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Old 11-16-2014
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Coolant Temp Sensor

1996 Ford ranger XLT 5 speed 2.3 RWD
Alright so my coolant temp gauge doesn't work. and I know its the temp sensor. Problem is I have no clue where it is. Is it the one tht on the piping close to the thermostat? or is somewhere near the intake?
The help is appreciated!
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Old 11-16-2014
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The "sender" for the temp gauge on the dash is near the thermostat, it has 1 wire connected.

The ECT(engine coolant temp) sensor for the computer is on the drivers side of the block, close to the front under the intake, it has 2 wires connected.
The two have the same function but are not the same and there is not connection between them.

Senders are used for dash board gauges, temp and oil pressure use senders, these need only 1 wire, fuel gauge also uses a sender, in the tank

Sensors are for the computer and always have at least 2 wires, just FYI, makes it easier to figure out what all the **** is attached to the engine, lol


If you want to test if it is the sender or the wire/gauge that is the problem, then remove the one wire from sender and turn key on, temp gauge needle should go all the way down or all the way up, either is fine, but it must go all the way
Now use another wire to Ground the sender wire, you just unhooked, to the engine or battery ground, temp gauge needle should do the opposite of what it did above,
i.e. if it was all the way down it should now be all the way up.

If the gauge/wire passed the above test then sender is bad, if needle doesn't move like posted above then it is a wire or gauge problem.

Last edited by RonD; 11-16-2014 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 11-18-2014
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Sweet thanks man and thnx for the tip on the sensors and senders :) pretty cool to learn. wont be calling everything a sensor from now on haha
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