Sensors and Electrical

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Sensors and Electrical

In your Duramax cooling system, there are many different components and electrical sensors that can go out. Sensors such as the coolant temperature sensor and coolant level sensors are important in making sure you know when your Duramax is low on coolant or running too hot. When these sensors go bad, it can result in overheating or underheating issues which could turn into more catastrophic damages. Merchant Automotive is going to carry all of the Duramax cooling system sensors you need to ensure your truck is running at its best at all times.

A coolant sensor is a thermistor sensor that tells the truck’s computer what temperature your coolant is at to adjust parameters accordingly. It helps to identify when your truck’s coolant is too hot or too cold and when your coolant is low. This gives you real time data on how your engine is running and can alert you of any problems so that you can properly diagnose the issue at hand.

How Do I Know If My Coolant Temp Sensor Is Bad?

When your Duramax coolant temperature sensor goes bad, there are a few tell tell signs you should be aware of. Let's take a look at a few of the symptoms of a bad coolant temperature sensor.

Fuel Economy Decreases - When a temperature sensor fails, it can send a false reading to your computer which can throw off the fuel and timing calculations. Many times, a failed coolant sensor will send a cold signal to the computer, making the car run richer, thinking it needs to heat up the engine.

Black Smoke From Exhaust - In the case of the above where the engine is getting a false cold signal, the result of running rich is usually black smoke coming from the exhaust. This is due to more fuel than air being sent into the combustion chamber, causing the fuel to be burned up in the exhaust, causing black smoke.

Engine Is Overheating - If your coolant sensor fails and sends a hot signal to the engine, your computer may falsely hold back fuel for combustion, causing a lean condition. This can cause your engine to overheat as well as misfire and engine pinging. Engine overheating should be remedied as soon as possible as it can cause catastrophic engine failure fairly quickly.

Check Engine Light Illuminates - As with any component failure, an easy sign of a faulty coolant sensor is a check engine light or low coolant sensor light. These lights are designed to alert you when there is a problem with the sensor or that you have low coolant levels, both of which should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid larger problems with your engine.

How Often Do Coolant Temp Sensors Go Bad?

Typically, engine coolant temperature sensors will last until about 100,000 miles before you should replace them for preventative maintenance. Depending on how well you kept up with your cooling system, this time period may decrease or increase, but the 100,000 mile mark is when most OEM sensors should be replaced. If you have not taken care of your cooling system, you may see sensor failure before 100,000 miles.

Can You Drive With A Bad Coolant Sensor?

While it is physically possible to drive with a bad coolant sensor to get your vehicle to the shop, it is not recommended for long drives or extended periods of time. Your Duramax’s engine management system will default to a static reading in the event of sensor failure, but you can damage your engine quickly if not repaired in a timely manner.