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Temperature Sensor Cleaning

No guarantees are made on the results, and anything you do yourself is at your own risk.

Temperature Sensor Cleaning 
By Wes Stinson
Written by Jesda Gulati

This neat and simple trick will improve AC performance and efficiency. You will need a flathead screwdriver, q-tips, rubbing alcohol, and possibly an air can.

Below is a photo of the defroster switch. To the left of the switch is a metal grille, and inside that is the ambient temperature sensor that communicates cabin climate conditions to the car.

This is how to properly insert the screwdriver:

Be very careful not to leave cuts in the soft panels or cracks in the plastic that surrounds the switch.

Once you pop it out a little, you can go onto the side and pop it out more. Some suggest leaving a second screwdriver inserted in the bottom while popping the switch out on the right.

Here are supplemental removal tips from another NICO member:

"The plastic bezel containing the screen and the switch - if you want a little insurance wrap the flat bladed screwdriver w/ masking tape about 3-4 wraps 1/4" back from the tip it's less likely to cut the leather then. It pops out pretty tough -another way is to use a smaller tool to lift it then a trim tool or small prytool w/a bent end a/k/a fulcrum to get it to pop(USE TAPE!)." --squeefoo, 1990 Infiniti Q45

Below is the switch removed, and inside that hole is the temperature sensor.

Click on the photo above to zoom in. If you shine a flashlight inside, you will see an object that looks like a tiny wishbone. That is the sensor. If you use a q-tip with rubbing alcohol, you can very gently clean underneath and around it. An air can may be effective as well with less risk of breaking the sensor -- it is small and fragile.

This web site is the copyrighted intellectual property of Jesda Gulati and Wes Stinson.