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Ronnie
Ronnie, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Lincoln
Satisfied Customers: 33432
Experience:  35 years as an automotive tech
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Lincoln Town car: My engine temperature gauge isnt working

Customer Question

My engine temperature gauge isnt working on my 1989 lincoln town car and my engine and radiator and everything is burning hot after a drive. Gauge doesnt move up or down even though under the hood gets super hot. How can i fix it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lincoln
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Just Answer. I have noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here.
The problem you are describing with your temp gauge can be caused by any of the following,
Coolant Temperature Gauge
Coolant Temperature Gauge Sending Unit
Coolant Temperature Gauge Sending Unit Wiring
Printed Circuit
In order to determine which is failing you are going to need to do some testing, I have enclosed the steps in the link below, copy and paste the link to your browser to open and view them.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/104923897/Temp%20sender%20test%20Jun%2010.pdf
Run the test steps and post back if you need more help and or information.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know where the sending unit or any of the wireing is, can you provide some sort of a diagram to show me or tell me where these things are? Thank you
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
Yes the sending unit is located in the intake manifold on the top of the engine right next to the distributor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are some descriptions, Does it clip in or screw on? Color? Ect?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you have any diagrams? A lot of the time I see the car people helping post diagrams to show where parts are located
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
It has single wire connector on the top of it and it mounts right next to the distributor. It should look just like the one in the link below, copy and paste the link to your browser to open and view it.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/104923897/Sending%20unit%20Jun%2010.pdf
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I think I found it, I'll try and run some of those test and get back to you, not exactly sure how I would though. Does it just unscrew from the engine manifold and you screw in the replacement unit? Also if an engine is constantly really hot would that blow the sending unit and make it not work? I have a feeling that might be what happened because for some reason the engine is always hot after driving it and not exactly sure why, we replaced the radiator and thermostat and flushed the cooling system 4/5 times. The heat also recently went out a few months ago so something in the system is acting up
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
Yes if you are replacing it , it does unscrew from the manifold, you will loose a small amount of coolant when doing so. Normal a hot engine would not effect the sending unit as its designed to read temp. I would get the gauge working and make sure the cooling system is properly filled and recheck the temp from there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I replaced the sending unit and it's still not working so it is either the wire or the gauge. How would one go about replacing the wire since everything is all bundled and taped together? Also, right above the sending unit I noticed there was something else that looked like the sending unit, except a little bigger and it screws into the manifold and has a bigger electrical clip instead of a single wire. What is this and would it effect the gauge or the engine temperate at all?
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
You should have ran the test steps before replacing anything. Its not likely you would need to replace the wiring. Did you run the test steps I enclosed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't yet because I'm not entirely sure how to, the steps say ground the red/white wire how would we so this, would I use a multimeter or wire with alligator clamps? And how would we test for high resistance or an open circuit? Not entirely sure how to do that
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
All you need to do to ground it is place a short jumper in the connector and ground it on the engine at any good ground.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I did the first step and grounded the red wire and the gauge did not move at all. Can you help me with what's next by explaining how to test for the high resistance or open circuit between the instrument cluster and sending unit and what it means by checking at pins 8 and 12 at the printed circuit and where that is?
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
To test for resistance you need to remove the cluster and test the same red/white wire with an ohm meter, hook one lead to the wire at the temp sensor and the other end to the same wire at the cluster and measure the resistance, if there is none found then you most likely have a failed gauge.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by cluster? Is that just the bundle of wires all tapes together? And if so where is the plug in located? I tried tracing the wire back to the beginning but there's so much stuff and wires that merge into big bundles so I can't trace it all the way back
Expert:  Ronnie replied 1 year ago.
The cluster is the part that holds the gauge, Is also called the instrument cluster. The plug is on the back of it (cluster) and you will need to remove it for access.

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