How To Reset Ambient Temperature Sensor in 8 Simple Steps

Learning how to reset ambient temperature sensor can help you to accurately observe the car’s computer readings about the temperature of the outside air. Inaccurate temperature gauge readings, inconsistent cooling, and other problems might result from a damaged sensor.

Reset Ambient Temperature Sensor

It could be time to reset the ambient air temperature sensor in your automobile if you think it’s broken. We’ll walk you through the process of resetting your ambient temperature sensor in this step-by-step guide.

How Can You Reset a Car’s Ambient Temperature Sensor?

To reset a car’s ambient temperature sensor, you can recognize bad sensor symptoms, locate the ambient temperature sensor, detach the battery, remove the sensor, reset the sensor, test the sensor using a digital multimeter, replace the sensor if necessary, and finally test drive the car.

1. Recognize Bad Sensor Symptoms

To identify the problem and correctly reset the sensor, you must be aware of the signs of an ambient air temperature sensor that isn’t working. One of the most prevalent indications of a defective sensor is inaccurate temperature readings. The temperature gauge in your automobile could give false car readings that don’t correspond to the actual outside temperature.

If you observe that the temperature gauge’s readings are inconsistent or off, it may be because the ambient temperature sensor is malfunctioning. A faulty sensor may also exhibit uneven cooling. A broken ambient temperature sensor may be the cause of inconsistent or nonexistent cooling from your car’s air conditioning system.

The sensor aids the car’s computer in adjusting the operation of the air conditioning system to maintain the appropriate interior temperature. The system may operate improperly due to a broken sensor, resulting in irregular cooling. Another sign of a defective ambient temperature sensor is a broken control panel.

The car’s computer receives data from the ambient air temperature sensor, and the computer then displays the temperature measurements on the control panel. The control panel’s display of the temperature may be inaccurate or absent altogether if the ambient temperature sensor is malfunctioning.

2. Locate the Ambient Temperature Sensor

Depending on the make and model of the automobile, the ambient temperature sensor located may be in a different place. The sensor is often found at the front of the vehicle, either behind the grille or bumper cover. The sensor can be found in the side mirrors of some automobile models, but it can also be found in the housing of the rearview mirror.

Consult your owner’s handbook or look up the sensor’s precise placement online for your car’s make and model. Try looking for the sensor’s connecting wires if you’re having trouble finding it. The engine compartment or close to the front bumper may reveal the cables. The sensor may occasionally be fixed to a bracket that is fastened to the vehicle’s frame.

Locating Sensor on Car

In this instance, the sensor will be put on the bracket, which may be seen. The sensor can be fastened to a delicate plastic mounting bracket, so take care when removing it. The presence of two ambient temperature sensors, one in the front and one in the back of select Ford models, should be noted.

The temperature measurement on the control panel is provided by the front sensor, and the performance of the air conditioning system is adjusted by the car’s computer using information from the rear sensor.

3. Detach the Battery

The position of the battery may vary based on the make and model of the automobile, although it is normally found in the engine compartment. Locate the battery first by opening the hood of the automobile. It typically has two terminals, one positive and one negative, and is rectangular.

Determine the negative terminal, which is often colored black or indicated with a minus (-) symbol. Use a wrench or socket set to remove the battery by loosening the nut on the negative terminal. When the nut is sufficiently loose to be removed by hand, turn it counterclockwise. Lift the negative cable away from the car’s battery terminal slowly once the nut has been removed.

It is crucial to remember that disconnecting the battery will reset the car’s computer and could also affect the radio, the clock, and other settings. Therefore, before removing the battery, be careful to make a note of any important settings so you can input them again later.

4. Remove the Sensor

Be careful not to damage the plastic bracket while removing the sensor because it could be attached to one. Finding the sensor’s wire harness should be your first step. Typically, the wiring harness consists of several cables that attach to the sensor’s back. To free the wire harness connector, lightly push the release clip.

Removing Car Sensor

The connector should then be pulled away from the sensor to be removed. Determine the clip or mounting bracket that keeps the sensor in place next. To reach the sensor, it might be required to remove additional components like the grille or bumper cover. Use a screwdriver or wrench to remove any nuts or clips holding the sensor in place once it is exposed.

When removing the sensor, take care not to harm the bracket or any other components. If the sensor is attached to a plastic bracket, you can release it by gently moving the sensor back and forth. After that, pull the sensor from the bracket.

You may need to use pliers to remove the sensor if it is firmly fastened to the car’s structure. Keep in mind to store the sensor and any mounting accessories in a secure location. This will make it simpler to subsequently reinstall the sensor or, if required, replace it.

5. Reset the Sensor

Find the reset button on the sensor, then press it. The sensors back often have a tiny, recessed button that serves as this button. Press and hold the reset button for up to 5 to 10 seconds using a tiny instrument, such as a paper clip. The sensor’s default settings will be restored as a result. You might need to use a scan tool to reset your sensor if it lacks a reset button.

An instrument called a scan tool is used to read and remove erroneous codes from a car’s computer system. The OBD-II ports on the vehicle, which are normally found beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side, should be connected to the scan tool.

To reset the ambient temperature sensor, follow the instructions according to the guidelines provided by your particular scan instrument. Reconnect the wire harness and any removed mounting hardware after the sensor has been reset. Verify the sensor’s tight and secure mounting as well as the tightness and security of all wire connections.

6. Test the Sensor Using a Digital Multimeter

It is crucial to verify the bad ambient temperature sensor after resetting it to make sure it is operating properly. A digital multimeter, a device that measures electrical current, voltage, and resistance, can be used for this. Start by removing the sensor’s wiring harness before testing the Ford ambient temperature sensor.

Using a Digital Multimeter

Switch to the resistance mode on your multimeter, which is typically indicated by the symbol. Connect the probes of the multimeter to the two sensor connections. The resistance reading on the multimeter has to line up with the resistance value listed in the service handbook for your automobile.

The sensor might need to be changed if the resistance reading does not match the desired value. After that, reattach the sensor’s wire harness and start the car’s engine. Measure the voltage output of the sensor with your multimeter once the engine has warmed up to operating temperature.

To achieve this, connect the probes of your multimeter to the two sensor terminals when it is in the DC voltage mode. As the engine temperature rises, the voltage value on the multimeter should climb. The sensor might need to be changed if the voltage reading does not rise or is inconsistent. Visually examining the sensor for any physical damage is also a good idea.

7. Replace the Sensor (If Necessary)

During testing, if the ambient temp sensor is discovered to be broken or defective, it must be replaced. The old sensor must be taken out and a new one put in at this phase. Start by carefully removing the wiring harness from the old sensor before replacing it. The mounting screws holding the sensor in place may be taken out with a socket wrench.

The old sensor should be removed from its mounting place gently. After that, carefully clean the mounting place to get rid of any dirt or debris. You can install it by lining up the new sensor with the mounting point and screwing it into place. To prevent harming the sensor or the place where it is mounted, make sure to tighten the screws firmly but not too tightly.

Reconnect the wiring harness to the sensor after installing the new sensor. Check the temperature readings on the control panel or gauge cluster after starting the car to ensure the new sensor is operating correctly.

8. Test Drive the Car

Test driving the vehicle is crucial to make that the normal ambient temperature sensor is working properly once it has been reset or replaced. You may check the accuracy and consistency of the temperature readings on the control panel or gauge cluster by taking the vehicle for a test drive.

Test Driving a Car

Watch the temperature readings on the instrument panel or gauge cluster throughout the test drive. The sensor is operating properly if the results match the real ambient temperature outdoors. If the measurements continue to be irregular or inconsistent, there can be other cooling system problems that need to be identified and fixed.

During the test drive, pay attention to the operation of the cooling system in addition to the temperature readings. The air coming from the vents should be chilly and in line with the temperature setting on the control panel if the cooling system of the automobile is functioning properly.

Can Resetting the Ambient Temperature Sensor Fix Bubbles in the Coolant Reservoir?

Can resetting the ambient temperature sensor fix bubbles in the coolant reservoir? While it’s possible for resetting the ambient temperature sensor to help with certain coolant system issues, it may not be a guaranteed coolant reservoir bubble fix. It’s recommended to consult a professional mechanic to accurately diagnose and address the root cause of the problem.


This article on how to reset ambient temperature sensor has shown you how to reset the sensor and make sure it is operating properly.

In summary, we’ve explored several important points, including:

  • Recognizing the signs of a faulty sensor, such as unusual temperature readings or warning lights, is crucial before the sensor is reset or replaced.
  • The ambient temperature sensor is often found behind the grille or bumper, close to the front of the automobile.
  • You must unplug the battery and take the sensor out of its housing in order to reset or replace it.
  • It is essential to test drive the vehicle once the sensor has been reset or replaced to make sure it is working properly.

Conclusively, a broken ambient temperature sensor can lead to a variety of issues with your automobile. But you can get reliable cooling and precise temperature gauge readings if your ambient temperature sensor is working properly.

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