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NicksSticks, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1415
Experience:  Ford Senior Master, Including Ford Diesel Master
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Ford Taurus SEL I am getting an EATC code of 030 and 051.

Customer Question

EATC diagnostics reveal that my solar radition sensor's circuit is open and that my in-vehicle temperature sensor's circuit is short to ground. What does that mean? Will replacing the sensors fix my climate control and automatic lights? Please provide as much detail as possible -- I want to buy the parts from my ford dealership and do the work myself -- I need a quick turnaround on this and as low a price tag as possible.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 5 years ago.

Great question, if parking lamps come on and off with placing paper over the sensor on the dash, seems like the smart junction box has failed, but please do not ignore all wiring, along with GEM module. Chances are the smart junction box is at fault, but Gem is completly possible. Not so easy to help diagnose due to electronics and trouble codes availible by dealer only scanner so I can not gaurentee junction box is bad (fuse box under dash).

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I tried shining a flashlight into the sensor at night to see what the lights did. They stayed on. That's the smaller part of my question anyway. I don't care about the lights, I care about my climate control -- or lack there of. I get cold air on everything except 90 degrees which is why I ran EATC. It says my in-vehicle temperatur sensor is short to ground. What does that mean? Will replacing the sensor fix that? How do I replace it?

Expert:  NicksSticks replied 5 years ago.
Hi, will opt out to see if another expert has diagrams in placement and step by directions on replacing the part. My recollection only points to the EATC head being at fault, and that is expensive, and likely at fault. Opting out so please do not reply until another expert other than Nickssticks replys, thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK so I did A LOT of digging and here is what I have come up with and am trying. So on many models of the Ford Taurus the Sun Load Sensor or Climate Control Sun Sensor is responsible for both interior temperature readings AND automatic light control. Additionally, on other vehicles, according to a mechanic from a local Ford dealership, the Ambient Temperature Sensor handles both internal and external temperatures. In the end the EATC computer does the math to figure out what temperature air needs to come out of the vents so that when it mixes with fresh air from outside will make the cabin temperature the temp designated. After that it monitors internal temperatures to figure out what compensation is needed due to body heat, solar radiation etc.

However, on the 2001 Ford Taurus SEL there are three sensors playing together in EATC. My ambient temperature sensor, which is responsible ONLY for external temperature readings my SunLoad sensor or Climate Control Sun Sensor, which is only responsible for automatic lights and my temperature control sensor which monitors cabin temperature.

The EATC code 030 indicates my temperature control sensor has a constant short which is why I only get max heat or max A/C. Code 051 indicates that my sunload sensor's circuit is open and thusly needs to be replaced.

My Ford Dealership was going to charge me $230 + the part to change the ambient temperature sensor -- rip off. The sensor itself is $20 they wanted $54 and it would have been wrong.

Finally, the how to. The sun load sensor is located in the defroster on the dash -- there are plenty of tutorials online that show you how to unscrew the two mounting screws, unplug the sensor, and hook up the new one. To remove the defroster shield simply use a plastic puddy knife.

The temperature control sensor is located in the EATC head right to the left climate controls. There is a "vent" right next to the display that allows air to be drawn in -- the sensor is behind the vent. Go to your local autozone and pick up OEM stereo removal clips. Push them in to the four holes on the EATC head to remove the unit -- underneath the vent you'll see some wires and a hose going into the sensor. Pull the sensor out, hook up the new one and re run EATC diagnostics. Should reset everything and your good.

Anyway this is all theory -- I won't know until I get the sensors in and can try it out, but it's definitely A LOT further than I was last night.

Thanks for all of your help.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 5 years ago.
Your welcome.