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Hi Janice , Before I say where the coolant temp. sensor is I'd just like to make you aware of a couple of thing's before you replace this sensor needlessly .It's one thing if you have a DTC diagnostic trouble code for the sensor but another if your temp. gauge isn't work ! You see the coolant temp. sensor is an input to the engine computer , not directly to the temp. gauge.
The instrument panel cluster (IPC) displays the engine coolant temperature as determined by the engine control module (ECM). The IPC receives a serial data message from the ECM indicating the engine coolant temperature. The engine coolant temperature gage defaults to 100°F (40°C) or below if:
The ECM detects a malfunction in the engine coolant temperature sensor circuit.
The IPC detects a loss of serial data communications with the ECM.
... A faulty coolant sensor that always reads cold may cause the fuel control system to run rich, it may be sending the wrong info to the computer and the guage. make sure there is no air in the coolant system, and it is full. see if coolant resorvoir is full when hot. if all is ok, change coolant sensor. good-day!
coolant temp sensors are usually located on the outlet or inlet of the cooling system...look for your upper radiator hose and follow it to the engine you should see a sensor mounted into the alumnum or steel housing...
keep in mind you also have a temp sensor for the gauge in the dash, that one is usually located on the head but that only controls the gauge not the fans...
Because you have done so many repairs already I would most likely say that the gauge is defective. I would use a manual temp probe and probe the coolant temp after the car has reached operating temp. Coolant will be between 180- 230 degrees. If coolant temp checks out and you can see coolant moving in radiator and the vehicle does not overheat then you will need either a gauge or a coolant sensor. To locate the sensor it should either be mounted in the thermostat goose neck housing or the intake manifold.
The temp gauge on the dash displays the information transmitted by the coolant temperature sensor. This sensor is located - on the engine - by the water neck. The water neck is where the top radiator hose comes across and connects to the radiator. This sensor can look like the one here:
THE 4.9L ENGINES COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR IS ON THE THERMOSTAT HOUSING. WHICH IS LOCATED BEHIND THE DISTRIBUTOR. THE 4.6L ENGINES COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR IS LOCATED ON THE BACK SIDE ENGINE THE SIDE FACING TOWARD THE FIREWALL BELOW THE EGR VALVE.