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The coolant temperature sensor (ECT) is a very important input to the PCM. It is used to calculate fuel mixture, ignition timing, whether the engine should be run in open or closed feedback loop and the operation of the cooling fans among other things. Chrysler uses a pressure/density system for its electronic fuel injection. The temperature of the engine greatly affects the density of the air/fuel charge. An ECT that is out of calibration can affect the EFI operation significantly. The use of data from the ECT for the temp gauge is merely a convenient secondary function.
 

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Which one is the ECT? The one in oil filter housing or the other?
I can't tell you for certain. I didn't even know that there were two sensors on these vans until a little while ago :p I have a 4th gen and am not very familiar with 5th gen vans, just speaking from my general Chrysler knowledge. If I were to guess I would say the one in the cylinder head is the primary coolant temp sensor.

What are you trying to fix on your van?
 

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Chrysler uses a pressure/density system for its electronic fuel injection.
Doh! 😮 Chrysler doesn't use a pressure/density EFI system which would be redundant. It uses a speed/density system to determine how much air is entering the engine. Not sure where my head was at with that statement.
 

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How is the radiator fan controlled to come on/off, and then high or low speed?

Is it directly from ECT, or from pcm sending control input to the fan?

What causes AC to stop that is related to the cooling system?
This is the fan operation chart for a 4th gen van. The 5th gen chart is similar if not the same. Somebody posted it recently in another thread. The fan operation is ultimately controlled by the PCM based upon inputs of the ECT sensor, A/C pressure sensor and trans oil temp.
Font Material property Parallel Rectangle Pattern
 

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I can still recall the good old days when all you needed an oil pump to do was to pump oil. It was pretty simple. The faster it spun the more it pumped. That's it.
 
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