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Oxygen Sensors

Automotive Oxygen Sensors


The Oxygen Sensor is required by the combustion engine as this helps in adjusting the air fuel ratio in it. This task is accomplished by sending a specific voltage to the electronic control module. Many other sensors are at work in order to send signals to the ECM. The different sensors work together so that emission control system can be managed in an efficient manner. The sensor is vital for reducing the ratio of air fuel of a car.

The Oxygen Sensor is also known as a lambda sensor. This is one device used for evaluating the oxygen level in a liquid. Also, this is utilized for measuring oxygen level in gas. The original sensing part is made with Zirconia which is a white crystalline oxide. This is formed in thimble shape on both sides. The available types are heated and unheated and a little coating of platinum.

The Oxygen Sensors had been incorporated in the American cars in the 1980s. The versions used were just simple and they only had one wire that functions as to transmit the voltage. This type is known as the unheated sensor. Newer versions then emerged with three wires, with own heaters and were called the heated Oxygen Sensors. In the former version, the car should be warmed up first before the sensor can work efficiently. But, in the newer version, quick heating is possible and this has a better gas mileage and better reduction of the exhaust gases. There are some models now that are incorporated with better sensor too.

The car will still run if the Oxygen Sensor malfunctions; however, it won't be operating at its best state. Moreover, you can see a rise in the fuel usage and there will be more exhaust emissions. With the two types of sensors, the heated type can go about 100,000 miles while the unheated ones only half of this mileage.

If there is buildup of soot in the sensor then it can fail. With this, the other sensor won't be able to last for a longer time as the first sensor. This is only caused by the wear that the engine parts have and the dirt that has been accumulated in them. When you have a bad sensor for oxygen in your car, then the mileage can go 20% less. But this usually varies on the condition of the vehicle and driving too.

In most cars, you will be able to recognize if there is a failure in the sensor for oxygen through the engine light because it will light up. But, in old car models you will not see this because the light could be burned out. And if you have just purchased a used car, well probably the previous owner has disconnected the light. So if you ask for a tune up of your car, then you should have the mechanic check the sensor.

If you have observed that your Oxygen Sensor is malfunctioning and getting faulty and already needs replacement, then you can go for a really easy process. This is the DIY method that is used by most mechanics out there. What you just need are a new piece of sensor, a screwdriver with flat tip and a crescent wrench that is adjustable.

In the process of removing the sensor, what you should know is this process is not the same for all vehicles. Along the procedure, there are also many other things that you should remove or replace. But, this article will detail the general method of how the process should be done. First, you have to know where the sensor is. In many vehicles, the sensor is located in the exhaust. A front wheel drive engine's sensor is at the front part when you open the car's hood. But, in a rear wheel drive engine, you can locate the sensor just at the bottom of the donut gasket.

The next thing that you will do is to remove the sensor. What you have to do is scrutinize the sensor first and focus on the wiring harness and you can remove it through the sensor's tip. What you need to do is to pull the sensor somewhere by carefully examining the engine. It will be much easier to remove the sensor if you also remove the wiring harness. Grab the crescent wrench and adjust it to the right size that fits the sensor to unscrew the device from the exhaust. You may also utilize a lubricant to be able to loosen the seal of the car sensor for oxygen.