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

Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

GET A QUOTE Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee
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
2003 Ford Expedition $100 $29.88 $70.00 27% $137.38
2005 Ford Explorer $93 $23.38 $70.00 28% $130.88
2009 Honda Pilot $106 $36.38 $70.00 26% $143.88
2003 Lexus RX300 $96 $25.98 $70.00 28% $133.48
2013 Infiniti M56 $199 $51.58 $147.00 28% $277.33
2004 Chevrolet Corvette $88 $18.18 $70.00 29% $125.68
GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR

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
Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee

Recent Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Ambient Temperature Sensor (Switch) Replacement Service

Average Rating

5/5

Number of Reviews

18

Rating Summary
18
0
0
0
0
18
0
0
0
0

Graham

14 years of experience
24 reviews
Graham
14 years of experience
Graham showed up right on time, it took him a total of about 15 minutes to replace an ambient temperature switch. Would highly recommend Graham. Great job
2014 BUICK LACROSSE - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - ROSELLE, ILLINOIS

Fred

30 years of experience
6 reviews
Fred
30 years of experience
Fred was not only right on time and knowledgeable, he was also very easy to talk to and friendly. As a woman, it was such a relief to not be condescended to. I felt so comfortable with Fred and being new to Santa Cruz, I think I've found my mechanic now. Thank you, Your Mechanic.
2004 BMW Z4 - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA

Rigoberto

8 years of experience
442 reviews
Rigoberto
8 years of experience
Rigoberto was friendly and quick. He efficiently completed repair. I would definitely recommend him to anyone asking me
2006 BUICK LUCERNE - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - ROSELLE, ILLINOIS

Timothy

19 years of experience
102 reviews
Timothy
19 years of experience
Very friendly professional guy. Down to earth. I'm not too sure if he saw in my original quote that I had the part but needed the wiring because he didn't necessarily bring wiring and the connector needed to complete the job but he did ultimately head to a nearby parts store and get what was needed. Job handled, completed, done.
2010 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (SWITCH) - TACOMA, WASHINGTON

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
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....
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...

Related questions

Q: My temperature gauge is fluctuating and my car is not putting out heat anymore, I tried putting coolant in it and there are no leaks.

Hi there. Check the coolant temperature sensor and see if it has a loose connection on the wiring harness. This will cause the gauge to fluctuate up and down as the engine is running. For the heater not working, check...

Q: The air conditioner and heater control panel has no power, no lights, nothing

Since you seem to get some temporary action by messing with the fuses, the problem may lie in the power distribution box. Underneath the fuse panel is a network of connections, some of which may overheat in an older car....

Q: crankshaft position error code p0336

This code is related to the crank position sensor. Since you just had it replaced, it may be possible that the mechanic forgot to clear the code in the car's computer. I would suggest taking it back to them to...

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