Hot on the Trail: Finding the Coolant Temperature Sensor on a Jeep 3.6 Engine

The coolant temp sensor reads the temperature of the coolant circulating through the engine. If it fails to operate properly, it’ll cause unbalanced timing and fuel calculation. So, you need to replace your Jeep 3.6 coolant temp sensor when you detect any fault.

But, due to the high labor cost of replacing the temp sensor, many auto repair shops don’t want to disclose the exact location of the coolant temp sensor. Don’t worry; here is a complete walkthrough guide to locating the coolant temp sensor on your Jeep 3.6L and the replacement method.

When to replace the coolant temperature sensor on Jeep 3.6?

If you notice a check engine light appearing, it means your car is facing an issue, and you should inspect it. After inspection by an obd2 scanner tool, if you get the P0128 error code, it means the thermostat is stuck open or the ECT sensor is damaged, and you should replace it.

Here are some other symptoms you might witness when the coolant temp sensor fails to work:

  • Engine overheating
  • Noticeable black smoke from the tailpipe
  • Reduced engine performance
  • Poor fuel economy

Jeep 3.6 coolant temp sensor location

The engine coolant temperature sensor is located in a water jacket at the rear of the cylinder head on the left side of the Jeep 3.6L engine. You can visually inspect the sensor from above, but you need to remove a few engine parts to access it. Also, you can access the sensor by removing the inner fender splash shield.

Replace the engine coolant temp sensor on Jeep 3.6L

The replacement cost will be high if you hire a professional to do the work. So, if you want to save some money on labor costs and replace the ECT sensor, here is a complete guide on how you can do it in your Jeep 3.6L.

From inner fender liner

Step 1: To begin, disconnect the negative battery wires and drain the cooling system partially. Then, lift up the vehicle’s driver-side portion using a jack stand. Then, remove the driver’s side front wheel.

Step 2: Then, you can access the inner fender panel, which is connected to the structure using a bolt and some pushpins. 

Remove the bolt using a 10mm wrench. You can use a screwdriver to push the plastic push pins, which will come apart from the inside fender.

Step 3: After removing the liner, you will have plenty of room to reach the coolant sensor. You’ll notice a red plastic connector if you look through the inside compartment. 

After removing the clip, you can access the actual sensor. First, lift the red tab up and then push down the connector tab. It should slide right off.

Step 4: Use a 19mm wrench to remove the engine coolant temp sensor. When you do this process, you should keep ready the new one as there is coolant in the block. You should do the replacement process rapidly to reduce coolant loss.

Then, take the new sensor, and it should have sealant. But don’t use Teflon tape if the sensor doesn’t come with sealant. Instead, use Loctite 567 or something similar.

Step 5: Installing is much easier than removing. You need to use a 19mm wrench to put back the new sensor on the cylinder head. Then, connect the connector by a snap, and remember to push the red tab to lock it in the actual position. Then, follow the reverse procedure to reinstall the inner fender line and the front wheel.

Without removing the inner fender liner:

If you don’t get any available option to remove the inner fender liner to replace the ECT sensor, then follow the below step to know how you can access the sensor from above and replace it:

Step 1: Disconnect the battery’s negative terminal. Open your Jeep vehicle hood and remove the plastic cover from above the engine. Also, remove the intake piping. 

Step 2: Then, go to the driver’s side of your vehicle and stop at the front wheel to remove the electrical connector. For this, look down on the engine compartment, and you’ll notice a braided cable and remove it. 

Then, look through the gap created after removing the braided cable. Near the steering column, you’ll get a little red plastic clip. To disconnect the clip, push that red clip out, then press down on the tab.

Step 3: You can now access the ECT sensor after removing the clip. Remove and replace it with a new one by following the above guide. Then, attach everything back by following the reverse procedure. 

How much does it cost to replace the Jeep 3.6 coolant temperature sensor?

If your car’s coolant temp sensor is damaged, you need to consult a mechanic to replace it. But, when you consult with the mechanic after knowing the labor cost, you’ll be surprised. 

The coolant temperature sensor will cost you at most $30 on Jeep 3.6, but the labor cost will be more than $100 due to the sensor’s location. Also, it’ll take around 1 hour to replace the temperature sensor.

Final words

If your Jeep’s ECT sensor is damaged, the fuel management system fails to detect the actual engine operating temperature. It’ll lead to a car performance issue. So, if your Jeep 3.6 ECT sensor is damaged and you want to replace it, you should know where it’s located and how to replace it.

In this regard, the article helps you to know the Jeep 3.6 coolant temp sensor location and how to replace it.

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