Since the late 80s and into the early 90s, vehicles have begun to use a central processor and a variety of sensors to help detect the presence of a problem. These sensors can make driving safer since drivers can have early detection of a variety of issues. The sensors can also save costly repairs if the problem is identified and corrected early. So, what are the many sensors found in vehicles, and what purpose do they serve? Read on to find out more about these important parts of your engine.
The Oxygen Sensor
This sensor is found in the car’s exhaust stream, typically close to the exhaust manifold. This sensor is often called an O2 sensor, and it monitors the number of exhaust gases in relation to the amount of oxygen to ensure a good balance. The sensor detects the amount of oxygen in the air, and it alerts when the engine is running too high in the exhaust to help alert drivers of issues with emission controls.
The engine speed sensor measures the rotational speed of your crankshaft. This measurement is calculated in RPMs and it uses a serrated disc and magnetic coil to detect the engine crank as it spins. The speed sensor creates a strong magnetic field around the coil, and a disk is there to disrupt the magnetic field. Whenever the disk disrupts it, the number of RPMs are counted. When you have cruise control, problems with your speedometer, or fuel ignition issues, the speed sensor should be able to detect them.
Mass Air Flow Sensor
Found near the air filer, this important sensor carefully monitors how much air is entering your engine. A drivetrain computer uses the information gathered from the mass airflow sensor to determine the right level of fuel delivery. If the mass airflow sensor is failing, you may notice problems like rough idling, stalling, or engine hesitation. If this sensor detects a problem or has problems itself, your “check engine” light should come on.
The Fuel Temperature Sensor
As furl gets hot, it becomes less dense and is prone to igniting. Cold fuel is much denser, and it’s much more difficult to burn effectively. The fuel temperature sensor keeps track of this and sends information right to your engine’s onboard computer. If the fuel is warm, the injectors will then deliver more fuel for better efficiency. If the fuel is cold, the opposite will happen. This sensor is important in ensuring that your fuel temperature remains at a good, stable temperature.
These are just a few examples of the many sensors designed to keep your vehicle running smoothly. If your “check engine” light comes on, bring your vehicle to us for full diagnostics.