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Answered 2007-03-14 08:36:44

The coolant sensor is a device screwed into the water jacket usually in the water outlet housing near the thermostat. It will have a wire going to it, and is used to tell the computer or ECM what temperature the engine is operating at. This will allow the computer to enrichen the mixture when cold and lean it out when it warms up. The thermostat is a mechanical/thermatic device located in the water outlet housing and you cannot see it when the engine is together.It has a wax pellet inside of it that expands when hot and in turn opens a gate for water to flow through it. You have to take the housing off at the upper hose in order to see the thermostat. It doesn't have any wires going to it and is strictly for controlling the water flow through the upper radiator hose to maintain normal operating temperature so the answer is no, they are not the same, they do different things. Be aware too, that if you have an overheating problem do not just simply remove the thermostat thinking you are solving all your problems. The engine with no thermostat will always run rich, will pollute a lot, it will foul your plugs, it will lack power, your heater will never warm up, the check engine light will probably come on, it will fail the smog check if you have one where you live, the oil will run too thick for proper lubrication and, not to mention eventually over time this condition will ruin your catalytic converter. SO get the system working properly!

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