What is the Battery Temperature Sensor all about?
Central to your car's operation, the battery provides the power that starts and keeps the car going. It also acts to keep the power free of spikes by acting as a electrical filtering device, and provides the minimum electrical power levels needed to make sure your car's electrical devices and systems work correctly. Batteries are temperature-sensitive and a battery's optimal operating temperature range is 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature also affects your battery's charging rate. To compensate for temperature variations during battery charges, car charging circuits include battery temperature sensors. The sensor is located on a battery terminal or the case. The battery sensor’s function is simple: if it senses a temperature variation, it orders the battery control module, or the computer control system in a car or truck, to change the charging rate. For example, if the sensor senses the battery is cold, it will request an increased charge rate from the alternator.
Keep in mind:
- As a rule, battery temperature should be routinely inspected.
- The battery temperature sensor inspection should include the charging rate (terminal deposits), the cables (fraying or bare spots), and of the linkage point (corrosion or deposits).
- Proper battery charging may be impossible if high levels of wear are visible.
How it's done:
- The battery is disconnected and removed
- The defective battery temperature sensor is removed
- The new battery temperature sensor is installed and connected
- The battery is reinstalled and connected
- The vehicle is tested for proper operation of the battery temperature sensor
A battery temperature sensor needs routine maintenance; with regular checks, the battery temperature sensor can last 80,000 to 100,000 miles. If you neglect regular battery temperature sensor maintenance, you risk shortening the life of the sensor itself and your vehicle's battery. Overcharging will severely shorten a car battery's life. If you find corrosion or deposits or bare or frayed wire, swap the battery temperature sensor as quickly as possible.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Battery Temperature Sensor?
- Irregular charging rates
- Low battery voltage
- Corrosion or deposits on the battery or sensor connection
- Broken or bare sensor cabling
How important is this service?
Proper battery sensor service is important to the longevity of your battery and its operation. Normally, your battery will last you about four years. If you fail to replace the battery temperature sensor, you will continue to damage the battery. Continued use of a non-working or damaged battery temperature sensor runs the risk of depleting your car's battery to the point where it will no longer hold a charge.