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2001 Chevy Malibu 3.1 v-6 engine, engine temp gauge dropped…

2001 Chevy Malibu 3.1...

2001 Chevy Malibu 3.1 v-6 engine, engine temp gauge dropped to 0 or to the peg. NO engine light when it occurred. I inspected the wiring going to the CTS (Coolant Temp Sensor) all looked OK. Then I bought a new temp sensor and replaced it. started up car and no temp. registered on the temp. gauge. then got an OBD II diagnostic tester and it showed a P0128 error code (which is engine coolant operating below temp). Also about 5 days after the gauge went to 0, I finally got a check engine light. but have not put tester back to see if any other codes popped up.

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?

Stays on.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Malibu yourself? What have you tried so far?

Yes, replaced CTS sensor.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/27/2017
AMEDEE
AMEDEE, CHEVY TECHNICIAN
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 28,162
Experience: ASE certified tech ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Hello and welcome!

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you today. I am reviewing the details now.

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Are you looking for some help or possible causes as to what can cause this issue?

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Certainly. One moment while I type up your answer.

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This code indicates the engine temp has not reached optimum temp without a certain time from startup. Low coolant, air pockets in the cooling system and or a faulty thermostat will do this provided the temp sensor and wiring checks out good. Here is the definition for this code.

P0128 Engine Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature

Possible Causes

  • ECT sensor connector is damaged (inspect pins for damage and for moisture)
  • Coolant level is too low and the coolant mixture is incorrect
  • ECT sensor signal circuit has a high resistance condition
  • Check the operation of the thermostat (it may be stuck open)
  • ECT sensor has failed
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If you would like to go after the temp gauge dropping to 0, you can check the signal in and out of the new temp sensor and even back to the computer to see if there is a wiring issue. I can provide you with a wiring diagram of this circuit if you would like.

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Do you have any further questions sir?

AMEDEE
AMEDEE, CHEVY TECHNICIAN
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 28,162
Experience: ASE certified tech ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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