P0118 SATURN - Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit High Input
- Faulty Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor
- Faulty engine coolant thermostat
- Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor harness is open or shorted
- Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor electrical circuit poor connection
The Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor contains a semiconductor device which changes the resistance based on the temperature (a thermistor). The ECT sensor is mounted in the left bank cylinder head near the front of the engine. The ECT sensor has a signal circuit and a ground circuit. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) applies a voltage (about 5.0 volts) on the signal circuit to the sensor. The PCM monitors the changes in this voltage caused by changes in the resistance of the sensor in order to determine the coolant temperature.
When the coolant is cold, the sensor (thermistor) resistance is high. The PCMs signal voltage is only pulled down a small amount through the sensor to a ground; therefore, the PCM senses a high signal voltage (low temperature). When the coolant is warm, the sensor resistance is low. The signal voltage is pulled down a greater amount; therefore, the PCM senses a low signal voltage (high temperature). At normal operating temperature, the voltage should measure about 1.5-2.0 volts at the PCM.