Q: Damaged ambient air temperature sensor

asked by on November 16, 2016

Will the damaged sensor affect RPM's? Will it affect car's performance?

My car has 13000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The short answer is yes, but only slightly. The ambient air temperature sensor provides information for the engine management system to make the correct fuel air mixture for the local temperature. If the sensor is damaged, it usually causes a high voltage signal that tells the ECU that it is really cold outside, like below zero cold. The ECU will enrich the mixture to compensate for the extreme cold, so unless you’re driving in ten below zero weather, the fuel quantity will not be correct, but when the car warms up, another compensation takes place in response to the oxygen sensor and the fuel quantity is mostly corrected. There will just be a slight alteration in the range of the mixture.

If the ECU recognizes that the sensor is damaged, it will substitute a value for the faulty sensor, one for air at about 70 degrees and illuminate the Check Engine Light. If that is the case, you will probably not notice any difference in performance at all. If your car is performing badly and not revving as it should, your problems probably go deeper than an ambient air temp sensor. By contacting YourMechanic, you can have a technician come to your home and determine why the car is slow to accelerate and recommend a fix.

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