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Temperature Gauge Not Working! Heelp

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by JayTye4k, February 27, 2006.

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    1. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      Hello, I have a 1995 Explorer. The temperature gauge recently stopped working all together and the "check gauge" light remains lit at all times. Today I replaced the sensor to no avail. Could the thermostat itself be bad? I replaced the thermostat a little over a year ago so I'm scratching my head as to why this happened. Is it true that not having the proper coolant/water mixture could cause this as well?

      Thanks in advance for any and all help.

      Jay
       
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    3. marragtop

      marragtop Well-Known Member

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      Take the wire going to the sensor and ground it on the engine. With the key on, it should peg the gauge all the way. If it doesn't, you either have a problem with the gauge or the wiring. If it does peg the guage, then the problem is either the sending unit, or the engine is just not getting hot(possible stuck tstat). Are the hoses warm after you run it for awhile?
       
    4. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      The engine warms up like normal, the heat works fine, etc..The gauge just doesn't budge. The gauge stays alllllll the way at the bottom as if the power is completely off...Before I noticed it would intermittantly start and stop working but now it does nothing....What is the "sending unit"? And what could be wrong with the gauge itself.
       
    5. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      What a waste of time!!!! Someone please help!!

      Okay, so tonight I bought a new thermostat and a new sensor. Spent 2 hours installing them and what do I get?? NOTHING!! :fire: :fire: :fire:
      My Gauge is still not moving...The "CHECK GAUGE" light is still blinking on and off intermittantly and my head is about to explode. Could the gauge itself be bad?? I would hate to take the dash apart replace the gauge only to have the same thing happen tonight....I'm really at a loss here guys. Any help is appreciated.
       
    6. marragtop

      marragtop Well-Known Member

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      By 'sensor', I assume you mean the sending unit. Take that wire and ground it with the key in the ON position. The temp gauge should peg to Hot. If so, the gauge is fine.
       
    7. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      If by grounding the wire, you mean actually taking the connecting end off the sensor itself and putting it up against the engine block, then yes I have tried that and the gauge does nothing. Does this mean that is undoubtedly a bad gauge?
       
    8. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      As marragtop indicates, the test should give you a response on your meter/gauge. If it doesn't then it is possible that the gauge is broken but more likely that the pin and/or connector feeding the gauge has a problem at the dash. How's your oil pressure gauge in terms of response? It uses a similar circuit but not the same circuit.
       
    9. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      Thanks budwhich, all of the other gauges are fine. You mention that it is likely a bad pin and/or connector. Could you elaborate on that a little? Is it hard to fix? What is the location? Where do I find the part? How much is it, etc.. I have personally replaced bulbs from behind the dash in the past so I am familiar with removing the cluster.
       
    10. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      I am only going by the schematic. I personally haven't gone into the instrument panel so I am not sure what to expect other than "normal" connectors. However, since your meter didn't move, it is also possible that it could be bad. Either way (ie. connector or meter), you have to go into the instrument panel to get at things. Maybe someone else will have add more info (I have only own my ex for less than a year but have fix a number of issues to date with help from here and the "truck CD").
       
    11. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      Last oil change, the service guy told me that I would need a radiator flush at some point because he claimed to have seen some rust in it. Could this cause my gauge to fail??
       
    12. lekmedm

      lekmedm New Member

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      I was just wondering about something. I have another Ford car that actually has a separate temp sensor and sending unit. The sensor sends temp info to the ECU. The sending unit runs the guage.

      What is it like in the Explorer? Is there one sensor/sending unit that singals both computer and guage, or are there 2 separate ones like I mentioned earlier? If there are 2, maybe JayTye4k replaced the wrong unit.

      It's just a thought.
       
    13. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      Having "bad" coolant ain't going to cause your gauge to not read (especially when you shorted the line coming from the sensor). Your best bet is to go into the dash and get access to the instrument panel. You will need an ohm meter. Short the sensor lead at the sensor and see if your ohm meter sees the short at the connector. If it does, then the problem is from the connector to your gauge. If it doesn't then you have a wire harness problem going to your sensor. In terms of "multiple components / sensors / senders", I don't believe Ford does this ... at least from my 96 diagrams. They do appear to make use of "slosh module" that supposed to stop / slow fluctations in certain gauges.
       
    14. speedyguy

      speedyguy New Member

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      I have the same problem with our 4.0 limited and the computer indicator screen that tells me about the bad oil and mileage is fine and reads the car temp as it is but my gauge plays in the medium high and red hot zone. Either way I had a tech crawl all over the car (yes I trust this guy) and he has not found any indicator it is a sensor but told me the price to change it is worth being sure that is not a problem.

      I have ripped apart alot of dashes and will gladly dig in. unfortunately it will have to wait since I have a transmission shift kit to install and an idle problem to fix first.

      Anyone else has any luck I would love the input.
       
    15. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      The message center reads from the same sensor as the dash gauge. If the message center is ok then it is likely a problem at your dash gauge. If it is reading high, which corresponds to low resistance, then you have a short or close to it some where at your gauge. You probably need to take a few resistance readings to determine where the problem might be.
       
    16. JayTye4k

      JayTye4k Member

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      Update

      So I'm driving to work this morning and BAM...my gauge starts working again normally after not even budging for 6 days or longer...What in th hell is going on here? The weather was a littler colder out last night than it has been lately but surely that couldn't have caused it to start working again. Does this mean that the gauge ISN'T bad after all???
       
    17. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      more likely a loose connection / cracked track at your instrument panel.
       
    18. ma96782

      ma96782 Well-Known Member

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      Check/clean the wires and connectors (metal plugs) from the sender all the way back to the gauge.

      I've heard of bad connectors (loose or corroded wires at the connectors) causing problems like yours.

      Aloha, Mark
       

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