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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the outside temp didn't show up the screen in my instrument cluster the other day when I started up the car, then the next time I started the car up the check engine light was on (still no outside temp displaying). I'm guessing the temperature sensor just went out, but my real question is whether or not this is safe to drive with for period of time?

It's been fine for a few days commuting to work (30mi, freeway speeds) with the CEL on and temp not displaying, but I'm planning on taking it on a quick ~500mi trip this weekend, 3hr freeway driving both ways. Anyone think the shot temp sensor and CEL will be an issue and I'll be stuck on the side of the road?

I've got an appointment to take it in next week to get it checked out. Hoping its covered under the warranty extension for the ECU Outside Temp Sensor.

Thanks y'all!
 

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Generally speaking, if you shouldn’t be driving the vehicle, the check engine light won’t simply be on; it will be flashing. It is possible you might be doing some light damage to the emissions equipment (probably not if the reason for the light is just the ambient temperature sensor, which does more than simply place a thermometer on your dashboard), and you may be getting sub-optimal fuel economy (a lack of ambient temperature sensor may mess up the calculations of the ECU a bit). But generally speaking, it is certainly ’safe’ as in you are not going to be hurt by it, and I would be quite startled if your van actually failed to proceed. I would take it to the dealer at your convenience. As pounce said, there is a warranty extension for that particular issue, so the repair should be free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thought I'd circle back in case anyone cares to hear what ended up happening with this issue.

Van did just fine on the trip without the outside temp displaying and a CEL on, didn't run into any issues there. Dropped the van off after getting back, hoping it would just be the temp sensor ECU covered by the extended warranty, but it ended up being a bit more involved. The dealer also assumed that it had to do with the warrantied parts, and went ahead and replaced all that, but the problem still wasn't solved. After a few more days of waiting I was informed that rodents had gotten up where they shouldn't be and nibbled their way through some of the wiring, causing the sensor to go offline and the CEL -- this unfortunately was not covered by the warranty.

2 weeks and $700 later all is said and done and it's like new again.

Lucky for me I wasn't the poor guy with $10k of damage to their Sprinter RV that was also getting worked on... I guess that's the silver lining coming out of it.
 
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