Q: Coolant temperature sensor issue

asked by on February 09, 2017

I'm an Uber driver who is renting a vehicle for the evening . My engine light just came on and I went to an auto zone for the computer and determined that was the coolant temperature sensor that was the issue . My problem is that I cannot swap cars this evening and I need this car this evening . It seems to be running fine and it doesn't seem to be running hot so my question is can I use this car this evening only and then take it back to the dealership tomorrow without risking severe damage to the engine? Thanks for your assist

My car has 52600 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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If the vehicle is not overheating and the check engine light is NOT "flashing", and there are no other outward indications of the engine malfunctioning, it is safe to drive the car until it is convenient for you to request a check engine light diagnostic. Please note that it is technically impossible to reliably condemn a part, in your case the coolant temperature sensor, simply on the basis of the readout of a diagnostic trouble code. OBD-2 diagnostic trouble codes are not intended to identify, conclusively, failed parts, rather the codes are intended to be used clues to aid an actual diagnostic. If Autozone has recommended that you replace a part simply on the basis of the appearance of a diagnostic trouble code, they are committing the equivalent of malpractice. The coolant temperature sensor ITSELF has to be tested and, as well, all other possible causes of the code setting have to be ruled out including possibilities as mundane as that the terminal connection to the sensor is simply loose. During a check engine light diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that have caused the check engine light to illuminate. Using those codes, the appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are then carefully tested, based on specifications set forth in your car’s Factory Service Manual, to pinpoint the cause of the fault or the reason why the check engine light has illuminated. Once the faulty part or component is identified, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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