An air cleaner temperature sensor is not overly common on newer vehicles. This is because in order to ensure that your car engine operates the way it should, several electronic sensors may actually be needed. However, if you drive an older model car, your vehicle almost certainly has an air cleaner temperature sensor. It is located inside the breather housing, and operates mainly as a vacuum sensor, although it does also contain some electronic components.
The air cleaner temperature sensor has only one function – it delivers information to your car’s computer so that it can ensure that the air/fuel mix is right, regardless of the speed at which you are traveling. This means that as soon as you start up your car, the air cleaner temperature sensor begins to work.
The air cleaner temperature sensor is not a part that is replaced after a certain number of miles, or after so many years. It has no specific lifespan, and could last the life of your vehicle. However, as is the case with all parts that contain electronic components, the air cleaner temperature sensor can be vulnerable to corrosion, and it can also be damaged easily because of its location inside the breather housing – just changing an air filter places the sensor at risk of impact.
Signs that your air cleaner temperature sensor needs to be replaced include:
- Check Engine Light is on
- Car idles rough or stalls when cold
You can still drive if your air cleaner temperature sensor is failing, but performance will suffer. If you think that it needs to be replaced, consult a qualified mechanic. A mechanic can find out why your vehicle is idling rough or stalling, and if necessary, replace the air cleaner temperature sensor.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Air Cleaner Temperature Sensor Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.