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Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

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Old 26 Apr 2011, 01:05 pm
montanacruiser's Avatar
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Default Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

Greetings all new cruiser owner and member here hoping for a bit of advice. I just purchased a 2002 cruiser with 66k on it, very nice car, clean and well maintained. There is a problem with the overhead outside temperature display reading 140 F though. Some google searching turned up that it is a short in the system and the manual says to take it to a dealer if the display reads 140. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and if so what did it cost to take care of? Thanks for any input.
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 01:37 pm
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Default Re: Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

I've never heard anyone say anything about the 140 reading. There has been cases where the reading wouldn't change, stuck at some point on the compass without ever changing. Not sure how they fixed that. I do know if you take it to the dealer, it's about $95 for them to even start looking at that or any other problem.

There's been a few thredas on the subject:

Outside Temp Gauge

Outside air temp sensor

temp reads 84F when it's 103F outside

Air Intake Temp using stock components
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 02:47 pm
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Default Re: Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

I had a problem with the one on my 01 Beetle ..... the grill had damage when I purchased .... looked like the top fell down on the highway and the bottom stayed connected .... was all ground down on top.

Anywhoo .... the temp sender for outside air temp was supposed to be attached with a push clamp to a peice of plastic that protrudes back from that damaged grill which would let ambient temp air hit it first. Someone must had seen in hanging and wrapped it around the metal pipes above this attachement area in the fenderwell. Well those pipes in the Beetle are the power steering cooler .... so it did not read right.

See if you can locate the place this sender is supposed to be, and make sure it is there and not behind the radiator or something. Lots of cars use this temp sensor for figuring the charge air temperature for the air entering the engine and could adversely affect fuel consumption.

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Old 26 Apr 2011, 03:31 pm
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Default Re: Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

A little more info:

From page 87 of my 2002 Cruiser owner's manual:

"If the display shows -45 C (-49 F) or 60 C (140 F), see your authorized dealer for repair."


"Question: I have a 2004 LE GT (HO) with 27k miles. The overhead compass/temperature display reads only -49F or -45C. This occurred immediately after I installed a trailer hitch and had to disconnect the battery. Everything else seems fine. The wire harness that was included with hitch was from Chrysler, designed specifically for my make and model. I plugged it directly into an existing harness. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Brian, from California.

Answer: If the display shows OC (-49 F (-45 C) or SC (140 F (60 C), there is an Open or Short Circuit and system diagnosis and repair is required. You might try removing the additional harness to see if that corrects the problem."

Here is the link: - PT Cruiser Technical Library Part Fifty Three Q&A 1301 - 1325
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 07:48 pm
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Default Re: Short in system? Temp reads 140 F

One time my PT was reading a temp of 117 degrees. But it was after it was sitting in 90 degree heat for a while.
2004 PT Cruiser "Starr Edition" 113k miles
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