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The engine computer in your vehicle may be considered as the mind of your driving machine, but this mind only processes all the information sent to it-it cannot act on its own. One of the parts that it needs to be able to perform the right operation is the IAT sensor. The intake air temperature sensor is known in many names, but its operation is simple. Mounted in the intake manifold, it measures the temperature of the air coming in. It sends the measurement to the computer to help it determine the right amount of fuel that it will send to the engine. The fuel must match the air according to its density, and air density is measured according to its temperature. The IAT sensor must deliver the right temperature measurement to the computer at all times. Otherwise, the computer might send an incorrect amount of fuel, disrupting the balance in the air-fuel mixture and causing a lot of driving problems. If you're starting to experience problems in your drive caused by rich or lean mixtures, one of the possible reasons is a damaged sensor. Don't put up with a lot more of troubles and get a new IAT sensor at once. Shop here at Auto Parts Warehouse.
Choosing the Right IAT Sensor
Have you noticed a decrease in your car's fuel economy? Is it usually sluggish during acceleration? Or worse, does your car sense your engine overheating when it really isn't? Then this is a case of a faulty IAT sensor. Though this part is relatively small, finding the perfect one for your car is a tedious process. As a guide, here are just some of the dos and don'ts when shopping for a new IAT sensor:
- Consult with your local mechanic to know the specific type of IAT sensor your vehicle requires. If you don't know any, you can also find out on your own by researching and looking through your old part. Use the serial number of the old one and bring it to your dealer to know which kind of IAT sensor is perfect for your car. Serial numbers found on IAT sensors usually contain information on the right size, type, and application used. You can also bring the old sensor with you for comparison when shopping. Since this a very sensitive electrical component of your car, checking the different connections and configurations is essential to ensure you don't get the wrong kind of sensor.
- Go through sensor diagnostics to determine if the IAT sensor you wish to purchase is working well. It should be able tests for high electrical performance and durability. This will ensure that your sensor will function efficiently under any kind of condition. Since it is located deep within your compartment, it will be exposed to various elements such as heat, debris, and oil. You want your IAT sensor to last for a long time. Testing the part before purchasing can also avoid premature wear, poor engine performance, decreased fuel economy, and overheating.
- Make sure your new IAT sensor comes with manufacturer's instructions for correct installation. This is especially true if you want to do the installation yourself. Follow the guide well to ensure that it works well with the rest of your engine compartment.
- Don't replace your IAT sensors with ones that are advertised to alter the temperature readings inside your air duct. This kind of sensor is recently making its waves in the market, especially for drivers who want a more powerful engine. It is considered to be one of the cheaper
performance chipupgrades. What it does is that it claims the air is cold and dense when it really isn't', resulting in your engine to burn more fuel than is necessary. Although it does boost engine power, it decreases fuel economy and can even result in harmful emissions. If you don't want to waste money on gas, get the right kind of sensor.
- Don't purchase aftermarket IAT sensors. In order to complement with the mechanics of your engine, be sure that your sensor is engineered to meet OE specifications. OE manufactured parts are always recommended to ensure that it fits well with your car and that it is made with strict quality control standards.
- Don't settle for IAT sensors without warranties. The standard warranty coverage for most IAT sensors is 90-day or 3,000-mile coverage. So always check what kind of terms your dealer offers. Make sure that you make the most out of the part by having the option of replacing it if it doesn't work as expected.
How to Install your New IAT Sensor
Modern cars are more like computers than machines. They are made up of various systems and programs that help make your car operate faster and smarter. One of these "smart programs" is your IAT sensor. Responsible for monitoring the air in your engine block, the IAT sensor is one of the most important innovations in the auto industry. But no matter how advance these sensors are, they can still malfunction. So when your this part starts to fail, be sure to replace it ASAP to prevent your engine from running poorly.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Tools you'll need:
- New IAT sensor
Step 1: Preparing your car
Park your car in a flat area or at your garage. Open your hood to locate your IAT sensor.
Step 2: Locating the IAT sensor
The IAT sensor is found on the air intake duct. If you still can't find it, you can simply follow your intake air hose, which is found in the air cleaner assembly, to the sensor.
Step 3: Removing the sensor from the air intake system
Once you've located your sensor, remove the electric plug connected to it. Unscrew the sensor and gently pull it out from the duct.
Step 4: Positioning your new sensor
Place your new IAT sensor into your air intake duct and push it in.
Step 5: Installing your new sensor
Take the electric plug in step 3 and reconnect it to your new sensor.
Step 6: Finishing touches
Your installation is complete and you can now close the hood of your car.
Step 7: Test-driving your new sensor
Start your engine to begin testing your new IAT sensor.
Note: For any difficulties with the steps mentioned above, you can also refer to your vehicle owner manual. Also note that removal, installation, and maintenance of this part varies with the car's make and model.