An engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor; measures the temperature, of the engine coolant.
So, engine efficiency, power and fuel economy, all improve, as engine temperatures rises.
As a result, the engine should run as hot as possible; without boiling its coolant or damaging its components.
So, fuel delivery, ignition timing and engine performance; are among the key elements affected; by the information the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor gathers. Consequently, making sure the engine is running, at the optimum temperature.
So, to get an accurate reading, of the current engine temperature; the (ECU) sends a regulated voltage to the (ECT). Consequently, the resistance of the sensor, varies with temperature. So, this is how the (ECU) can monitor temperature changes.
Finally, The (ECU) uses this reading to:
- Calculate the temperature, of the coolant.
- Adjust, the fuel injection.
- Control, fuel mixture.
- Adjust, ignition timing.
- Switch on and off the engine cooling fan.
- Sends an accurate reading; of the engine coolant temperature, to a gauge on the dashboard.
But, like any component under the hood, (ECT) sensors can develop faults over time. So, a faulty sensor, can lead to a range of problems; including overheating and poor engine performance. Therefore, it’s important to know, how to spot the signs of; a faulty or failing temperature sensor. Before, it can cause further problems; which could prove more expensive to fix.
Start by having a look at, the sensor itself to check its condition. While a visual check can help to diagnose some faults; not all problems with a (ECT) show visible symptoms.
So, if your vehicle has starting problems and the “check engine” light; doesn’t come on, you may have a bad (ECT) sensor.
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