The oxygen sensor is a car part that you probably never think much about. In fact, you may be unsure of what it even does, yet it is essential for your vehicle to function normally or perform optimally.
An oxygen sensor, which is sometimes abbreviated as an O2 Sensor, generates a reading based on the oxygen level within the automotive exhaust system. The oxygen sensor is made of ceramics and includes a number of pores, which are electrodes coated in platinum and surrounded by a threaded casing. The sensor is effectively screwed into the exhaust pipe with half of it sticking out. Most sensors undergo a heat test, which ensures they can reach their optimal operating temperature promptly.
How Many Oxygen Sensors Does a Car Have?
Most new vehicles are required to have catalytic converters in each exhaust pipe. These catalytic converters take harmful gasses and turn them into less harmful gasses. Every catalytic converter is required to have a couple of oxygen sensors.
So if you have a single exhaust system, you probably have one catalytic converter and, thus, two oxygen sensors. Cars with double exhaust pipes, meanwhile, will be fitted with a total of four oxygen sensors.
The actual number of oxygen sensors for a car depends on the year, make, model and engine. However, most of the later model vehicles have four oxygen sensors. Note the following specific vehicles that have four oxygen sensors:
- 2013 Honda Civic 1.8L 4 cylinder
- 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe 6.0 L 8 cylinder
- 2004 Jeep Wrangler 4.0L 6 cylinder
- 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser 4.7L 8 cylinder
The number of sensors varies according to engine type:
Traditional V6 and V8 have three oxygen sensors including a left bank and right bank sensor upstream and a downstream O2 sensor
4 cylinder transverse has an upstream and a downstream O2 sensor
V6 and V8 transverse have four oxygen sensors including a left or front bank upstream; right or rear bank upstream; rear of the engine; and a downstream sensor
4 and 6 cylinders in-line have three oxygen sensors including a front and rear bank upstream and a downstream sensor