This is an oxygen sensor that is strategically placed on the vehicle’s engine to measure the ratio of oxygen or gas being utilised. Sensors are also designed to measure exhaust gas emissions. The sensor’s job is to establish whether the vehicle is running rich or lean and make minute adjustments to keep the vehicle working as smoothly as possible.
The O2 sensor is vital for the proper operation of the vehicle and if this component is not working correctly it will usually display a warning light on the dashboard. Lambda (or oxygen) sensors are also placed near the catalytic converter where they pick up the emissions coming from the engine. If the emissions coming from the engine are incorrect or out of balance when they reach a lambda (or oxygen) sensor the engine management system will be engaged and a warning light will alert the driver of the engine running incorrectly.
These sensors were first designed in the 1960s but they have progressed in leaps and bounds, with new technologies offering sensors with better methods of diagnosis. Modern oxygen sensors are able to pick up minute differences in exhaust gas emissions and report these back via the on-board computers found in modern vehicles. An oxygen sensor is also used to monitor the oxygen concentration within the protected volumes. There are many methods to measure oxygen and these include technologies such as electrochemical methods, zirconia, and ultrasonic with each having its advantages and disadvantages. With modern mechanics and improvements in technology, the inclusion of an oxygen sensor to improve the efficiency of the engine and pick up any abnormalities in the emission is highly important. These sensors, much like spark plugs, can be checked and replaced if they are not functioning properly.