What is the Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor all about?
In order to properly adjust the air/fuel mixture for optimum engine operation at different speeds, your car’s computer needs a great deal of information. This includes airflow volume, density and temperature. Depending on the make and model you drive, you may have several different air temperature sensors on the vehicle, including an intake air temperature sensor and an air cleaner temperature sensor (most newer vehicles do not have an air cleaner temperature sensor).
The air cleaner temperature sensor is a device that sits inside the breather housing. It’s generally vacuum operated and also contains electronic components. Its sole job is to send information to the car’s computer about the temperature of the air at the air cleaner. Based on this information, the car’s computer can adjust the flow of air into the intake to optimize engine operation.
Keep in mind:
- Many cars do not have an air cleaner temperature sensor.
- Air cleaner temperature sensors can fail over time and through normal wear and tear.
- These temperature sensors can be damaged by careless installation of air filters and air filter housings.
- Air cleaner temperature sensors are not inspected during normal maintenance.
How it’s done:
- The air cleaner temperature sensor is verified to see if it needs to be replaced
- The defective air cleaner temperature sensor is removed
- The new air cleaner temperature sensor is installed
- The air cleaner temperature sensor is tested for operation
- The vehicle is tested to ensure proper operation of the air cleaner temperature sensor
It is essential that your engine have enough information about airflow and air temperature to properly adjust the air/fuel mixture to meet operating demands. The air cleaner temperature sensor is just one of the tools it uses to do this. If you suspect the air cleaner temperature sensor is not working, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose the system and replace the sensor if required.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor?
- Rough idling when cold
- Check Engine light comes on
- Stalls when cold
How important is this service?
The air cleaner temperature sensor might not be the most important part on your engine, but its job is crucial for proper engine operation. If you’re experiencing rough idling or stalling when the car is cold, we recommend having the entire system diagnosed by one of our expert mechanics, as there are several potential problems that could cause these issues.