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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone tell me whether or not the temperature sensor has anything to do with the engine overheating and the heater not putting out warm air?

I recently had the clutch replaced in my 2006 Mini Convertible and when it was all put back together, was told that he accidentally broke the temperature sensor and that I should replace it, because the check engine light will stay on without it. He said I could drive it without the sensor, but when I attempted to drive it, I first noticed that the gauge read -40 degrees F. and the heat wasn't working. Shortly after that, the engine overheated, so I parked it and am without a car. I plan to travel (in another car) 75 miles to get the part, but not sure if it's worth the effort unless it fixes the problem(s).

Is the sensor to blame for any of this?

Please help!
 

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cristo
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2,787 Posts
The air temp sensor near the front bumper has nothing to do with engine management.
There is, however, a coolant temp sensor below the thermostat housing on Gen 1
and in the thermostat housing on Gen 2 cars, and if they are not working or hooked up,
you will get a CEL, poor mileage and performance.

The problems with the heat may be due to pockets of air in the cooling system (including
the heater core) that haven't been bled out or worked their own way out and/or low coolant
levels or even something else like a bad thermostat, etc.

Have you checked your coolant level, and what is the coolant temp gauge doing?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding!

I'm thinking this gizmo is the air temp sensor. It has a pointed end and plugs into a receiving "socket housing". The guy that replaced to clutch gave me a bottle of coolant and told me about such pockets. When the temp gauge first heated up and the red light came on, I checked the level and the small reservoir was empty, so I added enough to fill it. I re-started the car and ran it for about a minute and it heated up again. I checked the level and it was about where it was. I did not, however, re-check it when I parked it back at his garage.

I don't remember exactly what the engine light read, but it was on and he told me that without that sensor, it would stay on. I haven't spoken with him yet since I returned it. He wasn't there when I did.

Do you think that replacing the sensor will take care of any of the issues I've mentioned? The weather here is really icy and I'd rather not go 75 miles just so I can see that the outside temperature is not actually -40!
 

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The outside temperature sensor mounted behind the front bumper will have nothing to do with the engine running, this reads minus 40C if its left disconnected or broken, if thats the one you mean? unless the guy was a bit cack handed and broke more than that? the engine water temperature sensor on the engine controls the engine management systems amongst others.
Overheating will be because it wasnt bled properly when the coolant was refilled, a proper MINI garage use vacuum equipment to get the air out, and not all garages have this so cant do it properly, giving you a bottle of coolant and telling you to watch it isnt really a good job is it?
I assume hes replacing your air temp sensor free of charge then seeing as he broke it??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aha! Chances are, you're right about not having properly bled the system! I called him with previous info and he admitted that he didn't follow the proper procedure for bleeding. He said he'd get back with me. I have no idea whether or not he has the ability to vacuum the air out. Nor do I know whether or not that would have caused the check engine light to come on (and stay on). Needless to say, I'm pretty nervous about getting the issue(s) resolved once and for all. As for the air temp sensor, it appears he's expecting me to get one from Mini (75 miles away), but he will install it (big-hearted, huh?). Bottom line: If its only purpose is to give me the outside temperature, I'll likely put off the $60 purchase for a sunnier day. I'll post whatever results occur. Meanwhile, thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I just got the car back, and the mechanic admitted that he hadn't properly bled the air out of the cooling system. I drove it home and it seems fine, other than that the Check Engine Soon light is lit. He tells me that it won't go out until I (or someone) replaces the Temperature Sensor on the inside of the bumper. I fail to see why that would have anything to do with that light, but he may be right. If there's anything you can add to solve that issue, it would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, you were right about the cooling system, so I really thank you for that advice (which I passed along to him)!
 

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The best thing you should do is go to a different mechanic who knows what he is doing & get them to plug in a diagnostic machine to read the fault codes to find out exactly why the light is lit. It sounds to me like the garage you used before hasn't got much of a clue, I wouldn't trust him to touch the car again.
When I removed my front bumper a while back I forgot to plug my external temp sensor back in, it was showing -40 for a week until I got round to removing the bumper again to plug it back in & I had no dash lights at all come on
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I won't be returning there anytime soon, that's for sure! He DID replace the clutch successfully, however, and I'm satisfied with that part. After doing some research online, I found some advice for resetting the light, so I'll try one or both tomorrow. From what I see, if the engine is removed, which he did, the light has to be reset. As for the -40 temp, I'm not too concerned about it, so likely won't replace it anytime soon.
 
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