water temp gauge - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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#1 Old 08-13-2007, 09:11 PM
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Unhappy water temp gauge

ok let me start off by saying, this car is about on my last nerve lol. and with that being said here we go.
ill be going down the road and the gauge will just drop to cold and then it will spike back up to normal but it never once went above normal, what's causing this, im fine on water, coolant. i just had my radiator replaced (it blew up) but they didnt change the thermostat. so im thinking its the thermostat.
but heres the killer part, its been about 195 in alabama. and when it cools back down to about 80 or 90 (at about 8 or 9) it doesnt do it as much so, it has to be the thermostat right?

i paint "fancy" valve cover's pm me for detail's
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#2 Old 08-13-2007, 10:12 PM
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i would assume thermostat.. but im not 100 percent sure.. they are cheap and fairly easy to change

1995 Nissan Altima GXE
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#3 Old 08-13-2007, 11:17 PM
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If it's an immediate change, then my guess is that the wire on the Temp gauge sensor is loose. The engine block cannot suddenly change temperatures at the range your describing.

1995 Altima GXE (sold)
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Yamaha YZF600R

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#4 Old 08-14-2007, 03:40 AM
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IT IS A KNOWN DEFECT! But Nissan won't pay for it. lol. all you have to do is replace the sensor. I'll give you a picture of it.
http://www.autozone.com/images/produ...2su4072003.jpg
or
http://www.autozone.com/images/produ...l2tu222003.jpg

At autozone, it is part SU4072 called Coolant Temperature Sensor or the Temperature switch. WAIT UNTIL ENGINE IS COOL!!!!! then change it out. It is located on the top of your engine coming from your radiator near your alternator. it really is a 2 minute job. It will be a different socket size than what is in your car already. so don't freak out when you get it and try to put it on and it is a different mm size to tighten it up.
It VERY WELL MIGHT BE ON VERY TIGHT!! just to let you know. mine was a beep to get off.

Professionally, everyone should change this out if they havent' done so already.

EDIT!!--
okay, after looking at the picture of it and checking out my engine I think the name might be the Temperature Switch.
here is a picture of it on the top of my car. trust me, turn on your car unplug it and watch your temp thing drop to zero. once you replace it... it won't ever do it again.

I took a picture of it using my cell phone here it is.
http://a97.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/...d24eff1128.jpg

Last edited by runcoolisback; 08-14-2007 at 04:11 AM.
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#5 Old 08-14-2007, 05:45 PM
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ok thank you so much thats what i thought it was and as a matter of fact when i brought the car home from my mechanic after having the radiator replaced it started running how so i acutally bought a thermostat (it turned out to be the be MASSIVE hole i had in my resevoir tank) but ill put that in tommorrow when i get home (work nights)
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#6 Old 08-14-2007, 08:44 PM
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The ECTS is not the one that the gauge uses; that sensor is used by the ECM. You want the Thermal Transmitter.

The bottom arrow. If you want the thread I pulled this from http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/gen...5-minutes.html Ignore the BS, you'll find some good info.


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2002 Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Yamaha YZF600R


Last edited by bkal; 08-14-2007 at 08:52 PM.
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#7 Old 08-14-2007, 08:52 PM
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Well, I hope you get the right one. The one that is screwed into the metal peice before it reaches the engine.

First BS in Computer Science, second as an Electronic Engineer.
2001 Altima GXE
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#8 Old 08-15-2007, 10:05 AM
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I just had this same issue, but mine was caused by a hole in my radiator. I assume the pressure loss was causing the gauge fluctuation. It was exactly as you describe it. Did this issue start when you had your radiator replaced? By the way, you run higher pressures when it's hotter outside.

2000 Altima SE
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#9 Old 08-15-2007, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkal View Post
That sensor is in the water pipe that the upper radiator hose attaches to on my 2000 SE.

Edit - Nevermind: I just read the whole thread. I'm an idiot, so don't pay attention to me.

2000 Altima SE
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#10 Old 08-15-2007, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknbluealtima View Post
ok let me start off by saying, this car is about on my last nerve lol. and with that being said here we go.
ill be going down the road and the gauge will just drop to cold and then it will spike back up to normal but it never once went above normal...
Why it goes cold, that's the sensor or connection/ground. But, Stock OEM gauge is I believe electrically dampened in the first gen at least. It gets to normal, then just sits there even as the engine is obviously getting hotter. Until it gets above some threshold the gauge then starts to move.

This may a consequence more of the sensor than the gauge itself, but I just remember filing the OEM coolant temp gauge under "JOKE" years ago when I read how it was intended to work (poorly).

Since 2003 and before, peace and good luck - I'm outta here!
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#11 Old 08-17-2007, 04:35 PM
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see thats what i thought as well...i know my car is hotter than what it read's sometimes because like i said its 100 degree's in the shade right now and im not the "slowest" driver if you would. but yah i just dont want to over heat the engine b/c a sensor is out
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#12 Old 08-17-2007, 04:42 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to change the thermostat either. This was happening on a previous Altima I had and I found out too late that it was a bad thermostat. My egine siezed and I was stuck on the side of the road.
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#13 Old 08-17-2007, 05:05 PM
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If you do want to check the sensor it's a resistance based sensor. Take a meter and put the positive on the sensor, negative to body ground. At 140 deg, close to normal operating temp should measure 70-90 ohms. When the engine is very hot (100 deg C/212 F) it drops to 21-24 ohms.

If it's not in these ranges then replace it.

+1 on the thermostat; it works fine for years, but if it starts sticking or fails the consequences are rude. Cheap insurance IMHO.

If you want to check the meter it can be done, you'll need the FSM wiring layout, but the check is kind of stupid - basically you're shorting across the fuel gauge to apply voltage for <10 seconds and all it tells you is the wand should move to full scale - not very helpful, just tells you the gauge is OK and go look elsewhere for the problem.

Also I think I was wrong about electrical damping at least on the 1995, the circuit diagram shows no components other than the thermal transmitter itself. It looks more like the range is very wide at "normal" operating temperature and then it won't move higher 1:1 until the engine gets very hot (near overheating). It's not a linear display, and the circuit is very basic.
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#14 Old 08-17-2007, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknbluealtima View Post
see thats what i thought as well...i know my car is hotter than what it read's sometimes because like i said its 100 degree's in the shade right now and im not the "slowest" driver if you would. but yah i just dont want to over heat the engine b/c a sensor is out
That shoudn't be a problem - if the sensor is out you'll get nothing (disconnected) and if it's working the temp reading will jump rapidly.

Either way it's a really poor way to measure the temp, on my to-do list to replace, along adding a real Oil Pressure gauge and a few others that actually measure the temperature instead of telling you it's "normal" or not.

If you're getting jumpy needle I suspect connector problem or ground issues somewhere vs. bad gauge or bad sensor - check for continuity first. Both are very basic and the sensor is essentially a hunk of metal projecting into the coolant stream that varies the voltage gauge sees due to changing its resistance properties with rise in temp.

Since 2003 and before, peace and good luck - I'm outta here!
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#15 Old 08-17-2007, 09:46 PM
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ok ill check that out thank you
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