What is the purpose of the O2 / Lambda sensor?
The O2 (Oxygen) Sensor or Lambda Sensor as it is known in the the trade is located before the Catalytic Converter in the exhaust system.
The job of this probe is to measure the amount of oxygen left in the remaining burnt gases as they exit the engine and send this information to the ECU (Engine Management Unit). The ECU can then calculate the correct fuel / air mixture for the ideal combustion which lowers fuel consumption and in turn reduces emissions. This is important for passing MOT and roadside emissions tests.
More recent regulations require a second 02 sensor to be positioned after the Catalytic Converter so that the effectiveness of the converter can be measured.
Why you should the Lambda / 02 Sensor be replaced?
If there the sensor is faulty it will send incorrect readings to the ECU and therefore the calculated air to fuel ratios will be incorrect. This will cause the engine to stutter, run lumpy and increase fuel consumption.
engine_management_light.jpg (from Decarbonise DPF page)
When should the Lambda / 02 Sensor be replaced?
As long as it’s not shortened by other engine malfunctions the average lifespan of an 02 sensor is 80,000 to 90,0000 miles.
Exhaust leaks can damage the sensor probe which can lead to dangerously high temperatures. The probe canse also become contaminated by unburned fuel, if this occurs it is irreversible.
Following a strict servicing routine, including the usual oil changes, spark plugs, air filters etc, is required to ensure maximum life of the sensor.
Signs that your Lambda / O2 Sensor needs to be replaced:
- The engine starts to stutter or suddenly suffers from reduced performance
- The check engine management light illuminates
The easiest way to diagnosis a faulty Lambda / 02 sensor is with an OBD (On-Board Diagnostic computer). Unless you have access to an OBD reader and are competent in using one this should be completed by a professional.
Typically garages charge up to £70 for such a diagnostic, alternatively we include a FREE diagnostic with all of our Carbon Cleaning Services starting from just £89.99
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