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How To Fix ATV Air Temp Sensor Issues

A bad air temp sensor can cause your ATV to run rich or lean or to struggle to start in cold temperatures. To have your machine running as it should and prevent damage, read this post to learn how to fix an ATV temp sensor.

air temperature sensor

What An Air Temp Sensor Does

Air temp sensors measure the air coming into the quad’s engine so the ECU (engine control unit) can control the fuel to air ratio. Air at different temperatures performs differently, so this information is needed to determine how much air and fuel are needed to achieve the same results. This prevents you from having a rich or lean condition and optimizes ignition timing and fuel consumption.

How to Tell if Temp Sensor is Bad

The symptoms of a bad air temp sensor include:

  • Check engine light

  • Poor acceleration

  • Misfires

  • Rough idle

  • Reduced fuel economy

  • EGR valve malfunction

  • Hard cold start

How to Test ATV Air Temp

You will need:

  • Your service manual

  • An OBD2 scanner

  • A multimeter

First, you’ll have to locate your air temp sensor. It can be found on your intake pipes, between your air filter and the intake manifold so it can measure the air’s temperature before it has an opportunity to get heated. The sensor may be integrated into the MAF sensor or installed on the intake manifold itself.

If you’re struggling to find your air temp sensor, check your quad’s service manual to locate the specific placement on your model. You might as well get it out now because you’ll need it for the next step.

Attach the OBD2 scanner to your ATV, and turn on its engine.

Compare the scanner’s temperature reading to the ambient temperature of your quad. It should be within a 10 degree range, either higher or lower than your vehicle’s temperature.

Use the multimeter to test the sensor’s Ohms. Your service manual will tell you what this should read.

If your air temp sensor passed both of these tests, check the ECU next. The problem may be found there.

How to Fix a Bad Temp Sensor

If your air temp sensor failed the OBD2 scanner test, you should first check the wiring and harness. It may be loose or damaged. If there is nothing wrong with the wires, you may need a new air temp sensor.

If it was the multimeter test your air temp sensor failed, you will need to replace your sensor and clear the codes.

You may discover that your sensor is just slightly off on settings, not enough to trip any codes or fail your service manual’s recommendations, but enough to cause problems. Still check the wires and harness. You may discover an issue there that needs to be repaired.

You can also try to clean your sensor. This is a particularly likely fix if your sensor is visibly soiled. Many people find that this resolves their issues. Do use a mass air flow cleaner or electronic cleaner, and don’t dry the sensor with a towel.

Cost of Air Temp Sensor Replacement

The sensor itself can cost anywhere from $20 to $150, depending on the sensor you need for your quad. If you want to and can DIY, you can save on labor costs. If you need to hire a mechanic, labor can range in cost from $20 to $100.

That’s if your sensor isn’t integrated into your MAF sensor. If it is, you’ll need to replace that sensor, which will raise the cost significantly. Costs vary, but they can reach as high as $400.

If you’re handy at all, you can probably tackle this job yourself and save on labor costs. The most difficult part of the job can be where your air temp sensor is located. If it’s under the manifold, you may have difficulty just getting to it to work. That’s rare, though, so you should be fine.


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