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Thread: Dancing temp needle (video)

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Posts: 11-20 of 52
2012-12-14 14:25:43
Had this problem on my altima. It was the sender. The "rivet" thing wasn't holdong the wire down tight any more. Luckily I was able to just finagle it to stay in place by moving the wire around and haven't had a problem since.
2012-12-14 16:01:50
use an alligator clip when replacing it and a dab of solder works wonders
2013-02-19 23:03:00
Hey guys, so I finally got around to ordering the temp sending unit from Nissan. It was $40. Is this it the correct part?

2013-02-19 23:39:33
That may or may not be the correct part, but I'm pretty sure you just had a bad connection at the sensor itself. This is an extremely common issue. And like morgans said, an aligator clip is your answer.

If you show me what the sensor electrical plug looks like I can tell yah if it is the correct one or not. But again, $40 down the toilet really.
2013-02-19 23:47:26
Yep, only two things will cause that issue and for one the sensor you got is not the right one. The one wire, thin blade connector sensor is the one for the gauge.

Either you have a bad connection somewhere between the gauge and sending unit or you have electrical interference from the alternator. Im going to guess bad connection at the sending unit though. Again, common. Ive seen the stock wire held on by one strand of copper many times. Best thing to do is crimp a new blade style connector onto the harness and get a new sending unit if the one you have has play between the blade and sensor body. Like Cliff said, most are held on by a little rivet or tiny screw and yes, they get loose and cause that issue.
2013-02-20 00:15:20
Ok. I told the parts guy I needed the temp unit sensor and that's what he gave me. No clue :shrug: if it's the wrong one i'll return it since I didn't install it yet
2013-02-20 00:24:16
If it has two prongs on the plug, it is the wrong one. It should have a single, male, spade connector.

The temp sensor that feeds the ECU data has two wires, and the temp sensor that feeds the cluster gauge has one wire. That one wire runs through a male spade connector on the sensor itself that is held in place by a center post. This connection goes bad quickly, and eventually the spade connector falls off completely. The alligator clip method just clamps onto the exposed center post. I've also seen people take the female spade connector from the engine harness and just shove it onto the center post. That works too since the shape of the center post is that of a tiny funnel.
Last edited by BenFenner on 2013-02-20 at 00-26-54.
2013-02-20 00:42:13
yep thats the wrong one

you need the one that has a spade terminal on it and the connection literally slides right onto it.

Every harness i ever touched it was either broke or about to break Nissan cheaped out on that connection
2013-02-20 01:55:53
Ok thanks guys!! I will go back to the parts counter at the dealer and print your stuff out. The part on the bag says "coolant temp sensor" and I thought to myself "that doesn't sound right"

Has anyone noticed that about 50 percent of the time when you order parts at Nissan (besides Courtesy Nissan in Texas) that it's the wrong part? I once ordered the valve cover gasket for my 91 SE-R, and they gave me, yes you guessed it, the gasket for the GA 1.6. Happens more than you think.
2013-02-20 02:31:17
Thats why I order all my parts from Greg V.....He's never wrong. The one you got was the one for the ecu that reads the coolant temp so it can determine when to kick the fan on and make fueling and timing changes that are temp related.
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