work with. His number of 5 star reviews (over 1k) speak for themselves. Highly recommended.

Augustine

10 years of experience
4 reviews
Augustine
10 years of experience
Pontiac Sunfire - Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Augustine is very personal. My appointment was at 1pm but he didn't mind coming early. I will definitely be using this your mechanic.com and ask for him.

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