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

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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.

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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