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Whilst driving home tonight in a leisurely fashion (unknown for me), my check engine light appeared (1996 9000 lpt). I pulled over to check and it produced 4 flashes which denotes "Coolant temperature sensor"

My understanding is that this sensor basically reads the temperature of the coolant and this is then read to the temperature needle in the dash?

First of all, I have disconnected the battery negative lead to see if the fault is stored only in the soft memory.
If the problem still persists, is the car still ok to drive, though I believe there may be a higher risk of casuing damage?
I have looked in a workshop manual which states that the sensor is located on the lower section of the inlet manifold and to get to this I would have to remove the top section and all the parts ajoining.

Any help will be appreciated
 

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On the later Trionic cars (incl 96) the sensor is located on the side of the Cylinder head, near the thermostat housing (below DI connector).
This fault could also be caused by a thermostat stuck open, causing the engine to run cold, Trionic doesnt know the stat is stuck open so puts a fault code in for engine temp sensor.
HTH
 

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On your car there should be 2 coolant temp sensors. I think I am right in saying that the one Wessy describes (under the DI connector) feeds the gauge, while the one that the Trionic uses for fuelling etc is in the rear centre of the head, under the inlet manifold.

You can see that one if you look down between 2 and 3 cylinder inlets. You don't need to remove anything to get it out - just patience and a good socket set with the right extension bar

Probably worth checking the connector first. You can test the sensor itself - I've posted the test on here a few times I think.

Sensor failures are not unheard of - BillJ had one fail before.
 

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Originally posted by JohnCC:
[qb]Sensor failures are not unheard of - BillJ had one fail before. [/qb][/b]
It wasn't the coolant temp sensor that failed on mine but the intake air temp sensor (much easier to get at and to change).

John is right about the location - failure of the gauge sensor wouldn't light the Check Engine light as that light is all to do with emissions.

Never done this myself (well, I fitted a new one as a precaution when I had the head off the Aero but that was easy). However, I believe it is quite possible without dismantling and if you're quick to get the new one in (or get your finger in the hole while you're faffing about with the new sensor), you shouldn't lose much coolant.

You might find it's simply a problem with a wire or connector.
 
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