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Learn about the different types of sensors used in Automobiles.

Automobiles rely on various types of sensors to monitor and control different systems. Learn about the different types of automobile sensors and their functions in this informative guide.


types of sensors

What does sensor do on a car?

It can calculate how much fuel the engine requires with the help of these sensors. and when the ideal combustion may be achieved by lighting it. The system can also carry out additional tasks in accordance with measured data. For example, regulating the turbo pressure, turning on and off the radiator fan, operating a tachometer or shift light, and many other functions.







Cars' standard sensor suite includes the following:

Understanding the Basics: What Does a Car Sensor Do?

An electrical gadget called a car sensor gathers data from the vehicle and relays it to the driver or ECU (electrical Control Unit). Under some circumstances, the ECU automatically modifies the specific portion in accordance with the data it receives from the sensor. Additional information regarding automobile sensors is covered in the points below.


  • A car's temperature, coolant system, engine, oil pressure, emission levels, speed, and other characteristics can all be tracked by sensors.

  • Similar to this, auto sensors communicate with the ECU to alter or alert the driver.

  • From the minute the engine is started, the sensors continuously check all of the car's components.

  • Modern cars have sensors everywhere, even in the least important electrical part of the machine. This includes the engine.

Gain a better understanding of these essential components in modern automobiles.


  • Crank sensor:

Position sensor for the crankshaft is an electrical device called a crank sensor (CKP) is used in internal combustion engines, both gasoline and diesel, to track the crankshaft's position and rotational speed. Engine management systems employ this data to regulate the timing of the ignition system, fuel injection, and other engine characteristics.



  • Speed Sensor

The engine speed sensor's job is to figure out how fast the wheels are turning in order to figure out how fast you are going.

Wheel speed or transmission/transaxle output are measured by the vehicle speed sensor (VSS). With this data, the ECM may adjust engine parameters including air/fuel ratio, shift points in the transmission, ignition timing, and start diagnostic processes.




  • Knock Sensor

How is a knock sensor used?

After detecting the high-frequency engine vibrations that are indicative of knocking, the knock sensor sends a signal to the ECU. By initiating ignition as soon as feasible, the goal is to maximize the energy production. Engines that have a knock sensor installed can provide more torque while using less fuel.


  • Air Flow Sensor

How may an air flow sensor be used?

Although its full name is Mass Air Flow Sensor, it's more frequently referred to as an air meter, MAF sensor, or just MAF. Despite going by several names, its single, yet crucial, function is to measure the volume of air entering the engine.


  • Cam Sensor

How is the cam sensor used?

In order to pinpoint the precise location of the crankshaft drive, the camshaft position sensor collaborates with the crankshaft sensor. The engine control unit determines when the first cylinder is in the top dead point based on the combination of the inputs from both sensors.


  • NOx Sensor

What is a sensor for NOx?

To make sure a car complies with emissions standards, an oxides of nitrogen sensor is used to track the amount of oxides of nitrogen it releases.

What transpires if a NOx sensor malfunctions?

When a diesel-powered truck's nitrogen oxide sensor malfunctions, awful things begin to happen. Fuel consumption may spike sharply and the engine may start to run rough. The truck may then experience a breakdown and cease to operate completely, or the engine may enter derate, sometimes known as "limp mode."


  • Parking Sensor

Why is the park sensor turned on?

For use in road cars, parking sensors are proximity sensors that warn the driver of impending impediments. These systems make use of ultrasonic or electromagnetic sensors.



  • Oxygen Sensor

How does the sensor for oxygen work?

The O2 Sensor: What Is It? Most cars made after 1980 and all new cars have at least one oxygen sensor. Its role is to assist the engine in maintaining an air-to-fuel ratio that strikes a balance between emissions, power, and fuel efficiency. The oxygen sensor measures the difference between the amount of oxygen in the air and the exhaust.


  • Voltage Sensor

A Voltage Sensor: What Is It?

An instrument used to measure the voltage in an electrical circuit is called a voltage sensor. Numerous uses for voltage sensors exist, such as the monitoring and management of machinery and equipment. Various voltage sensor types operate in different ways. Here's one example: electromagnetic in nature.


  • Rain Sensor

One type of switching device that is used to detect rainfall is a rain sensor.

How does the sensor for rain operate?

It emits an infrared light beam that is reflected back at various angles by water droplets on the windshield. This instructs the system to turn on the wipers and modify their frequency and speed in accordance with the amount of precipitation and the speed of the car.



  • MAP sensor

How does a MAP sensor work?

The manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor, which is commonly used in fuel-injected engines, is one of the sensors that an engine control module (ECM) employs to continually monitor intake manifold pressure data in order to calculate fuel injection for the ideal air-fuel ratio.


  • Throttle position sensor (TPS sensor)

How does a throttle position sensor (TPS) work?

The throttle position sensor regulates the amount of air that can enter the engine's intake manifold by measuring the throttle valve's open position.


  • Coolant temperature sensor

How does a sensor for coolant temperature work?

The engine coolant's temperature is determined via the Coolant Temperature Sensor. The engine control unit receives the readings from this sensor and processes them (ECU). The fuel injection and ignition timing are then modified using the sensor's data.


  • Air temperature sensor

How does a sensor for air temperature work?

In the front of the system, directly behind the air intake vent, is where you'll find the air temperature sensor. The temperature sensor detects the temperature of the air being drawn into the system from the room and modifies the fan speed to achieve maximum efficiency.


  • Camshaft sensor

How does the sensor on the camshaft work?

The engine control can pinpoint the precise location of the crankshaft drive thanks to the camshaft sensor. Among other things, the ignition point and injection point calculations need this information.



  • Knock sensor

How does one use a knock sensor?

The knock sensor sends a signal to the ECU after detecting the high-frequency engine vibrations that are indicative of knocking. The goal is to initiate ignition as soon as possible in order to maximize energy yield. Engines equipped with a knock sensor can boost torque and use less gasoline.


  • EGT sensor

How may an EGT sensor be used?

About Walker Heavy Duty Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensors

The exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor is inserted into the exhaust stream to monitor temperature, which can reach up to 900°C. This helps keep the engine from overheating and damaging parts of the engine as well as auxiliary equipment such as the exhaust gas or diesel particulate filter (DPF).




  • Flex fuel sensor

What function does the fuel sensor have?

Utilizing the Flex Fuel sensor allows for the monitoring and adjustment of fuel injection, boost level, and ignition timing in response to the amount of ethanol present in the engine's fuel.



Sensors Used in Cars | Working of Sensors | Location and Uses (Explained in Detail)



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