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Lambda Sensor: concept, composition, principle of operation in the car

Today, more and more attention is paid to environmental issues, so it is not surprising that modern cars are equipped with catalytic converters. This element of the exhaust system is responsible for cleaning the exhaust gases, reducing their harmfulness. As the catalytic converter wears out, it needs to be replaced. It is worth trying to sell the old part with the help of the electronic platform https://autocatalystmarket.com/gb/en, where you will be able to choose the best price offer from trusted buyers in the desired region.

In order for the car’s exhaust system to work properly, it is necessary to constantly control the composition of the harmful exhaust. Lambda sensor or oxygen sensor successfully copes with this function.

What is a lambda sensor?

It is a sensor that determines the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases.

While previously the standard in cars was considered to have one lambda sensor, today models with two oxygen sensors are more and more common. This enhancement allows to achieve the following effects:

  • improve control over the exhaust composition;
  • get the most efficient fuel-air mixture; 
  • achieve optimal catalytic converter operation.
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The ECU receives data from the sensor, and based on it adjusts the fuel volume so that the fuel-air mixture comes out as productive as possible. 

Composition and principle of operation of the oxygen sensor

The lambda sensor consists of 2 types of electrodes:

  • external;
  • internal.

The external electrode is metallic, the tip contains a layer of platinum sputtering. It is equipped with ceramic insulators. This electrode calculates how much oxygen is in the exhaust.

The material of the inner electrode is zirconium. The working temperature is 1000 degrees. Therefore, lambda sensors are equipped with heaters, which allow the sensors to continue working even when the engine is cold.

Lambda sensor is found in 2 types:

  1. Two-point. It is based on 2 electrodes. The main task is to calculate the oxygen excess in the fuel mixture. In optimal conditions and with quality fuel, this coefficient is equal to 1. In reality, it is much higher.
  2. Wideband. This is an improved version. It contains 2 ceramic elements (two-point, pumping). The action of the first one is clear. The second one uses current to pump oxygen from the car’s exhaust.

The functioning of the lambda sensor is directly connected to the electronic control unit. The ECU receives data about the volume of air that is in the intake manifold. Based on this, a decision is made on the amount of fuel that needs to be injected into the cylinder through the injectors. The oxygen sensor helps to correct the amount of gasoline that should be poured for the normal functioning of the vehicle.

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