Seven Signs That Your Intake Air Temp Sensor Is Not Working (& How to Replace It)

Have you noticed your car’s engine drop in acceleration together with a check engine light on your dashboard lately?

The chances are that your car’s intake air temperature sensor (IAT) is damaged and that it should be fixed immediately to avoid any serious damage to the engine.

You will find out the warning signs and symptoms of an IAT sensor malfunction in this article. Also, we will discuss the cost of replacement and where it is located. Let’s begin with a quick look at the common signs to look for.

Índice de Contenido
  1. 7 Signs of a Bad Intake Temperature Sensor (IAT).
    1. 1. Make sure your engine light is on
    2. 2. Drop in Acceleration
    3. 3. Conditions for Hard-Cold Start
    4. 4. Rough Idle
    5. 5. Mistakes
    6. 6. EGR Valve Changed
    7. 7. Poor Fuel Economy
  2. What does an Intake Air Temperature sensor do?
  3. Is there an IAT Sensor?
  4. Intake Temperature Sensor Diagnostics
  5. IAT sensor replacement cost
  6. Commonly Asked Questions
    1. Is it possible for a misfire to be caused by faulty intake temperature sensors?
    2. IAT sensors can be cleaned.
    3. Is it necessary to have an IAT sensor?
    4. Is the IAT sensor equivalent to a MAF?

7 Signs of a Bad Intake Temperature Sensor (IAT).

A check engine light at the dashboard is one of the most obvious signs that your intake temperature sensor has failed. Slow acceleration, hard cold start or rough idle are other signs to look out for.

It is only a brief overview. If you would like to know more, the following is a detailed listing of seven most frequent symptoms.

1. Make sure your engine light is on

Check Engine Light

If the IAT sensor is not working properly, the check engine light may appear. When one sensor fails, the engine control unit will immediately light up the checkengine light.

You should check your trouble codes if there is a check engine warning light appearing on the dashboard. OBD2 scanner Your mechanic can do it.

2. Drop in Acceleration

Slow Car Acceleration

Due to a faulty intake temperature sensor, the engine control module may think that the engine’s air is colder or warmer than it actually is. The PCM may miscalculate fuel mixture and cause acceleration to drop.

Warmer temperatures demand more fuel. The engine control module program calculates this.

3. Conditions for Hard-Cold Start

Hard Starting

Your car's starting conditions are crucial. The correct fuel is essential for your car.

You might have trouble starting your car if your engine control unit is injecting the incorrect amount of fuel because your intake temperature sensor has malfunctioned.

4. Rough Idle

Car Engine Rough Idle

When the engine has the correct air-fuel mix, idle is another condition. This is also a condition when you can feel the faulty air intake temperature sensor’s slightly faulty air-fuel mixture.

It could be an issue with your IAT sensor if you feel a little jerkiness when the engine is idle.

5. Mistakes

Misfiring Engine E1609865653850

Engine cylinder failures cause misfires. These can occur due to either a defective spark or the wrong mixture of air-fuel and fuel.

When you accelerate, there may be misfires like hiccups and interruptions. You may feel these sensations while you accelerate, which could be an indication of a sensor problem.

6. EGR Valve Changed

Egr Valve Engine

Some cars use air temperature as a control for the EGR valve operation. A faulty IAT sensor can cause the EGR valve to malfunction.

EGR valves that aren't working properly could cause many unusual symptoms.

7. Poor Fuel Economy

Bad Fuel Consumption

Normal conditions allow the engine computer to adjust the fuel level and mixture continuously in order to maximize fuel efficiency.

The engine control unit relies on the IAT sensor’s information, and if a false signal is sent, the fuel efficiency decreases or increases significantly.

You may notice an unusually high fuel consumption if your IAT sensor fails.

What does an Intake Air Temperature sensor do?

Intake Temperature Sensor

IAT or the intake temperature sensor is responsible for monitoring air temperatures entering your engine.

The engine control unit (or ECU) uses this information to perform many calculations and functions, including calculating air density. Timer for ignition Efficiency in fuel consumption

The computer system of your engine or the PCM requires this information to stabilize and regulate the combustion engine’s air-fuel ratio. It allows for optimal combustion and fuel efficiency.

Is there an IAT Sensor?

Mass Intake Air Temperature Sensor

You will find the Intake Air Temperature Sensor somewhere between your intake pipe and intake manifold. It's often integrated with MAF Sensor.

It's often also mounted on the intake tube.

The intake air temperature sensor’s location is not standard due to different locations in a variety of designs. Your manufacturer will have a service manual that can help you locate the IAT sensors in your vehicle.

Intake Temperature Sensor Diagnostics

Car Diagnostics

The Diagnostic procedure to determine if an IAT sensor is defective This is not difficult. It is possible to do this yourself, provided you have basic knowledge and all the necessary tools. Make sure you have a car repair manual.

  1. Attach the OBD2 scanner and car. Start the engine.
  2. You can check the IAT sensor temperature and the live data. Typically, the temperature readings should be 10 degrees more or less than the vehicle’s ambient temperature, depending on the outside temperature and the engine’s temperature.
  3. Your IAT sensor, or its wirings could be failing to produce realistic readings. Check the IAT wires and MAF sensors if the temperature exceeds 300°F or is low.
  4. You should Ohm-measure your Intake temperature sensor to ensure they match the instructions in the repair manual. If the sensor's ohms don't match, you should replace it and fix the problem codes.
  5. If the sensor seems correct, check and measure the sensor’s wirings and the engine control unit.

IAT sensor replacement cost

The replacement of an intake temperature sensor costs between $40 to $250 depending on its model and labor cost. A temperature sensor for intake costs between $20 and $150. Labor costs from $20 to $100.

The part price can rise rapidly if your intake temperature sensor has been integrated in the MAF sensor. MAF sensors may cost upwards of $400.

Many times, it is very simple to replace an intake temperature or MAF sensor.

The IAT sensor may be found under the manifold, in some cases it is difficult to find. However, this is very rare.

Commonly Asked Questions

Is it possible for a misfire to be caused by faulty intake temperature sensors?

A bad intake temperature sensor can cause misfires. The engine’s computer uses the information from the intake air temperature sensor to determine how much fuel to inject into the engine. It is possible for the engine's computer to make a mistake if the sensor does not give accurate information.

IAT sensors can be cleaned.

Yes. Yes. It's possible to clean the IAT sensor. An electronic or mass airflow cleaner is the best method to clean IAT sensors. Spray a small amount on the sensor and allow it to dry. It is important not to use towels or other similar methods to dry the sensor.

Is it necessary to have an IAT sensor?

Yes. The IAT sensor monitors the temperature of air entering the engine. This data is used to adjust fuel/air mixture by engine control unit. This allows the engine to run at its best and eliminates any knocking or pinging.

An IAT sensor would not allow the ECU to determine how cold the engine's air intake is without it. An incorrect fuel/air mix could cause engine damage.

Is the IAT sensor equivalent to a MAF?

An IAT sensor does not function the same way as a MOF sensor. The IAT sensor is often integrated with the MAF sensor in modern cars. They can be considered different parts, even though they share the same circuit.

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