Question about 2002 Ford ZX2

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Engine coolant temperature sensor

A couple of days ago I replaced the engine coolant temperature sensor on a 2002 Ford Escort ZX2 after the service engine light came on and everything seemed fine at first. The car idled better and the temperature gauge went up (only to about 1/4). We drove about 80 miles through country roads and then the light came on again. I took it to autozone and the guy told me that the coolant temperature was running low. Then I explained I just replaced the engine temp sensor and unplugged the battery...he told me that we need to continue driving it because it needs to run through the systems and such. Is there any truth to that? Also, after he mentioned something about the car thinking it was running cold and using up gas I checked and noticed that we burned an extraordinarily high amount of gas. Any advice? Should I keep driving it, replace the thermostat? Also, I did not coat the threads (although there aren't actual thread) with Ford Pipe Sealant with Teflon® D8AZ-19554-A could that pose a problem. I have checked to see if there is a leak out of there but haven't noticed one.

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  • Mark Ebner Feb 19, 2009

    I got the sensor from AutoZone and it is a duralast sensor. Am I reading that you recommend that I return this and get one from the Ford Dealer. I replaced it in the first place because I was having the same problem (with the same codes).

  • Mark Ebner Feb 25, 2009

    I decided to try to replace the thermostat as well. I followed the upper radiator hose to the housing (which was where my engine temp sensor is). I removed the two bolts at the top of it but could not remove the housing. Is there something that I am missing. Please advise.

  • Chuck May 11, 2010

    where did you get the sensor from? Make sure you go buy it from the dealer so you get the right one. The car thinks it is cold meaning that it will make it run richer to compensate. richer engines run cooler. so this could be wrong sensor. you can check the resistance across the prongs. Higher resistance when cold around 2000 ohms and when hot you are under 1000ohms this is true if your sensor is a NCT meaning resistance goes down with temperature which most are ...you can use some hot water out of microwave and put in sensor to warm it up. Also why did you replace this part in the first place? You stated a service engine light came on. The service light is for oil changes and such. Which you can reset using a technique in the user manual. Chech the connector with ignition on and measure voltage between ground terminals of the connecting wires. Should be around 5 volts roughly i am not sure but some voltage is required.

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So what your telling me it was a check engine light then and not a service engine light? These are two totally different things. If you can give me the original code if you remember it that would be great. But as for the aftermarket sensor i would goto Ford and get the original one it is probably the same price. The models vary so much on the same year and type engine. I would go to dealer and bring your registration with yo so you have the VIN number and get the right one. I worked on an 98 escort and the thing had 5 variances of the PCV valve. So go there and get correct one. If you can just check any breaks in wiring from that sensor as far as you can see. A break in wiring would make the car think it is always cold. This sensor might not work your gauge at all sometimes it is a totally different sensor so make sure you are replacing the right one. Check all over the coolant flanges and make sure you dont see any more sensors. If you goto the dealer they will show you where the correct one is. Autozone probably sold you a temperature sender which is for the gauge. You need a temperature sensor..... I stress going to dealer they will be more than glad to help.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009

  • Chuck Feb 19, 2009

    hey C38hot why do you keep posting comments of same information after i post solution? Come up with you own solutions for once. This is great you did it twice.

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Get a name brand sensor and double check with scantool under engine data for correct temp , if you can , use infrared temp gun and compare with scanner reading

Posted on Feb 19, 2009

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  • c38hot Feb 19, 2009

    get a name brand sensor and double check with scantool under engine data for correct temp , if you can , use infrared temp gun and compare with scanner reading

  • c38hot Feb 19, 2009

    on most fuel injected cars there are two temp sensors , one is engine coolant temp and the other is for the guage , it is possible that new sensor is defective , new does not equal good

  • c38hot Feb 26, 2009

    i have no idea mr wiz , out of my control , maybe i forgot to sign in , oh and how about worry bout yerself mr . farcry you should start your own solutions .com

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