How to Locate the Temperature Coolant Sensor on a Thunderbird

by Thomas West

The Thunderbird was introduced as a personal luxury car by Ford Motor Company in 1955 and was produced until 2005, with a hiatus from 1998 to 2001. With proper maintenance, your Thunderbird can give you years of enjoyment, and knowing the location of key components can aid you in doing your own maintenance. The proper operation of your Thunderbird's engine depends on the engine's electronic control module receiving the correct temperature information from the temperature coolant sensor. Knowing the location of this sensor can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Park your Thunderbird on a flat surface. Put the transmission in park and apply the parking brake. Let the engine cool if it has been running recently.

Pull the hood release handle from underneath the dashboard on the driver's side. Reach in the hood opening at the front of the car and push the hood release lever to the side. Raise the hood.

Locate the coolant outlet at the center of the top of the engine, at the front.

Locate the intake manifold behind the coolant outlet.

Check the front of the intake manifold for the sensor. Be aware that the coolant sensor will have a wiring harness connected to its uppermost side.


  • check The demands of your engine change with engine temperature. A faulty temperature coolant sensor can cause erratic transmission shifting, spark knock or stumbling upon acceleration. If your Thunderbird exhibits any of these symptoms, you may need to have the sensor checked or replaced.
  • check To remove the temperature coolant sensor, disconnect the negative ground cable on the battery with an adjustable wrench. Unplug the wiring harness from the sensor by pulling apart the connector by hand. Unthread the sensor from the intake manifold by screwing it out with an adjustable wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Reinstall the sensor in the reverse order.

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