Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does an Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Last?

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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: Rear sensor replacement did not fix speedometer needle

Hello. If the sensor is fine then the instrument panel is the problem. It is common for the motor that runs the speedometer needle to fail and cause this. It would require that the instrument panel be replaced. If you...

Q: Air conditioner blowing warm air. Heat blowing warm air. Neither hot or cold

If the A/C system is full and pressures are reading correctly, and the cooling system is in proper working order (thermostat opens, no overheating, etc.), then most likely the problem lies with the dash. The climate control head unit may...

Q: My Lincoln is still overheating, why?

First off, I won't be able to tell you what is wrong with your car. I can only give you a guide to figure it out. There is way too much information to explain all the possibilities here. Before you...