Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor

Failing air cleaner sensor

Bad or Failing Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

The air cleaner temperature sensor (ACT) plays an important role in many modern vehicle’s engine management systems. The ACT sensor detects the temperature of the air coming into the engine and sends a signal to the computer so that it can make fuel and timing adjustments based on the operating conditions detected by the sensor. When the sensor begins to have problems, it can send an incorrect signal to the computer which can negatively affect engine performance, so it should be inspected and replaced if needed. When the air cleaner temperature sensor fails, the vehicle will usually display a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Poor idle quality

Poor idle quality is one of the first symptoms of a problem with the air cleaner temperature sensor. The ACT sensor provides a signal that is very important to the engine computer calculations for proper idle conditions, especially during cold starts and in cold weather conditions, where the incoming air density is increased. When the sensor is having problems, it can send an incorrect signal to the computer which may cause the engine to have a low, rough, or surging idle.

2. Engine performance problems in cold conditions

The ACT sensor detects the temperature of the air coming into the engine, so that the computer can make the correct calculations for best engine performance. This signal becomes even more important in cold and wet weather conditions as cold air is significantly more dense than warm air. If the ACT sensor is having problems, the vehicle may have trouble idling, or may stumble and misfire when accelerating after cold starts, or during cold or wet weather.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Check Engine Light comes on

Aside from drivability symptoms the most obvious sign of a problem with the ACT sensor is a Check Engine Light. If the computer detects a problem with the signal of the sensor, the light will activate. This is usually the last symptom to occur, as it only activates once a problem has been detected. A quick scan for the trouble codes will quickly reveal what the problem may be.

As the ACT sensor provides an important signal to the computer, any problems with it can quickly translate to engine performance problems. If you suspect that you may be having a problem with you ACT sensor, or your Check Engine Light has come on, have a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose the vehicle and replace the ACT sensor 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
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
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

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)...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...


Related questions

Q: VSA problem

Hi there. The VSA light is on indicating that the traction control is active. This will turn on the brake system and try to control the vehicle in the event a tire will slip. The wheel sensor on the left...

Q: Engine light comes on and idles roughly.

Single cylinder misfires are usually caused by ignition components which is where I would start with on this car. Verify the ignition cap and rotor are still in one piece and that the wires are not arcing losing spark. Have...

Q: Replaced crankshaft sensor and timing belt on 05 kia optima lx after. Kia engine kept stalling cutting off now its still not running

Hello and thanks for you question. Your vehicle could be having an issue with the alarm system. Sometimes when the engine's crankshaft position sensor fails and the ignition switch keeps on being turned to try to start the vehicle, the...