How To Reset Ambient Temperature Sensor Ford?

To reset the ambient temperature sensor on your Ford vehicle’s climate control panel, it is recommended to press and hold the A/C and A/C Max buttons simultaneously. You may need to concurrently press the A/C and Recirculation buttons for 12-16 seconds for some models, such as the Ford F-150. If the automatic reset method fails, you’ll need a manual reset. 

This guide is not enough for the ambient temperature sensor reset. The full guide can be found below.

Methods to Reset Ambient Temperature Sensor in Ford

In two different methods, Ford’s ambient temperature sensor can be reset. The first one is an automatic reset, and the second one involves disassembling the components and resetting them manually. In case the automatic reset method fails to work, it is recommended to try the manual reset method.

In the following segments, we’ll discuss all methods gradually.

Resetting Ford Ambient Temperature Sensor Automatically: From The Climate Control Panel

You must press and hold the A/C and Max A/C or recirculation buttons simultaneously for several seconds to reset your Ford’s ambient temperature sensor. To the right of the steering wheel is the climate control panel, which contains these buttons.

Source: Ford Trcuks 

It is important to note that the method for resetting the ambient sensor via the climate control panel may differ depending on the model of the vehicle. Therefore, refer to the table below for specific instructions pertaining to your vehicle.

Ford ModelsAmbient Temperature Sensor Resetting methods
Ford FusionPress off and floor buttons together >> Release buttons >> Press auto button >> Wait for the reset to complete >> Finish
Ford F-150Go to Control Panel >> Locate AC and Recirculation buttons >> Press and hold both buttons simultaneously >> Hold for 12-16 seconds >> Release both buttons >> Check if the temperature has been reset and matches outside temperature >> END
Ford FocusPress the A/C and Recirc buttons on the HVAC panel controls simultaneously >> Hold both buttons for a few seconds >> Release both buttons >> Wait for 2 seconds >> Press the A/C button again >> Wait for the system to reset >> End
Ford ExplorerPress A/C and Recirc buttons simultaneously >> Release both buttons >> Within 2 seconds, press A/C button again >> End

In the event of a system malfunction, such as wiring or physical damage to the sensor, the aforementioned methods may prove ineffective. Due to that, you need to follow the below segment to identify certain situations.

Resetting Ford Ambient Temperature Sensor Manually

Manually resetting the ambient temperature sensor requires a certain level of technical expertise. In order to execute said procedure successfully, a solid understanding of technical concepts is required. If you are really a DIY person then follow these step-by-step guides. 

Equipment Required

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Socket Wrench 

Step 1: Disconnect The Battery

To ensure your safety and prevent electrical shocks, we recommend disconnecting the battery and waiting at least 15 minutes before proceeding with any work. You may also consider wearing shockproof gloves while working on the electrical system.

Step 2: Locate The Ambient Temperature Sensor

On your car’s engine, look for the air conditioning compressor, which is usually located behind the battery and radiator. The ambient temperature sensor, located behind the front grille or in the front bumper, is covered by a small cap. Remove the cover to access the sensor.

Depending on the different models the location can vary. Here is a table that shows where the ambient temperature sensor is located on your Ford model.

Ford ModelsAmbient Sensor Location
Ford FusionOn the right side of the front grille
Ford F-150Behind the front bumper on the driver’s side
Ford FocusOn the bottom of the right-hand side looking glass
Ford Ranger In the left-hand corner of the front bumper
Ford FiestaInside the front grille
Ford ExplorerInside the front bumper
Ford Kuga At the top of the engine
Ford TransitIn the engine compartment, close to the front bumper

Step 3: Disconnect the wiring harness

By pressing down on the small locking tab on the connector’s back end, the wiring harness can be disconnected from the ambient temperature sensor. 

Disconnect the wire by pulling it away from its connection. Pull the second connector outward while pressing on the release tab to expose another plug underneath it.

Step 4: Reset the ambient temperature sensor

You should hear an audible “click” under the dash when you turn the temperature sensor’s dial to its maximum (clockwise). As a result, the sensor will be reset to its default settings.

Step 5: Reconnect the wiring harness

By pushing both connectors into place and turning them to the left, the ambient temperature wiring harness can be reconnected.

Step 6: Reinstall the sensor cover

The temperature sensor’s cover can be replaced by inserting the mounting studs into their proper holes and tightening the locking ring.

Step 7: Start the vehicle

Before leaving an open parking lot or other dangerous areas, you should start your car and allow the air conditioning to fully initialize.

N.B: Before replacing or resetting the ambient air temperature sensor, ensure that you are aware of its exact location, which is at the very front of the engine. Or right in front of the radiator, or the engine bay.

The location of the sensor at the front of the engine is typically intentional, as it keeps the sensor away from the engine heat. Readings will become inaccurate if the sensor is exposed both to engine heat and to outside temperatures.

What Does The P0073 Code Mean In Ford?

The P0073 DTC code in a Ford means something is wrong with the ambient temperature sensor circuit. This sensor measures the temperature outside the vehicle, so the computer can adjust the AC system. If the sensor fails, the AC auto mode may not work, the cooling may be inconsistent, and the temperature gauge may show the wrong temperature reading. It’s best to ask a professional technician to check and replace the sensor if needed.


Can You Drive Without An Ambient Temperature Sensor?

Yes, it’s technically possible to drive without an ambient temperature sensor. In case you don’t have an ambient temperature sensor, your car’s computer won’t be able to regulate the interior temperature. This will result in the HVAC system reverting to manual control. Your air conditioner and heater can still be used, but only manually. 

What Are The Symptoms Of A Faulty Ambient Temperature Sensor?

An inaccurate outdoor temperature reading, faulty AC auto mode, and inconsistent cooling are signs of a faulty ambient temperature sensor. In the event that the sensor isn’t working properly, the symptoms may indicate that it needs to be replaced.

How Do I Know If My Temperature Sensor Is Working?

One way to confirm if your temperature sensor is working is to run your vehicle through an emissions test. When everything else is in order, failure in this test should be caused by a faulty coolant temperature sensor. In addition, if your engine overheats frequently, your coolant temperature sensor may be malfunctioning.

Signing Off

With this, we’re about to conclude the discussion regarding how to reset ambient temperature sensor Ford. This guide aims to assist you in resolving any issues you may be experiencing with the ambient temperature sensor’s misreading. In the event that the problem persists, it is advisable to seek the expertise of an automotive mechanic for additional assistance. 

Thank you for your attention.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.