The Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor resistance changes in response to engine coolant temperature. The sensor resistance decreases as the coolant temperature increases, and increases as the coolant temperature decreases. This provides a reference signal to the PCM, which indicates engine coolant temperature. The signal sent to the PCM by the ECT sensor helps the PCM to determine spark advance, EGR flow rate, air/fuel ratio, and engine temperature. The ECT is a two wire sensor, a 5-volt reference signal is sent to the sensor and the signal return is based upon the change in the measured resistance due to temperature.
The 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. The ECT measures the temperature of the engine coolant. The PCM uses the ECT input for fuel control and for cooling fan control