The air conditioner is one of the most needed features of any car. It helps to keep you cool and provide comfort while driving.
Ford vehicles come with a temperature sensor used by the air conditioner to determine when the interior has reached a comfortable temperature. This sensor may need to be reset periodically or after an engine repair.
In this article, I provide you with an in-depth guide on how to reset the ambient temperature sensor for Ford vehicles. Also, I’ll answer some common questions you might have regarding the ambient temperature sensor.
Table of contents
- What does an ambient temp sensor do?
- Why is my car reading the wrong outside temperature?
- How to reset the ambient temperature sensor in Ford?
- What is the normal ambient temperature?
- Can you drive with a bad IAT sensor?
- How much does it cost to replace an ambient air temperature sensor in Ford?
- Final Words
What does an ambient temp sensor do?
The ambient temperature sensor is a critical component of your car’s climate control system. This sensor measures the vehicle’s outside air temperature, then it collects the information and sends it to the vehicle’s computer.
The computer constantly monitors the sensor data and automatically adjusts if needed to maintain cabin temperature, ensuring you always have a comfortable ride.
This means an ambient temp sensor helps regulate your car cooling and heating systems, including fan speed and direction, cabin air recirculation, engine idle speed and more.
Why is my car reading the wrong outside temperature?
Many factors manipulate the right outside temperature. Some of these include the time of day, sun position and even sometimes humidity levels in the air. Another possible reason behind this is: Your car isn’t perfectly calibrated to your current location.
Also, The outside temperature reading sensor is located typically up behind the bumper. This place is a little bit hotter because it is quite near the engine. So, You might find a slightly higher temperature reading compared to the actual result.
How to reset the ambient temperature sensor in Ford?
Here is a step by step guide on how you can reset your ford ambient temperature.
Automatic way to reset ambient temperature sensor
Step 1: First, In your vehicle, go to the driving mode and ensure that the climate button is on.
Step 2: Now, you need to click on the “A/C” and “Max A/C” buttons simultaneously for two seconds.
Step 3: Then, click on the A/C button for 3 seconds. It’ll start to recalibrate the computer module and successfully reset your car’s ambient temperature sensor.
Note: If you find any clicking sound when pressing the screen, you make a mistake. So, start the procedure again.
Manual way to reset ambient temperature sensor
Step 1: You need to turn off your car and remove the key from the ignition. Next, take a wrench and remove any power to your ford by disconnecting both battery cables and grounding for at least thirty seconds. It’ll protect your car from electrical damage during the sensor resetting process.
Step 2: Now, You need to find your ford car ambient temperature sensor. For this, Open up your car hood and locate the air conditioning compressor on top of the engine. You can find it by following the air conditioner lines behind the battery and radiator towards the front end of your car’s bumper.
In the compressor unit, You’ll find a small cap atop an electrical connection on the top side. The ambient temperature sensor is located here. Take a screwdriver or socket wrench to expose the sensor by removing this cover.
Step 3: Press down on a small locking tab that enters into the connector’s back end to disconnect the wiring harness from your ford temperature sensor. Now, Pull this wire away from its connection to disconnect it.
Then, You’ll expose another plug underneath it ( green arrow). Pull the second connector outward while pressing upon the release tab to disconnect it.
Step 4: Twist the temperature sensor’s dial to its maximum (clockwise) setting and release it back down in a small counter-clockwise motion until an audible “click” is heard under the dash of your Ford automobile.
Reconnect this ambient temperature wiring harness by pushing both connectors into place with firm pressure while twisting each connector to the left to lock it back into place.
Step 5: Replace your ambient temperature sensor’s cover by inserting its mounting studs into their proper holes and then tightening down the locking ring that keeps everything in place.
You need to start up your vehicle after this procedure is complete to allow for proper air conditioning functionality before leaving an open parking lot or other dangerous areas where a breakdown could occur.
What is the normal ambient temperature?
There is a misconception among people that the normal ambient temperature for an automobile is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn’t true. It typically applies to colder climates and would not be considered ideal in warmer areas of the country.
The optimal temperature range is between 68 and 72 degrees, which is the Goldilocks zone, where it’s just right.
Can you drive with a bad IAT sensor?
If you find that your engine gets hotter than normal or it takes a longer time to cool down again, this could be a sign of a bad IAT sensor. A bad IAT sensor can run the risk of overheating or not reading accurately.
You can drive your car with a bad IAT sensor. But, It isn’t recommended to drive with a bad IAT sensor because it can cause serious engine damage and other components in the vehicle. That means it leads to costly repairs.
How much does it cost to replace an ambient air temperature sensor in Ford?
The cost to replace an ambient air temperature sensor in Ford varies depending on which model and year of your vehicle. For example, If you want to replace the 2002 Escape model sensor, then it’ll cost around $107. But, The cost will jump to $202 for a 2010 fusion. Also, You need to pay an extra $68-$80 for the labour charge.
If you’re experiencing any issue regarding your ambient temperature sensor, resetting it can help you solve the problem. So, This article has provided you with a step-by-step guide on how to reset your ford ambient temperature sensor and answered some common questions you have.
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Thomas is a retired Motor Mechanic, a Father and a Grandfather. He writes from his 20+ years in the automotive industry to help you find and solve anything related to Car repairs, Maintenance and Care.