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

More related articles

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...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
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)...


Related questions

Q: What Happens To Sensors When They Are Dirty?

When you drive your vehicle every day, it is inevitable the sensors on your vehicle will get dirty. Whether it's water, dust, dirt, road tar or even dead animals in the road, your sensors will get dirty sooner or later....

Q: Car only throws heat out on driver side and cool air on passenger side in summer a/c works very little

Hello, thank you for writing in. The air temperature coming through the vents has more to do with where the air is coming from. If the heater is running it will be passed along the heater core and pushed into...

Q: Speedometer is not working

You have an electronic type speedometer in your truck. The speed sensor in the rear axle is the sensor that allows the speedometer to read the speed. You will need to have the computer scanned to see if the...