Q: ECT sensor wires - 1995 Dodge Ram 1500

asked by on October 31, 2016

The engine coolant temperature sensor wires have came off. Because of broken connector as a quick fix so it's not running so rich to get it home. Can the wires be taped together or use jumper wire?

My car has 300000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. It would probably be best to short the wires together. This will make the PCM (powertrain control module) believe your truck is running around 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This will lean out the fuel mixture and this is not good for the motor. It will increase the possibility of burning a valve or worse. Ideally, it would be best to find a 1000 ohm resistor and put that inline. The range for the ECT is 400-380,000 ohms. The higher the resistance, the lower the temperature. A 1000 ohm resistor will tell the computer the motor is around 195 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be a little difficult to get started with either the wires directly shorted or with a 1000 ohm resistor inline, so bring some starting fluid with you.

If you short the wires and manage to get the car started, I wouldn’t drive very far and definitely baby it. You are risking damage to the motor. The best method is to purchase a resistor from Radio Shack or other electronics store.

If you are so inclined, you can use a variable resistor and a multimeter. Use the multimeter to set the resistance of the variable resistor. A cold motor should have a resistance of around 17,500 ohms. A fully warmed motor will have a resistance of around 800-1000 ohm.

I hope this helps you out. I recommend having a certified professional from YourMechanic inspect the electrical wiring issues and replace the coolant temperature sensor if needed.

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