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Will a Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor Affect Cooling Fans?

by Jay Motes

A coolant temperature sensor is a vital part of an automobile engine's cooling system. Without a properly operating cooling system, the engine will run hot which will cause the engine to operate inefficiently and may result in serious damage.

Coolant Sensor Purpose

The coolant sensor is basically a thermometer that reports the internal engine temperature to the engine's control computer. Information from the sensor is used by the computer to make adjustments to the fuel injection system, ignition timing and other engine components.

Cooling Fan Operation

The cooling fan is used to blow air across the radiator which helps to accelerate the cooling of the radiator and the engine coolant inside it. The cooling fan is turned off and on as needed by the engine's control computer based upon information from the coolant temperature sensor. A faulty coolant temperature sensor may result in a fan not being properly used, which may cause the engine to overheat.

Troubleshooting

A faulty coolant temperature sensor may cause an engine to run hot and increase fuel consumption. When the coolant temperature sensor fails, the problem may cause the check engine light to be illuminated and will likely trigger a fault code. A diagnostic code reader can be used to check for fault codes, these readers are sold at auto parts stores.

About the Author

Jay Motes is a writer who sold his first article in 1998. Motes has written for numerous print and online publications including "The Dollar Stretcher" and "WV Sportsman." He holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in history and political science form Fairmont State College in Fairmont, W.V.

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