Oxygen Sensors

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With the mass of cars on the roads, it is not surprising that more attention is paid to the level of pollutants in the air. In the fight against pollution, the pollutant plaque is a weapon that we all know. Finally, you can see the small sticker now almost every car. But also on the manufacturer side a lot is done and not just recently. Exactly since 1976. This is the year in which the so-called lambda probe was manufactured for the first time in series. It compares the residual oxygen content in the exhaust gases with the current atmospheric air. From this measured value, the ratio of the combustion air to the fuel can be determined and consequently adjusted. In the control loop for lambda control, the lambda probe is the main sensor. It is used for catalytic exhaust gas purification and thus helps to minimize the pollutants emitted by the car. But not only in this you come to use. They are also available in various heating systems or gas heating.


How exactly does a lambda sensor work?

As already described, the lambda probe measures the amount of oxygen left in the exhaust after combustion by the engine. The result of this measurement then sends you by means of electrical and analog signal to the control unit of the engine. There, the value is finally interpreted and, taking into account other parameters, the amount of fuel supplied to the engine is calculated. This effectively regulates the ratio between fuel and air, which is why the lambda probe is also known as a control probe.

Speaking of names: The lambda probe has its value of lambda. In combustion theory, this value determines the mass ratio of fuel and air during a combustion process. So exactly what the probe measures.


How do I recognize a defective lambda probe?

If the Lambda probe is defective, the way to the workshop should be started immediately. Although this does not have a direct impact on the engine, it should still not be neglected. What symptoms now indicate a defect? For more modern cars, the engine control light would first of all attract attention. In this case, the error code is stored by the system and can be identified with a corresponding reader. If you have an older vehicle, you have to recognize the broken lambda sensor but other. The most obvious signs of this are poor engine performance and higher fuel consumption. These result from the not properly regulated fuel supply. Since this leads to a bad burning, leaving smoke is another symptom. Even the temperature values ​​of the internal combustion engine can be influenced. In any case, you should have your car inspected in the workshop. With a little luck, the lambda probe itself is not defective, just a connection cable. This will not be that expensive.


How do I install a new lambda sensor?

This process is not one of the easiest and should therefore be left to the professional. But if you decide to do it yourself, it pays to get into a workshop that you can screw yourself, as you need a lift and some tools. The lambda probe can be found under the connector protection cover, which must be removed first. The probe is then usually very tight because it is rusty. Do not use a rust remover, as this must not come into contact with the new one. Carefully loosen it with a ring spanner. Now simply replace the old model with the new one and you can screw the cover back on. Also make sure that you do not misplaced the cable in question.
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