Q: Coolant temperature gauge does not move at all. 1998 Ford Ranger

asked by on February 10, 2017

The coolant temperature gauge does not move at all. It never moves off of cold. Does not budge from before I turn it on until I turn it off. Car does not overheat. Coolant is full. Heater works great. I was wondering how to tell if it is a sensor or the gauge or something else?

My car has 168000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

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Hi there - most likely the coolant temperature sensor (for the gauge, not the coolant sensor that drives the fuel injection - there are usually two) is toast. This can be checked with an ohm meter. A reading of 2K ohms when cold, or a few hundred when at operating temperature are typical - check your Ford service manual for specifics for your sensor. If the coolant temperature sensor checks out, it is the wiring or the gauge itself. I recommend an electrical component inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, confirm this diagnosis, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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