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Temperature gauge indication suddenly bouncing around, i'm thinking bad sensor or wiring, where is the sensor? 1991 gmc rally 5.7 L

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Temp sensor is on intake manifold, check for lose or chaffed wire

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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Temperature and depth reading is bouncing around all over. Is that something I can fix???


Popular Mechanics - Jan 1961 - Page 139 - Google Books Result

https://books.google.com/books?id=XNsDAAAAMBAJ
Vol. 115, No. 1 - ‎Magazine
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What would cause temperature gauge bouncing ?


Sounds like the sending unit has an intermittent short to ground. Unhook the the wire from the sending unit, and see if the needle stops jumping around. If it quits jumping around, replace the sending unit. If it still jumps around, you have a bare spot somewhere on the wire and it is hitting ground which will cause the needle to jump. Cut out the bad part of the wire and splice in a new section. That should fix it.

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Trouble codes p0118 temperature po118


code p0118 refers to engine coolant temperature (ETC) sensor ---circuit malfunction===causes---coolant thermostat---wiring open circuit/short to positive---wiring short to ground---ground wire defective---ECT sensor.. The temp gauge works off a temperature sender unit separate to the coolant sensor and if it is reading 100 then it indicates an overheat situation in the engine . Probably why the engine light is coming on. As the thermostat is in the list of causes I would replace it as a precaution. The coolant sensor is what tells the CPU to turn on the electric fans to cool the radiator

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My water temp. gauge keeps bouncing around. I think it's the thermostat. Is it easy to replace, and where is it located? -ROB-


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Temperature gauge fluctuates


First of all you have a bad heater core that needs to be replaced. Second you may have a bad temperature sensor. Make sure the radiator if full of water

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Temp gauge bouncing up an down


That vehicle has two coolant temp sensors on it, both are on the passengers side of the end of the head, where the thermostat housing is. One has a two wire plug, this one tells your fans to come on the other is one single pin, this one is for your temp gauge. This sensor works off resistance, the higher the resistance the higher the gauge in the car goes. This sensor has probably grounded out and pegged your gauge in the car. Replace that sensor and you should be good to good, not too expensive either. Good luck.

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Heating System


The Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor is mounted in the intake manifold and sends engine temperature information to the ECM. The ECM supplies 5 volts to the coolant temperature sensor circuit. The sensor is a thermistor which changes internal resistance as temperature changes. When the sensor is cold (internal resistance high), the ECM monitors a high signal voltage which it interprets as a cold engine. As the sensor warms (internal resistance low), the ECM monitors a low signal voltage which it interprets as warm engine.
0900c1528008f125.jpgFig. 1: View of the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor 0900c1528008f126.jpgFig. 2: Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor locationTESTING
See Figures 3 and 4
  1. Remove the ECT sensor from the vehicle.
  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 engine coolant sensor temperature vs. 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.
0900c1528008f120.jpgFig. 3: Intake Air Temperature (IAT) and Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor wiring diagram 0900c1528008f095.jpgFig. 4: ECT sensor temperature vs. resistance values

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