What is a Coolant Temperature Sensor?

A Coolant Temperature Sensor is a component in most engines that measures the temperature of the engine coolant. These sensors are typically found on high-end vehicles, and their main function is to keep the engine running at a safe temperature. If the coolant temperature becomes too high, the sensor will activate a warning light or system alert to let the driver know.

What is a Coolant Temperature Sensor and How Does It Work?

Coolant Temperature Sensor

A CTS, also known as an ECT sensor or an ECTS (engine coolant temperature sensor), is used to measure the temperature of the coolant/antifreeze mix in the cooling system. This provides an indication of the amount of heat that is being produced by the engine. Another name for a coolant temperature sensor is a coolant temperature sensor (CTS).

The sensor collaborates with the electronic control unit (ECU) of the car to perform continuous monitoring of the coolant temperature. This helps to ensure that the engine is operating at the optimal temperature.

The ECU will deliver a regulated voltage to the CTS in order to receive an exact reading of the temperature that is currently being produced by the engine. The ECU is able to detect variations in temperature because to the fact that the resistance of the sensor varies depending on the temperature.

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The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) takes this reading and utilizes it to determine the coolant temperature. It then uses this information to regulate the fuel injection, fuel mix, and ignition timing. It also controls when the electric cooling fan is turned on and off.

In addition, a precise reading of the engine temperature is transmitted to a gauge located on the dashboard using the information provided here.

How to Spot a Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor?

If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms, it is important to have your car checked for a faulty CTS. If the sensor is found to be defective, it may not be able to accurately read the coolant’s temperature, which could lead to problems with your engine. Some other common signs and symptoms of a faulty CTS include: poor fuel economy, overheating, and stalling.

The following is a list of additional signs and symptoms that may point to a problem with your cervical spine:

  • Unreliable reading on the dashboard gauge (the temperature should be between 88 and 90 degrees Celsius once the engine has warmed up).
  • Overheating engine (highlighted by dashboard gauge)
  • Check Engine Warning signal illuminated on the dashboard
  • Ruff sound coming from the engine while it is idling
  • Unsatisfactory performance (caused by ECU miscalculating fuel rich mixture)
  • Poor fuel economy

Take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection if you are unsure which subsystem is causing the problem under the hood.

How to Replace a Coolant Temperature Sensor

If your car’s CTS is broken, you’ll need to replace it.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Disconnect the battery and wait 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the front bumper and front fascia.
  3. Remove the two screws that hold in the radiator support panel and pull out the panel.
  4. Remove the three bolts that hold in the CTS and remove it.
  5. Clean off any old adhesive or corrosion from the new CTS before installing it by rubbing it with a cloth soaked in solvent cleaning fluid such as acetone or methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).
  6. Apply new adhesive to both sides of the sensor, then screw it into place.
  7. Install the New Sensor
  8. Connect back the Connector Cable

How frequently do we have to replace a CTS?

Our vehicles’ cooling systems work by circulating coolant through the engine. When the coolant temperature falls below a certain point, the system will activate a warning light on your dashboard or instrument panel. If the coolant falls too low, it can cause damage to your engine.

It is advisable to monitor the signs of CTS and replace it immediately


Coolant temperature sensor is a small, low-cost device that can be used to monitor the temperature of a vehicle’s coolant. This information can help ensure that the engine remains within safe operating temperatures, preventing possible damage and reducing the likelihood of breakdowns.

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