You are here:

Chrysler Repair/P0128/ P2181 Temp Gauge Prob.



You've helped me in the past and i need your assistance again.

I have a 2008 Town and Country Van, 3.3 L Vin H flex fuel.
Cel on, codes P0128 and P2181.
Has good heat but does take awhile to get hot.
Temperature Gauge on dash barely comes off of the Cold mark,maybe an 1/8 of an inch off C
Replaced the Thermostat, still the same gauge reading.
Van starts and runs fine, has good heat

I'm thinking its a bad Engine coolant Temperature sensor.

Aftermarket sensors are cheap but not sure if i should go with that or the $38.00 Oem one.
or is this something other than that
any help is appreciated



Other than the thermostat or low coolant level both those codes point toward the ect, either in its circuitry or the sensor itself. So examine the harness wires to the sensor for any signs of damage. If none are found then you can either do a check of the wiring using a volt-ohm meter or by-pass that and get a new sensor. The sensor is a simple device so I don't believe that an oem is necessary if the aftermarket is much less expensive. Let me know if you want to trace the 2 wires from the sensor to the pcm and I can give you the pin assignments.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for the fast response.
I'll go with the aftermarket then and see what happens.

Quick question.....

I was told by someone to disconnect the wiring connector at the ECT and use a jumper wire to connect both terminals together and see if the gauge reads hot....
Can i do this or will i ruin the PCM?


The ect has a resistance of around 4,000 ohms when cold, and as it heats up its resistance drops below 1,000 ohms. I doubt it would do damage to do a jump with a wire, but better would be to buy a resistor of around 1,000 ohms at an electronics store and jump that across to see if the gauge then reads about 3/4 to full scale.

Chrysler Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Roland Finston


Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

©2016 All rights reserved.