Inaccurate temperature reading on your car's Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) is an immediate reason to replace your ambient temperature sensor. This small, square chip (which is encased in a nozzle-like receptacle) reads the outside temperature and sends the signal to the data bus network, to the Body Control Module (BCM), and to the EVIC (the screen on the car's console that displays temperature data). If your EVIC consistently shows a -40-degree Fahrenheit reading, then that is your needed signal to get under your car and replace this component. If not, your engine will have problems in adjusting air-fuel ratio and in controlling the on-off function of the electric fans.
Replacing your ambient temperature sensor is just, more or less, a 20-minute task. Here are the tools you need and the steps you should follow when replacing your car's temperature sensor.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- New ambient temperature sensor
- Ramp or lift
- Two contact wires
- Wire crimpers
- Terminal connector
Step 1: Place the car on a lift or drive it on a ramp. If no ramp or lift is available, start by removing the bumper of the car in order to gain access to the underside of the engine.
Step 2: Locate the nozzle-like component behind the lower grille at the passenger side of the car. Unscrew this component from the mounting brace.
Step 3: Separate the parts of the plug housing (green and gray connectors, and white retaining clip). First, slide the white retaining clip out. Then, lift the small chip (the sensor) and separate the green and gray connectors. Insert the contact wires into the green housing and make sure that the ends snap in place to the slots in the housing.
Step 4: Replace the white retaining clip. Thread the contact wires through the gray housing and attach it to the green connector.
Step 5: Slide the temperature sensor into the receptacle. Mount the nozzle-like part onto the brace.
Step 6: Put the mounting brace back under the engine area where you took it out. You will need to position the right wheel to a certain degree outwards in order to have enough room for replacing the brace.
Step 7: Use the crimpers to strip the end of the wires sticking out from the mounting brace. Add the terminal connector to the crimped wires, and then connect these wires to the two contact wires.
Step 8: Coat the wires and connector with anti-seize to stall corrosion. Make sure that the wires are secured closely to the outside surface of the mounting brace so that the connection will be safe from mud or water.
Step 9: Drive the car and check if the temperature reading starts to move.