Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch)

Our certified mechanics come to you · 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

GET A QUOTE Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch)

Common signs include a faulty AC auto mode, inconsistent cooling, and incorrect outdoor temperature readings. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2006 Chrysler 300 $108 $37.92 $70.00 25% $145.42
2006 Volkswagen Passat $92 $22.08 $70.00 28% $129.58
2008 Ford Ranger $112 $41.73 $70.00 25% $149.23
2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV $80 $9.60 $70.00 32% $117.10
2009 Audi A8 Quattro $92 $22.08 $70.00 28% $129.58
2005 Jaguar S-Type $85 $14.85 $70.00 30% $122.35
GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch)?

Ambient temperature sensor

Modern vehicles are equipped with sophisticated heating and air conditioning systems that are highly efficient in achieving and maintaining comfortable cabin temperatures for the passengers. They are able to do this by using a series of sensors that work together to activate and regulate the AC system. One of the primary sensors that plays a key role in the operation of the AC system is the ambient temperature sensor, also commonly known as the ambient temperature sensor switch.

Vehicles in hot or cold extremes will require significantly more effort from the HVAC system to both cool and heat the cabin of the vehicle. For this reason, it is important for the system to be aware of the temperature of the environment that the vehicle is in. It is the job of the ambient temperature sensor to measure the external temperature of the vehicle as a reference point for the computer to make calculations. The computer will continuously monitor the signal from the ambient temperature sensor and make automatic adjustments as needed to maintain cabin temperature. When the ambient temperature sensor fails, there will usually be a few symptoms that may alert the driver that a problem with the sensor has occurred and it should be inspected or replaced if needed.

1. The AC auto mode will not work

Most modern vehicles have an auto AC setting that will allow the vehicle to automatically set and regulate the temperature. The AC system will simply read the ambient and cabin temperature sensors data and continuously cycle the AC system on and off as required to keep the cabin cool. When the ambient temperature sensor fails, the system does not have a reference point from which to base it’s automatic calculations and the setting will not work.

2. Inconsistent cooling

Another symptom of a bad or failing ambient temperature sensor is inconsistent cooling. As the ambient temperature sensor plays a direct role in the automated function of the AC system, when it is having a problem this may interfere with the system’s ability to cool the vehicle. If the ambient temperature sensor fails or is sending out an inconsistent signal, then the AC system may have trouble maintaining cool and comfortable cabin temperatures.

3. Incorrect reading on temperature gauge

Another more obvious symptom of a bad or failing sensor is an incorrect reading on the vehicle’s temperature gauge. Most vehicles will have some sort of display somewhere on the interior of the vehicle that indicates the outside temperature of the vehicle, usually read by the ambient temperature sensor. If the reading on the gauge or indicator is off by more than a few degrees, then the sensor should be replaced, as the incorrect reading may interfere with proper AC system functions.

The ambient temperature sensor plays an important role in the overall operation of the AC system. For this reason, if you suspect that your ambient temperature sensor has failed, or is having a problem, have a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the AC system and replace the sensor if necessary.

Sensors
air conditioning

Fast and easy Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement service at your home or office.

GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR
Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Recent Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.6/5

Number of Reviews

23

Rating Summary
22
0
0
0
1
22
0
0
0
1

Richard

8 years of experience
246 reviews
Richard
8 years of experience
Richard did a very good job in identifying the issue and resetting the temperature read-out. Good job.
2008 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE

Cody

5 years of experience
40 reviews
Cody
5 years of experience
Great worker fast and very nice.
2013 DODGE DURANGO - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - BEDFORD, TEXAS

Jamahl

17 years of experience
703 reviews
Jamahl
17 years of experience
Very knowledge about different varieties of cars
2008 CHRYSLER SEBRING - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Dellano

15 years of experience
266 reviews
Dellano
15 years of experience
Very pleasant, and efficient. Knowledgeable about repair. Was able to come ahead of scheduled appointment time which was much appreciated.
2007 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK550 - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) REPLACEMENT - BOWIE, MARYLAND

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...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...

Related questions

Q: AC compressor only engages around 40% of the time

This is likely due to a faulty thermostat sensor which is responsible for controlling the temperature at which the AC compressor comes on. To determine this will require a series of tests. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic...

Q: Q: A/C blowing warm air

A failed compressor is just one of the many potential causes for your A/C being inoperative. It could be something as simple as low refrigerant level. If you are questioning your mechanic, I suggest you get a second opinion....

Q: Replaced rear seal and now I Only have first gear and my speedamater don't work.

If you replaced the tail shaft seal behind the yoke and had to remove the driveshaft, then it is possible that the transmission vehicle speed sensor VSS is not installed correctly or the harness has been damaged. This will make...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com