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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 2003 Intrepid and I recently noticed that the temp. gauge stopped working properly. It only goes just above the first measurement tick regardless of how long I drive the car. The heater still warms up but not particularly hot. The other day when I went to start the car in cold weather it started but was quite hesitant to keep going and would have stalled if I didn't give it gas. Thoughts?
 

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There is a cluster diagnostic test that is descibed in the FSM. I don't recall it, but basically it runs all the cluster gauges through a test process so you can see if the gauges themselves are working properly. Could also be the coolant temp sensor not working properly. Which "measurement tick" are you referring to? My temp rarely goes far above the 1/4 line (the one just below the 1/2 mark). For me that is about 200-203 degrees F. Occasionally in traffic and in hot weather, mine will creep up to about midway between the 1/4 and 1/2 lines (maybe 217-220 degrees) and then the fans will kick in to drop it back down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, thing have changed slightly now. The CEL came on and was showing code P0071 (Ambient Temp. Performance). I figured it was the sensor so I replaced that and cleared the codes. Two days later up pops the CEL again with the same code. I have come across people saying that a stuck open T-stat could cause all my problems (low temperature gauge reading and CEL). I don't want to dig into the t-stat if I don't have too, because it is in such a ridiculous location and a pita to swap out. Anyway, anyone have a thought on this?
 

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I would suspect the t-stat too.
 

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Well, I figure I should provide a final post on this thread to let anyone else who may have or in the future acquire the same problem as me. Pulled the t-stat and it wasn't stuck open or closed, but I did notice that the black rubber diaphram was somewhat worn and it even looked like there was a little piece of it sticking out. So I replaced it and kept my fingers crossed. After putting everything back together and letting her warm up...bam! Temperature gauge was back to normal and no more CEL. I would have to say that I was even blowing warmer air. So if anyone ever has a similar problem with their temperature gauge I would suggest the t-stat may be the culprit. Keep in mind it is a PITA to replace without a hoist, but doable (youtube has a video on how to do it that I found helpful).
Thanks to everyone for their advice with this issue.
 
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