How to Replace a Manifold Temperature Sensor

A manifold temperature sensor is an electronic sensor that measures the air temperature inside a vehicle’s intake manifold. This information is used by the vehicle’s ECU in conjunction with mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute pressure (MAP) data to achieve the most efficient combustion possible in a fuel injected engine. A bad or failing manifold temperature sensor will cause problems such as rough idling and a rough running engine, and may result in a failed emissions test.

Part 1 of 1: Replace the manifold temperature sensor

Materials Needed

manifold temperature sensor location

Step 1: Locate the manifold temperature sensor and disconnect the electrical connector. To locate the manifold temperature sensor, narrow your search to the surface of the intake manifold. You are looking for an electrical connector running to a screw-in type sensor.

  • Tip: On the majority of vehicles, it will be on the top side of the intake manifold, and very easily accessible.

manifold temperature sensor unplugged

Step 2: Disconnect the electrical connector. There will be a section of wiring harness running to an electrical connector. This connector is plugged into the sensor. You will need to press a tab on one side of the connector while firmly pulling the connector off of the sensor.

Once it is disconnected, move it off to the side.

manifold temperature sensor removed

Step 3: Remove the bad manifold temperature sensor from the intake manifold. Use an open ended wrench to loosen your vehicle’s manifold temperature sensor.

Once it is loose enough, finish unscrewing it by hand.

manifold temperature sensor with thread tape

Step 4: Prepare the new sensor for installation. Using thread tape, wrap the threads of the new sensor in a counterclockwise direction with no more than 2 layers of tape.

  • Tip: You need to wrap in this direction so that when you screw the sensor in clockwise, the edge of the tape doesn’t catch and bunch up. If you install it backwards, and notice the tape bunching up, just remove it and start over with fresh tape.

Step 5: Install the new temperature sensor. Insert the new sensor and begin by hand tightening the sensor at first to make sure you do not strip the threads.

Once the sensor is hand tight, tighten it the rest of the way with a short handled open ended wrench.

  • Warning: Most intake manifolds are made of aluminum or plastic, so it is very important to make sure you do not overtighten the sensor.

Step 6: Reconnect the electrical connector to the new manifold temperature sensor. Take the female end of the electrical connector that was disconnected in Step 2 and slide it over the male end of the sensor. Press firmly until you hear the connector click.

If you’d rather leave this job to a professional, YourMechanic has mobile technicians that can come to your home or office to replace the manifold temperate sensor at your convenience.


Next Step

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Recent Manifold Temperature Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(6)

Rating Summary
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TJ

26 years of experience
362 reviews
TJ
26 years of experience
Audi A4 Quattro L4-2.0L Turbo - Manifold Temperature Sensor - Venice, Florida
Tj is honest, prompt and well experienced. He went above and beyond to address my issues, and he didn’t put unnecessary parts in the car like others have. I am so happy to find an honest, capable mechanic like TJ! Thank you!

David

25 years of experience
180 reviews
David
25 years of experience
Honda Civic L4-1.6L - Manifold Temperature Sensor - Ocala, Florida
Very honest. Car ended up needing additional work above its current value so he fixed part of the things requested and lowered labor accordingly. Very knowledgeable.

Rodney

36 years of experience
541 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
BMW 535i L6-3.0L Turbo - Manifold Temperature Sensor - Rancho Cordova, California
Nice guy, good mechanic and always prompt.

Dan

39 years of experience
975 reviews
Dan
39 years of experience
Infiniti I30 V6-3.0L - Manifold Temperature Sensor - Lawrenceville, Georgia
Dan was great lots of experience and easy to work with.Very pleased

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