Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does an Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Last?

ambient temperature sensor

In many late-model vehicles, the need to manually adjust heat and air conditioning has been eliminated. You can actually set your car’s computer to regulate the cooling and heating process based on the temperature at which you feel most comfortable. In order to do this, the computer gathers information about the temperature both outside and inside your vehicle. The ambient temperature sensor (switch) is what monitors the air temperature. It does it by either decreasing or increasing its resistance according to the fluctuations in temperature, and then delivering the necessary information to the computer, which increases or decreases the temperature according to the preferences you have set.

Any time you are using your heating or air conditioning, the ambient temperature sensor is working. There is no specific life expectancy for an ambient temperature sensor, but like all electronic components, it is vulnerable to damage due to corrosion or short circuits. Additionally, because it is usually located just behind the front grille of your car, it is also easily damaged by impacts. In fact, even a minor collision can cause damage, and if the sensor fails, you will only be able to use your heater and air conditioner in manual mode. This doesn’t affect the safety or drivability of your car, but it will affect your comfort. Signs that your ambient temperature sensor control (switch) needs to be replaced include:

  • Climate control system will not work in auto mode
  • Climate control system works in auto mode, but does not operate correctly
  • Outside temperatures are displayed inaccurately

If you suspect that your ambient temperature sensor control has failed, have it checked by a qualified mechanic. They can diagnose the problem, and replace the ambient sensor control (switch) if necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...


Related questions

Q: What gauges are present on the instrument panel?

The vehicle is equipped with a number of gauges on the instrument panel, located in the dashboard behind the steering wheel. These relate information to the driver, and the driver barely needs to look away from the road to monitor...

Q: Turned off car, but ac blower kept blowing

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1997 Oldsmobile LSS. Pulling the fuse was a good measure to keep your battery from dying with the fan staying on. There could be a problem with the switch or relay in...

Q: Car stalls out of nowhere

Hello - what a frustrating problem to solve! You may have provided a key clue to the solution, given that it requires another vehicle to jump start it to get it going again. This MAY mean that the increased starting...