What is a lambda probe? Purpose of the oxygen sensor and signs of its malfunction

The engines of modern automobiles use numerous sensors that monitor certain important operating parameters in order to work properly. The data from them are fed into the central control unit, which allows you to quickly make adjustments to the operation of the engine. One such sensor is the lambda probe or oxygen sensor, which monitors the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases. The presence of such a sensor allows you to ensure the correct operation of the engine, increasing power and reducing fuel consumption. Let’s talk in detail about what we need to know about lambda probes in the car. If there are many other parts in your machine besides this sensor, it is easier to recycle the machine: https://scrap4cash.com.

What is a lambda probe? The purpose of the oxygen sensor and signs of its failure

The main purpose of the lambda probe
The lambda probe determines the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases, and the data from this module allows the ECU to provide improved combustion, reducing the toxicity of the car, while reducing fuel consumption. It is simply impossible to imagine a modern car without such a lambda probe, many cars even have several such oxygen sensors, which allows you to optimize engine performance.

Lambda probe in the car: the purpose of the oxygen sensor and signs of its failure

Features of the device of the oxygen sensor
Lambda probe is made of porous ceramic, on which a layer of yttrium oxide and a thin layer of platinum are applied. Such a sensor is capable of detecting even the minimum oxygen content in the exhaust, but due to the increased loads on the lambda probe during the operation of the car its service life is not too long. After a few years of using the car, the working layer of the sensor begins to burn out, its sensitivity decreases, and eventually you need to replace the sensor.

It is customary to distinguish between several varieties of such sensors, which can be made by two leads without heating, as well as three or four leads with heating. Lambda probes have a standard seating size, which allows purchasing universal oxygen sensors that will be suitable for different cars when it is necessary to replace the sensor. The car owner should remember that such sensors should be replaced at the first signs of failure.

Modern engines use two oxygen flow sensors at once, with one lambda probe located just behind the exhaust manifold, while the second is located behind the catalytic converter. This positioning of the sensors not only allows the correct combustion of fuel to be detected, but also ensures that the efficiency of the catalytic converter is monitored.

If the car owner cuts out the catalytic converter, this may result in an incorrect signal from the lambda probe, as a result, it is necessary to re-flash the engine, which allows solving the existing problems without damaging the car engine. Similar work is carried out if software chip tuning is performed or various additional air filters are installed.

Lambda probe in the car: the purpose of the oxygen sensor and signs of its failure

Signs of sensor failure
A faulty air flow sensor is usually indicated by a significant increase in fuel consumption. Two-liter engines with a malfunctioning lambda probe can gobble up 15 liters of gasoline or more. This is due to the fact that the ECU, not receiving the necessary signals from the lambda probe, begins to average the indicators during fuel injection, which significantly increases the gasoline consumption figure.

Usually a computer diagnostics is performed to accurately determine the malfunction, which shows the failed lambda probe. If you have the proper experience, you can diagnose such malfunctions on your own by checking the voltage on the pins with an ordinary multimeter. Such self-determination of malfunctions is possible on foreign cars produced about a decade ago, while on modern cars it is still required to conduct computer diagnostics.

Let’s summarize.
The work of modern engines is unthinkable without various sensors, one of which is the lambda probe. This sensor is responsible for determining the degree of fuel combustion. Modern cars have two such lambda probes, which in the process of operation can fail, after which it is required to replace them. The main sign of lambda probe failure is a significant increase in fuel consumption, in such a case the car owner should take the car to service, make computer diagnostics and according to its results repair the car.

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