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Where Is the Temperature Sensor on a 3.1 Chevy Malibu?

by Baptist Johnson

The Malibu is a mid-sized sedan manufactured by Chevrolet. The 3.1L V6 engine is used to power the base model Malibus produced from 1997 to 2003. The temperature sensors on these vehicles help monitor the temperature of the engine. The engine temperature is then sent to the engine control computer, which regulates the amount of gas sent to the engine. If the engine is too cool, more fuel is added. If the engine begins to run hot, less fuel is added.

Location

The temperature sensor on the Chevrolet Malibu is located underneath the hood. To locate the sensor, simply pop the hood and look in the upper engine area on the driver's side. Locate the temperature sensor mounted in the intake manifold near the water outlet. You should be able to identify the temperature sensor as a small pipe attached to a few wires.

Troubleshooting

The temperature sensor is an essential component of the electrical engine system. When the sensor goes bad, you might notice a few problems in the way your engine runs. The main symptom of a faulty sensor includes your engine running too hot or too cool, which can cause your engine to randomly shut down. Keep an eye on the engine temperature gauge on your dashboard and look for irregular temperature readouts.

Inspection

Another way to make sure your temperature sensor is in working order is to manually inspect it. A visual inspection is usually recommended because it covers the possibility that your temperature gauge or engine computer is also faulty. To manually inspect the temperature sensor, look at the sensor and check for corroded areas. Problems are often caused by faulty wiring, so pay close attention to the wires and connection areas. If you notice excessive dirt on the sensor or corrosion in the wires, replace the necessary component immediately.

Replace

Replacing a temperature sensor is easy and only takes about 10 minutes. Pop your hood and disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Locate the sensor. Once you have found the sensor, remove the wires from it. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the sensor in place. Remove the sensor and replace it with the new one. Screw the new sensor in place and reattach the wires to it. Connect the negative battery cable to the battery.

About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.

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