How to Troubleshoot a '98 Accord Temperature Sensor


The 1998 Honda Accord was available in DX, EX and LX packages and was equipped with a 2.3-liter VTEC in-line four-cylinder engine in the base model. A 3.0-liter V-6 was also available as an option. The coolant temperature sensor sends a signal to the engine control computer to monitor that the car does not overheat. A bad coolant temperature sensor will give faulty readings, as well as not register a temperature at all on the temperature gauge inside the car.

Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter
  • Open the hood of the Accord and set the hood prop. Disconnect the coolant temperature sensor electrical connector, otherwise known as the ECT. The ECT is directly to the left of the throttle body when you are looking at the throttle body side of the V-6 engine The ECT is directly next to the ignition distributor on the front belt side of the four-cylinder engine.

  • Set your multimeter to the ohms setting at the 1,000-ohm range. Place the red probe on one of the ECT electrical prongs and the black probe on the second ECT electrical prong. The reading should be 5,000 ohms. Reinstall the ECT electrical connector onto the sensor.

  • Start the Accord and set the temperature control switches to full heat, full fan speed and the defrost setting. Allow the engine to run for at least 15 to 20 minutes, until it reaches its normal operating temperature. Shut the engine off.

  • Carefully remove the ECT electronic connector so that you do not burn your hand. Place the multimeter's red probe on one of the ECT electrical prongs and the black probe on the second prong. The reading should be between 100 and 400 ohms of resistance. If the primary resistance when the engine was cold was not near 5,000 ohms and the reading now is also off, the coolant temperature sensor is bad.

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