Engine Sensors in Modern Cars

Engine Sensors in Modern Cars

As technology continues to advance, engine sensors are becoming increasingly prevalent in modern cars. These sensors have greatly improved the performance of vehicles. While they make repairs more complex, troubleshooting problems can in many cases be quicker and easier due to electronic codes. Understanding what engine sensors are in your vehicle will help you keep your vehicle running in top condition. A good piece of advice is to learn what engine sensors you have in your vehicle and then find a source for cheap sensor parts. Then if you ever run into any problems with your engine sensors, you’ll already have an affordable source of sensor parts.


While every vehicle is different, the following engine sensors are common in most modern cars:


  • Crankshaft Position Sensor – The crankshaft position sensor determines the position and rotational speed or RPMs of the crank. This sensor transmits information to the engine control units in order to control parameters including the ignition timing and fuel injection timing. The output from this sensor is used in combination with other data to derive the current combustion cycle of the engine. Therefore, it is a very important sensor for starting a four stroke engine and an integral sensor for most modern cars.


  • Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor – The engine coolant temperature sensor measures the temperature of the engine coolant of internal combustion engines. The readings from the sensor are sent back to the engine control unit or ECU. The engine control unit uses the data to adjust the fuel injection and ignition timing. Some modern cars also use the sensor to turn on the electronic cooling fan. It also can be used to signal the readings for the coolant temperature gauge on the dash board in modern cars.


  • MAP Sensor – The manifold absolute pressure sensor or MAP sensor is found in an internal combustion engine’s electronic control system. These sensors are found in fuel injected modern cars. The MAP sensor sends instant manifold pressure information to the engine’s electronic control unit or ECU. The ECU uses the information to determine the air density and sets the engine’s air mass flow rate, which then sets the required fuel metering to provide optimum combustion and either advances or retards the ignition timing. This sensor may also be used to detect the intake airflow in some modern cars.


  • Mass Flow Sensor – The mass flow sensor measures the mass flow rate of air that enters a fuel injected internal combustion engine. Air mass data is required for the engine control unit (ECU) to be able to balance and deliver the right fuel mass to the engine in modern cars.


These are just a few of the common engine sensors found in modern cars. You should familiarize yourself with the sensors found in the engine of your car. Once you know what sensors you have in your vehicle, you should find a source of cheap sensor parts so that you can be prepared when one of your sensors fails. The last thing you want to do is wait until you need an engine sensor to start sourcing the parts for your vehicle. You’ll end up paying more and waiting longer for parts, especially if they are uncommon and hard to find. Plan ahead and you’ll be ready for anything problem your vehicle may experience.

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