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Oxygen Sensor Usage in Performance Auto Tuning

By Oxygen Sensors Subscribe to RSS | March 13th 2012 | Views:

For people that want the best out of their vehicles on an enthusiast or professional level, an oxygen sensor can be an invaluable tool, providing an in-depth level of feedback for you car's (1980 and newer) engine management computer. These wideband O2 sensors are designed and manufactured in order to reduce emissions and produce the highest efficiency possible for the vehicle they are installed in.

Oxygen sensors, sometimes referred to as lambda sensors, provide electronic measurements on the proportions of oxygen in the fuel. This may be slightly misleading as these wideband O2 sensors do not directly measure oxygen concentration, but rather the discrepancy between oxygen in air and the oxygen contained in the vehicle exhaust gas.

These original sensors were based solely on zirconium dioxide, creating the zirconia or lambda sensor in a solid-state electrochemical fuel cell configuration. The goal of the zirconia sensor is to achieve the balance between a “lean mixture” and “rich mixture” of oxygen to gas ratio. Lean represents a mix wherein carbon monoxide is fully oxidized by the oxygen entering the chamber, whereas rich represents a mixture high in unburned fuel and low on oxygen remnants. Zirconia is referred to as the the “narrow band” as it reacts a very narrow range of mixture ratios.

For those looking for greater performance and control, Robert Bosch (a multinational electronics and engineering company) put forth the wideband O2 sensor in 1994. This helped to meet the call for better mileage ratings, engine performance and lower environmental emission standards. Based on the zirconia style, it incorporates an electrochemical gas pump and electronic circuitry that produces a constant feedback loops. Together with the sensor this allows for nearly instant adjust to timing and fuel delivery, eliminating the “narrow” lean-rich cycles.

There are a large variety of companies that produce wideband controllers. You find them as standalone, cable kits or in full packages that feature gauges in a wide selection of colors and styles. Innovate Motorsports has been a leader in the field of Bosch style wideband O2 sensors, including a line of No-weld O2 sensor mounts which are very affordable and easy to install. No-weld O2 sensor mounts are a permanent, easy solution, installed with some simply drilling into the exhaust. Their standard product is the LC1+ kit which includes the wideband 02 sensors, an SSI-4 multi-sensor interface and the required cabling, allowing you to monitor and record 5 data channels for ultimate feedback and near-instant tuning of your performance vehicle.

In a day and age where fuel economy is at more of premium than ever due to raising gas prices the individual and enthusiast can make great use of O2 sensors. For the professional driver there may not be much separating you from your competition. A wideband O2 sensor gives your vehicle the edge through dynamic adjusting. This is especially import for rally racers where altitude and terrain can have significant impacts on your performance and fuel. The better the quality and range of your O2 sensor the more conditions will have less of a negative impact on your vehicle's output.

Oxygen Sensors - About Author:
Oxygen sensors provides freelance articles for PRE Racing, the top local Portland area provider of performance auto parts, including Wideband O2Sensors.

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