Install Outside Temperature Sensor - 2001 Chevy Venture

I installed the Outside Temperature Sensor after I replaced the Overhead Console in my van.  The replacement console included the Driver Information Center that will display the outside air temperature as long as the right hardware is installed in the vehicle.  Most of the wiring was already there, but I had to purchase the sensor (called the "Ambient Air Temperature Sensor" by the dealer) and do a bit of "engineering" to get it connected.

One of the most entertaining moments of this project was talking on the phone with someone in the parts department of a local dealer. After giving him the last few numbers of the VIN and trying to get part numbers & prices for the pieces to make this happen, he said "Your car didn't come with that option and it can't be upgraded." After explaining that I installed a newer console with the Driver Information Center in it he said "You can't just plug it in and expect it to work!"

Where do they get these guys? I guess he knows how to run the computer and go find parts on the shelf, but probably doesn't have much experience in putting the pieces together.  The story below proves that if you know what the pieces are supposed to do and how to connect them properly, you CAN make it work!
Here are some details and pictures from my 2001 Venture that show how this was done.

I thought I would start at the front of the van this time, so here is the Outside Temperature Sensor mounted and in place. This is between the front bumper and the condenser (used for the air conditioner).

Outside Temperature Sensor - Mounted in place

This view also shows the "pigtail" that I bought to connect to the sensor (about $23 from the parts store).  I had to do some "custom wiring" to get the job done, but that is part of the fun!

The pictures below show the sensor and the cable, along with the labels that show the part numbers of each component.

The Sensor was about $11 from the dealer.
Outside Temperature Sensor 1    Outside Temperature Sensor 2

The Sensor Cable "Pigtail".
Outside Temperature Sensor Cable    Outside Temperature Sensor Cable 2 - With Part Numbers

Now the fun begins! 

The first picture below is of the original connector where an extension cable would have been installed if the outside temperature option was present.  It was found near the windshield washer tank. While researching this project, I plugged in a thermistor ($2.49 from Radio Shack) and was able to get a valid reading on the temperature display.

Original Temperature Sensor Connector

Since I couldn't get the original cable anywhere, this connector was removed and I hard-wired into the cable. The 2 pictures below show the wires soldered and then insulated with shrink tubing. These wires then go out the side of the engine compartment and run toward the front of the van.

Temperature Sensor Cable - Soldered    Temperature Sensor Wires w/Shrink Tubing

Below are two pictures of the other end of the wiring I had to install. 

The first picture shows the wires soldered together and the second picture shows shrink tubing for insulation.

Temperature Sensor Wires 2 - Soldered    Temperature Sensor Wires 2 - w/Shrink Tubing

The next two pictures show how I routed the wiring between the original connector and the sensor.  I pushed the wires into the plastic conduit to hold it in place and keep it from rubbing against anything metal.

The first picture shows the wires coming from the engine compartment into the area behind the right side marker light. The next picture shows the wires tucked into the plastic conduit behind and below the right headlight.

Temperature Sensor Wires Routing 1    Temperature Sensor Routing 2

Here is the final result of this project - Success!
First picture is degrees using Fahrenheit scale.
Temperature Display 1 - Degress in Fahrenheit

Second picture is degrees using Celsius scale.

Temperature Display 2 - Degress in Celsius

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