1988 Toyota Camry coolant gauge shows dead cold intermitten

Tiny
BLALEW
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 295,000 MILES
Occasionally (and now more & more often) my coolant temp gauge will stay at dead cold. It doesn't seem to matter about whether it's been running for a while or not. I checked the 'neck' by the thermostat & things appear to be fine w/r to the sender.

Could it be something in the instrument panel?
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 8:53 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check and test the coolant temperature sensor and the engine temperature gauge switch
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 11:35 AM
Tiny
BLALEW
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Thank you for your response. Where would I find these items on the 4cyl 2.0L? Any links you can point me to?

Edit: ha, it's a 2.0L, not 2.2L
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 11:57 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Disregard the gauge switch and find the CTS at rear of engine see below


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_cts_33.jpg

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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 12:02 PM
Tiny
BLALEW
  • MEMBER
Wow, awesome, looks like a $18 part at AutoZone. How can I test it to see if it has really failed? Do you have a spec for resistance cold vs. Hot?

Thanks so much
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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See below


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_CTS_values_8.jpg

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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 1:48 PM
Tiny
BLALEW
  • MEMBER
OK, that's interesting. The resistance is 320 ohms after it's sat for about 30/40 mins, so it appears to be good. I put it on/took it off a few times & cleaned the contacts to make sure, but still nothing on the gauge.

It looked to have been replaced relatively recently, if it's the sensor that is pointing up, not towards the front of the car.

What's the next part I need to look at?
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 2:34 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Do a continuity check on the wire if good replace the temperature gauge
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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
BLALEW
  • MEMBER
OK I don't know if I can do a continuity check on the wiring. If I'm looking at the correct sensor (on the thermostat neck, pointing up not the one toward the front of the car) it has a green and brown wire.

The back of the instrument panel has 3 wires running to the gauge. A positive, and two contacts numbered 4 & 5 on the harness disconnect. One wire is green/yellow one is brown (slightly larger gauge). I assume the brown is the ground, there is continuity between it & nuts behind the dash. However, the green/yel wire does not have continuity to the green wire on the CTS.

Looking in my chilton manual it appears that the green & brown wires from the sensor run to the computer, not the instrument panel.

When I plugged the sensor in after starting the car & having it run for a few minutes, the RPM changed so it makes me skeptical that the sensor or wiring is the problem.

Is there a way I can check the gauge itself? Or what should I do now?
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 4:08 PM

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