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What is a lambda sensor and how does it work?


The lambda sensor measures the oxygen content in the exhaust gas stream and transmits the information in the form of an electrical voltage to the engine control unit. This can then adjust the fuel-to-air ratio for the combustion chamber to achieve optimum combustion and thus the best possible engine performance. In its measurement, the lambda sensor compares the oxygen content from the exhaust gas with the content of the ambient air. If the oxygen content is higher the fuel mixture is too thin, then there is more air in the combustion chamber than is necessary for the fuel. If the value is below the reference value, then the mixture is too thick, i.e. not enough air is present to completely burn the fuel. If the mixture is correctly adjusted, the pollutants that are released into the environment are minimized. In addition, the control sensor ensures an ideal initial value for the exhaust gas purification in the catalytic converter. Only when the exhaust gas mixture has the right ratio can the catalytic converter achieve the best result. Last but not least, a lambda sensor also reduces fuel consumption.

The lambda sensor is generally located in the exhaust manifold or directly in front of the catalytic converter. Then the lambda sensor is also called a control sensor. In addition, there may be a wide lambda sensor after the catalytic converter. This is also called a diagnostic probe and serves mainly as a control probe. It performs the same measurement. Smaller deviations can be compensated for by the engine control unit. In the case of larger deviations, an error is signaled. At the bottom of the page, we describe why a lambda sensor can go defective and what to look for when buying a lambda sensor.

How can a lambda sensor become defective and what are the symptoms?
What to consider when buying a lambda sensor?

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NOx-Sensor Lambdasonde OPEL Zafira Tourer C 1.6 CDTI 855608 / 55487677

vom OPEL Erstausrüster

Item No.: A16214W585
Manufacturer: OPEL
part number: 55501897
Baugruppe: Abgasanlage
Verwendung: NOx-Wert (Harnstoffeinspritzung)
Mengeneinheit: Stück
instead of 503,97 EUR 267,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

2x BOSCH 0258003477 Lambdasonde VOR KAT für BMW E46 320-330i E39 E60 E61 E38 E65

auch für X3 E83 X5 E53 Z3 Z4 | BMW OE Nr. 11781742050

Item No.: PKT872W385
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 003 477
EAN-Code: 3165142800189
Delivery:

  • 2x Lambda Sensor Piece - BOSCH 0 258 003 477
93,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH 0258003806 Lambdasonde VOR + NACH Kat für PORSCHE BOXSTER (986)

entspricht PORSCHE OE: 986 606 126 01

Item No.: A09564W510
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 003 806
EAN-Code: 3165142680811
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
64375388: 160000
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 350
70,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

NOx-Sensor Lambdasonde OPEL Insignia A (G09) 2.0 CDTI / 4x4 170 PS 55500320

vom OPEL Erstausrüster

Item No.: A16214W583
Manufacturer: OPEL
part number: 55500320
Baugruppe: Abgasanlage
Einbauseite: Position 2
Verwendung: NOx-Wert (Harnstoffeinspritzung)
Mengeneinheit: Stück
instead of 752,34 EUR 345,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

DELPHI Lambdasonde ES20314-12B1 für OPEL AGILA A ASTRA H COMBO CORSA C D TIGRA

entspricht OPEL-Nr: 855406 | Regelsonde vor Katalysator

Item No.: A16564W583
Manufacturer: DELPHI
part number: ES20314-12B1
EAN-Code: 5012759388679
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
64375936: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Laenge_mm: 520
41,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH 0258006498 Lambdasonde NACH Kat für PORSCHE CAYENNE 9PA S/Turbo/S 4.5 95560613601

für Fahrzeuge bis Baujahr 01.2007

Item No.: A09564W538
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 006 498
EAN-Code: 3165143412671
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Abgasanlage: nach Katalysator
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Einbauseite: beidseitig
Verwendung: Lambdawert
64375388: 250000
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 790
78,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
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BOSCH 0258003723 Lambdasonde NACH Kat für PORSCHE 911 (993 996) 3.4/3.6 Carrera

Item No.: A09564W514
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 003 723
EAN-Code: 3165142250977
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Abgasanlage: nach Katalysator
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Einbauseite: beidseitig
Verwendung: Lambdawert
64375388: 160000
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 720
70,70 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde HONDA Accord 7 2.0 155 PS + 2.4 190 PS

Item No.: UNI033W693
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1474015
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Kabellaenge_mm: 1070
104,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde für MAZDA MPV II (LW) 2.0 122 PS bis 08.2000

Item No.: UNI033W554
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1463029
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Kabellaenge_mm: 325
79,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde für MAZDA MPV II (LW) 2.0 120 PS bis 07.2002

Item No.: UNI033W555
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1463030
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Kabellaenge_mm: 335
75,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde für HONDA S2000 (AP) 2.0 2.2 Vtec 239/240 PS

Item No.: UNI033W700
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1474022
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Kabellaenge_mm: 675
97,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

short term available / 3-4 working days
add to cart

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde für HYUNDAI COUPE (RD) 135 137 PS bis 04.2002

2.0 2.0 16V | auf Einschränkung achten!

Item No.: UNI033W445
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1460321
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Kabellaenge_mm: 260
84,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

short term available / 3-4 working days
add to cart
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How can a lambda sensor become defective and what are the symptoms?

For a lambda sensor to work correctly, it must be at operating temperature. This is done with the hot exhaust gases. If the engine is still warming up, a heating element in the control sensor takes over the heating in newer vehicles. Only from a temperature of over 350°C, a control probe can make correct evaluations. This is precisely the first sticking point. If only short distances are driven, most of the heating power must be provided by the heating element. However, this is not designed for continuous power and can become defective if the load is too high.

The lambda sensor also becomes dirty over time, as the pollutants in the exhaust gases are deposited on it. This means that the control sensor can no longer measure correctly. If, for example, engine oil enters the combustion chamber due to damage to the cylinder head gasket or defective piston rings, and residues of this oil subsequently end up in the exhaust gases, this can also clog the lambda sensor upstream of the catalytic converter. Excessive exhaust gas temperatures above 950°C due to combustion malfunctions and the use of leaded fuel also cause faster wear. In addition, incorrect cleaning of the control sensor can poison the reference air, which also means that correct measurement can no longer be carried out. For this reason, a lambda sensor must not be cleaned with contact spray before the catalytic converter.

A defective lambda sensor can cause the following symptoms:

  • The engine power decreases
  • Increased fuel consumption occurs
  • The exhaust gases turn dark
  • The check engine light comes on

These symptoms do not always mean that the lambda sensor is defective. This can also be due to other causes. Therefore, the fault memory should be read out first. An additional visual inspection is also useful, because like spark plugs, lambda sensors have different wear profiles. A lambda sensor tester can also confirm whether the lambda sensor is really defective. Only then is it worth considering replacement. The diagnostic sensor, i.e. the lambda sensor after the catalytic converter, is usually less affected by wear. To be on the safe side, however, this should also be checked so that the wrong one is not accidentally replaced and the fault persists.

What to consider when buying a lambda sensor?

It is important before buying a lambda sensor to clarify at which point it should be replaced. Position 1 describes the lambda sensor before the cat (control probe), position 2 the lambda sensor after the cat (diagnostic probe). In addition, it can also be distinguished whether it is heated or unheated. In older vehicles, only unheated control probes are used, since the exhaust system there is not yet sufficiently developed. In addition, the number of lines and the type of connector connections differ for each vehicle, as does the length of the cable.

Therefore, if you want to buy a lambda sensor, it is recommended to first select the vehicle. Then the products are reduced to only suitable results. With the remaining offers can be selected from various well-known brand manufacturers. We carry high-quality spare parts from the following brand manufacturers:

They are all characterized by a high level of know-how and use only high-quality materials. Their products meet all the requirements of the vehicle manufacturer and can therefore be used without hesitation.

In addition to lambda sensors, this category also includes NOx sensors. NOx sensors function in a similar way to lambda sensors, except that they measure the proportion of nitrogen oxides rather than the oxygen content. Generally, NOx sensors are used in addition to the lambda sensor and are predominantly used in diesel engines. Their measurement is used, for example, to control the proportion of diesel additives such as AdBlue.

If you are unsure which NOx sensor or lambda sensor to purchase, please feel free to contact our customer service with the 17-digit chassis number.