The Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor is a thermistor device in which resistance changes with temperature. The electrical resistance of a thermistor decreases as the temperature increases, and the resistance increases as the temperature decreases. The varying resistance changes the voltage drop across the sensor terminals and provides electrical signals to the PCM corresponding to temperature.
Thermistor-type sensors are considered passive sensors. A passive sensor is connected to a voltage divider network so that varying the resistance of the passive sensor causes a variation in total current flow.
Voltage that is dropped across a fixed resistor in a series with the sensor resistor determines the voltage signal at the PCM. This voltage signal is equal to the reference voltage minus the voltage drop across the fixed resistor.
The ECT measures the temperature of the engine coolant. The PCM uses the ECT input for fuel control and for cooling fan control. There are 3 types of ECT sensors, threaded, push-in, and twist-lock. The ECT sensor is located in an engine coolant passage