SBT Car News

Everything You Need to Know about Fuel Temperature Sensor

fuel temperature sensor

If you aren’t a car enthusiast or someone who knows the ins and outs of vehicles, there are great chances that you don’t know the role and purpose of a fuel temperature sensor. Regardless of its significance, people don’t know much about it.

A fuel temperature sensor is fitted in automobiles to control and regulate the amount of fuel required for consistent and efficient performance. It can handover data to the Engine Control Unit of the car. It aids in fine-tuning the amount of fuel inserted.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about fuel temperature sensors. We’ve also shared what happens when it stops working or goes wrong.

What Does a Fuel Temperature Sensor Do?

A fuel temperature sensor contributes to the overall safety of the engine. It allows adjusting the fuel-injected amount into the cylinder. It’s a substantial fragment of the vehicle’s fuel system that panels and observes the fuel compression. The sensor entails a thermistor with diverse opposition rendering to the fuel temperature. In the case of low fuel temperature, the resistance gets higher.

Do you know how important it is to manage and monitor the temperature of the fuel injection system? It has a drastic impact on the engine’s performance. The fuel temperature sensor informs the Engine Control Unit when it gets too hot. It means that more fuel is required for the engine. It will make the fuel thicker and confirm that it doesn’t burn speedily. Preferably, the fuel temperature should be lower than 40°C. It helps in upholding the engine’s thermal competence.

Additionally, when the fuel gets too cool, it becomes denser. Thus, the car engine requires less fuel as it burns slower. Overall, the fuel temperature sensor is advantageous in defining the quantity of fuel vital.

The fuel temperature is located in the fuel rail in the engine. It is right next to the air intake pipe next to throttle housing. You can check your car’s guide to find the exact location for more info. It might differ depending on the brand and make of the car.

The fuel temperature sensor is precisely designed to assess and evaluate the temperature of the vehicle’s fuel. Through this, it’s easier to optimize and manage the air-to-fuel mix ratio. A well-functioning fuel temperature sensor helps ensure the efficiency of the vehicle’s engine regardless of the outside temperature.

When the combustion process is carried out efficiently, it’s better for the environment. It means that fewer chemicals are discharged through the exhaust system. On the other hand, a poor fuel temperature sensor leads to stalling, decreased power, and fuel efficiency.

What Happens When the Fuel Temperature Sensor Stops Working?

It’s something you really wish to avoid not only because it affects the performance of your car but can also cost you a lot. A bad or nonfunctional fuel temperature sensor either stops sending signals or sends false signals to the system. As a result, it becomes problematic to cope and estimate the fuel and its timings.

Globally, the number of vehicles sold and purchased is constantly increasing. Thus, it has become necessary to ensure fuel consumption management according to the strict regulations to control the emissions.

Whenever you encounter any lousy fuel temperature sensor symptoms, it is best to take immediate proactive measures. You can visit a mechanic or head to the service center.

Before all this, you must know what causes the fuel temperature sensor to go wrong. Mostly, it’s because of the overexposure of the car to extreme temperatures. It is also due to the weather and corrosive fuel vapors. Moreover, at times, the overfilling of the fuel tank causes an overflow. As a result, it affects the engine and the sensor.

Here are some more causes of a problematic fuel temperature sensor:

  • A programming issue in the powertrain control module.
  • Unfortunate ambient temperature sensor.
  • Minor or major faults in the fuel temperature sensor
  • Open or damaged wiring or connectors.

If it continues this way, the car will start consuming more fuel than required. Here are some common symptoms of bad fuel temperature sensor:

1.    Poor Fuel Economy

It’s the most common symptom. Most importantly, a fuel temperature sensor helps ensure that the right amount and mixture of fuel is consumed. When there’s a higher fuel ratio, it is necessary to cool down the engine’s temperature. Thus, don’t miss the ECT reports.

In the case of a bad fuel temperature sensor, the reported temperature won’t be accurate. As a result, the automobile will consume more fuel than required. Thus, it will lead to poor fuel economy.

2.    Unbalanced Temperature Evaluations

It’s another indication of a bad fuel temperature sensor. Here you’ll notice more fluctuations than usual in the temperature readings. When driving, it might show higher or lower than it is. If this is the case, it’s best to visit a mechanic urgently.

3.    Black Smoke off the Exhaust

When the fuel temperature sensor is not working, it doesn’t calculate or regulate the fuel ratio. Thus, excess fuel is used and burnt in the combustion chamber. You can anticipate black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe at periods.

All this indicates the excess consumption of fuel. It burnt off. However, a little bit is harmless. But it’s better not to ignore it and pull over immediately.

4.    Overheating Engine

When the fuel temperature sensor is not working adequately, it usually gives cold signals. Thus, it messes up the system and gives wrong information. At times, your car will indicate overheating engine when it isn’t. Your dashboard will have the warning lights on. If you ignore this, your car’s performance will be affected.

Moreover, if the engine overheating is constant, you must immediately get it checked by a mechanic. A professional technician can help in avoiding any further damage. Ignoring this can cause expensive repairs in the future.

5.    Check Engine Light Turns On

A bad fuel temperature sensor also turns the check signal lights on. It’s on the dashboard. That’s because the car’s system senses misleading and wrong signals. In this case, it’s best to visit your mechanic straightaway.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that a fuel temperature sensor is an integral part of the vehicle. If it’s not working effectively, it doesn’t lead to a no-start condition. However, it affects the overall performance of the engine. Ignoring the signs and symptoms can result in severe damages that can be costly in the future.

The failure to maintain the temperature sensor’s efficiency can cost around $50 to $250. It’s because you’ll have to replace it. So, it’s better to keep checking and monitoring the sensor’s performance. If there is any trouble, take professional assistance.