The ECT is a thermistor (a resistor which changes value based on temperature) mounted in the engine coolant stream. As the temperature of the engine coolant changes, the resistance of the coolant sensor changes. Low coolant temperature produces a high resistance: 100,000 ohms at -40°F (-40°C). High temperature causes low resistance: 70 ohms at 284°F (140°C).
The ECM supplies a 5 volt signal to the coolant sensor and measures the voltage that returns. By measuring the voltage change, the ECM determines the engine coolant temperature. The voltage will be high when the engine is cold and low when the engine is hot. This information is used to control fuel management, IAC, spark timing, EGR, canister purge and other engine operating conditions.
See Figures 1 and 2
- Remove the ECT sensor from the engine.
- Fill a clean container with water and measure its temperature.
- Place the sensor tip into the water. Measure the resistance of the ECT sensor with an ohmmeter. Compare the resistance with the temperature as per the graph.
- If it is not within specifications, replace the sensor.
- Install the ECT sensor.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Excluding 5VZ-FE Engine
- Drain the engine cooling system.
- Disconnect the engine wire protector from the brackets if used.
- Detach the ECT sensor wiring.
- Using a deep socket, remove the ECT sensor and gasket.