Question about 1987 Ford Mustang

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I have a 1987 mustang GT - the temperature gauge needle does not move from the bottom or cold possition. I tried testing the sensor to ground no change in needle position. when i turn the light switch on all of the gauges light - any suggestions

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  • Ford Master
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Hi Randy, If there is no movement when shorting the electrical cable to the body, it seems there is an open circuit between the gauge and sender unit. The problem is wiring. Regards John

Posted on Apr 21, 2013


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: temperature gauge not working,stay cold

Hi. the vdc at the sensor seems to be fine. if the ground is sufficient, i would replace the gauge. its malfunctioning. Check for loose connection at gauge before replacing the gauge.

Posted on May 14, 2009

  • 1547 Answers

SOURCE: the needle on the temperature gauge will not move

check temp sensor by thermostat

Posted on Dec 25, 2010

  • 20 Answers

SOURCE: Temperature needle stays on the hot and doesnt move even when the car is cold?

YOur guage is faulty. Your will need to replace your guage if it stays in the hot position even when your car is off and your key is out of the ignition. If it only rises to hot when you turn the key to the run position, you have a wire between your guage and your temp sending unit that has been gounded out. Usually this happens when a person opens their hood to add oil or perform some minor maintenance on the engine and inadvertantly bumps the sensor or switch or wiring. This causes about 65% of these minor issues people incur, but if it does stay all the way up with your key out of the ignition switch, then you will need to replace your temp guage.

Posted on Oct 18, 2012

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1987 suzuki samurai 1.3 stock engine. Temperature gauge is not working I decided to replace the Coolant Temp Sending Unit after market sender. I have the sender with two prong. Still my gauge is not...

rare car, how cute. its a 1.3L what ,its EFI , not carb.
the ECT and guage are not related at all.
each has its own sensors.
dont use a torch you will kill it, use hot water man.
the guage is a 1 wire sensor. it has a different resistance profile than
the EFI Engine coolant sensor ECT. is a different sensor.
the EFI sensor 2 pins, reads 300 ohms hot and about 3000 ohms cold.
hot is 200 F, not torch 2000f hot. for sure. never exceed 212f on any sensor ever.
I must presume you are futzing the wrong sensor.
first off, I will cover just the gauge, and the fsm is on line
for free, and you can read the guage tests. they are simple simon,

see here, see the books?

im and expert on the sidekicks but they are close to sammi.
infact its and evolutionary change.

the guage sender is sold everywhere, and has unique spec.s.

ill use so you can see them all. sold.
first off the guage has very low resistance,as does the gauge sender
that is because is thermal acting the guage gets hot and the needle moves, very very crude this. very very old school stuff.
they did the bs until 1995.
chapter 21. electrics. sammi.
page 21-12 , fuel level meter and guage.
direct link to that here.
see that?
pdf page 145
use a 194 lamp and ground the yellow wire as shown
meter goes upscale the meter is good.
now the sender.
is RTC reverse temperature coeffiecent, that is
hotter = lower ohms. pdf page 146 left.
122f is about 155 ohms
176F = about 50 ohms
212f (boiling water) is 28 ohms and gauge shows HOT.

that is it for the 1 wire sensor.
stupidly they say to put sealing tap on threads,
dont, or you get an open ground. amazing...
tighten firmly or risk cracking the intake. its a tapered British thread.

now the rock. the right sensor for JUST the Guage , coolant.

a real FSM
and a real source of parts, 1 post.
all for free,

Aug 27, 2013 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

2 Answers

2000 temperature gauge stuck on hot

faulty sensor or a damaged wire to the sensor

Mar 23, 2012 | 2001 Honda Civic

2 Answers

The tempertature gauge does not work on my jeep what may be the problem?

Could be the coolant temp sensor:

4.0L engine shown

5.2L engine shown

To test it:

Perform this test on a cold or cool engine.
  1. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.
  2. Unplug the electrical wiring from the sending unit.
  3. Using an ohmmeter, measure the resistance between the terminal and the sending unit's metal body
    1. Infinite resistance or zero resistance: the sending unit is bad, replace the sender with a new one.
    2. Other than infinite or zero resistance: continue test.
  4. Remove the temperature sender from the engine.
  5. Position the sending unit so the metal shaft (opposite end from the electrical connectors) is in a pot of water. Make sure that the electrical connector is not submerged and only the tip of the sending unit's body is in the water.
  6. Heat the pot of water at a medium rate. While the water is warming, continue to measure the resistance of the terminal and the metal body of the sending unit:
    1. As the water warms up, the resistance goes down in a steady manner: the sending unit is good.
    2. As the water warms up, the resistance does not change or changes in erratic jumps: the sender is bad, replace it with a new one.
  7. Install the good or new sending unit into the engine, then connect the negative battery cable.
  1. With the engine cold, remove the ECT sensor.
  2. Immerse the tip of the sensor in container of water.
  3. Connect a digital ohmmeter to the two terminals of the sensor.
  4. Using a calibrated thermometer, compare the resistance of the sensor to the temperature of the water. Refer to the sensor resistance illustration.
  5. Repeat the test at two other temperature points, heating or cooling the water as necessary.
  6. If the sensor does not meet specification, it must be replaced.

Submerge the end of the temperature sensor in cold or hot water and check resistance

Temperature-to-resistance relationship of the ECT and MAT sensors

Apr 28, 2010 | 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

Temperature gauge

Find the temperture sensor on the engine and see if it is connected, if it is then test to see if its working properly if not then its probably defective and you have to replace it.

Apr 28, 2010 | 1998 Audi A4

1 Answer

I have a mustang gt 95 5.0 l the gauge of the temp. marks over heat but it's not over heat the engine i change the ECT but it still not working what can i do.

Hi - sad to hear your having trouble with your Mustan.

Let me try to put you in the right direction.
Sometimes the gauges become magnetized because of variations in the quality of that gauge or some other anomaly.
Try this.
Before you start the engine and while it is cold, pull the temperature wire loose at the sending unit on the engine. See if this drops the needle to zero degrees. If it does - you will notice that even when the car is operating temperature the needle will still read zero. If you are sure the car isn't over heating - drive the car like this for a few trips to the store or to work and home. If you're not 100% sure the car is running fine be sure to stop and check that no water is escaping from the engine water hoses.
Hook the wire back up and see if that doesn't demagnetize the unit. I would save my pennies and either replace the sending unit - gauge or both.

I hope this helps you get your car back to where you want it.

Please rate me high if my advice has helped you.


Mar 11, 2010 | 1995 Ford Mustang

1 Answer

Temperature gauge not working,stay cold

Hi. the vdc at the sensor seems to be fine. if the ground is sufficient, i would replace the gauge. its malfunctioning. Check for loose connection at gauge before replacing the gauge.

May 14, 2009 | 1997 Ford Contour

1 Answer

Gauge temperature

Your description of the problem is not very clear. It seems as if your temp gauge does not work, or does not indicate the correct temperature.
If you disconnect the wire from the sensor unit and put it to battery negative (ground), the gauge should move to the full hot position. If this does not happen the best chance is that the gauge does not work. If it does work, the sensor is faulty. In a very unlikely situation, the wire could be faulty..

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Emissions test fail mixture to rich

what i used to do is pour a small bottle of rubbing alcohol in the gas tank....this mixture burns very hot so it will clean everything out thus burning all the gas particles off......i used to do this in a 1988 mustang gt that ran real rich because of performance parts and i couldnt ever get it to pass the tests....also try o2 sensors as well as possibly map sensor if equipped...this could be the problem....
temp gauge not working? check wiring and also check tempature sending unit and block temperature sensor.

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