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Symptoms of a Bad IAT Sensor

by Jen Davis

A car's intake air temperature sensor (IAT) changes the way it operates based on the temperature of the air in the vehicle's intake. If the IAT sensor is not working properly, it can affect the way its computer makes temperature based adjustments. A malfunctioning IAT sensor can cause several problems with vehicles.

Extended Starting Time

A malfunctioning IAT sensor may cause your vehicle to take longer to start on cold mornings. The faulty IAT sensor tells the car's computer that the air in the intake is a different temperature than it actually is and may cause the vehicle to not deliver the proper fuel mixture to the engine.

Increase Fuel Consumption

The temperature of your vehicle's intake affects the amount of fuel needed to properly operate the car. If the IAT is not working properly, the car's computer may think the car needs a stronger fuel mixture and cause the car to consume more fuel than it normally does.

Check Engine Light

If your IAT sensor is not working properly and your car's computer senses it, it generates an error code that cause your vehicle's check engine light to come on in the dashboard. If your IAT causes your check engine light to come on, you can attach the vehicle to an error code reader and an error code will come up that corresponds to IAT problems.

About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.

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