1994 Town Car outside temperature shows -39 on the dash gauge. Air conditioner will not blow cool air but the heater works fine. How can this be fixed, or can it?

Asked by Aug 20, 2013 at 10:55 PM about the 1994 Lincoln Town Car Signature

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Like I said the dash sensor board shows the outside temperature at -39 degrees. Does
this cause the AC to not work? I know the heater works fine. Is it fixable? And if so, how?

3 Answers


The ambient temp sensor is most likely defective or you have a broken or shorted circuit in the sensor wiring. Most auto repair shops have the tools to fix this. The climate control system is not connected to the ambient temp sensor for the outside temps, it has it's own sensor just under the dash pad. If your A/C is not operating the A/C system could be low on refrigerant so the compressor will not engage if the low pressure switch is not closed due to low pressures in the A/C system. Have your A/C system checked out and serviced if needed.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

YES! The Ambient Temperature Sensor is tied directly to your EATC unit. (I just perused the schematics) Yes it can effect your AC (since the lowest temp setting is 60.) There is also a Sun Load sensor (in the dash) As stated by my associate, it is likely that you have an open in either the sensor or the wiring that is causing your -39 degree reading. It is also possible that you have a freon leak preventing the AC from operating but it doesn't sound like it - yet. Ok, to fix it - you're going to need access to the trouble codes for the EATC system - perhaps a good service manual. It's probably a sensor failure. I am uncertain if it is a Federal Law or just good practice but most electrically/electronically operated automotive HVAC systems default to heat/defrost. So you won't freeze and you can see if all else fails. I know that the dealer is an unpopular choice but...rather that than throw parts at it until you get lucky - or not. A reputable luxury car mechanic is another choice if you aren't inclined to tackle the job your self.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Yes it is under the National Highway Traffic Safety Act of 1966 that beginning with 1968 models (and newer, to present) that climate control systems, either manual or automatic control, default to defrost when a failure occurs to maintain visibility under adverse driving conditions. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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