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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.
The coolant temperature sensor is most commonly located near the thermostat housing. It will have 2 wires connecting it. Don't confuse this sensor with the coolant temp sending unit that controls your gauge temp, which generally has 1 wire connecting to it. Removal and replacement of the coolant temp sensor is fairly simple and best of all, it's cheap. You'll pay maybe $15-$20 for it and I would HIGHLY recommend replacing it! It is arguably the most important sensor on your vehicle, as it tells the computer how rich/lean to run the engine based on its temperature. As it ages, the thermistor inside the sensor can tend to run out of calibration and may cause the computer to think the engine is much warmer or cooler than it really is. This can lead to hard starting, rough operation, overly rich/lean fuel mixture, etc.
I hope this helps! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in this matter. :)