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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
Verwendung: NOx-Wert (Harnstoffeinspritzung)
Baugruppe: Abgasanlage
Mengeneinheit: Stück
instead of 495,06 EUR 245,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

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
???item.ean.code???: 3165142800189
Delivery:

  • 2x Lambda Sensor Piece - BOSCH 0 258 003 477
91,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

NOx-Sensor Lambdasonde OPEL Insignia A (G09) 2.0 CDTI 170 PS 55500319

vom OPEL Erstausrüster

Item No.: A16214W584
Manufacturer: OPEL
part number: 55500319
Verwendung: NOx-Wert (Harnstoffeinspritzung)
Baugruppe: Abgasanlage
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Einbauseite: Position 1
instead of 737,51 EUR 344,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

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
???item.ean.code???: 3165142680811
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Leiteranzahl: 4
64375388: 160000
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Verwendung: Lambdawert
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 350
70,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH 0258006824 Lambdasonde VOR Kat für PORSCHE 911 (997) 3.6/3.8 Carrera S

ab Baujahr 09.2005 bis 05.2008 | PORSCHE: 99760617601

Item No.: A09564W518
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 006 824
???item.ean.code???: 4047024406407
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 550
Verwendung: Lambdawert
64375388: 250000
34,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH Lambdasonde Regelsonde 0281004148 für Audi Porsche Seat Skoda VW VAG TDI

entspricht VAG OE-Nummer: 1K0 998 262 AD

Item No.: A18564W507
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 281 004 148
???item.ean.code???: 4047024377004
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 750
Leiteranzahl: 5
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Verwendung: Lambdawert
64375388: 250000
75,54 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH 0258003924 Lambdasonde PORSCHE 911 3.2 3.3 Turbo 964 3.6 Carrera/Turbo

entspricht PORSCHE OE-Nummer: 965 606 126 01

Item No.: A09564W523
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 003 924
???item.ean.code???: 3165142327679
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 715
64375388: 100000
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 3
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Verwendung: Lambdawert
68,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

BOSCH 0258003369 Lambdasonde VOR Kat PORSCHE 993 3.6/3.8 Carrera 272-301 PS

entspricht PORSCHE OE-Nummer: 993 606 126 01

Item No.: A09564W519
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 003 369
???item.ean.code???: 3165142991917
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Leiteranzahl: 4
64375388: 160000
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Laenge_Ueber_Alles_mm: 1000
Verwendung: Lambdawert
66,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

NOx-Sensor Lambdasonde BMW 1er E81-E88 116i-120i 3er E90-E93 316-320i 11787587130

Item No.: A02214W591
Manufacturer: keine Angabe
part number: nicht zutreffend
Verwendung: NOx-Wert (Harnstoffeinspritzung)
Baugruppe: Abgasanlage
Mengeneinheit: Stück
295,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

available / 1-2 working days
add to cart

2x BOSCH Lambdasonde VOR + NACH Kat für PORSCHE 911 (996 997) bis 08.2005

entspricht PORSCHE: 996 606 168 01 + 996 606 178 01

Item No.: PKT972W202
Manufacturer: BOSCH
part number: 0 258 006 435, 0 258 006 433
Delivery:

  • 1x Lambda Sensor Piece - BOSCH 0 258 006 435
  • 1x Lambda Sensor Piece - BOSCH 0 258 006 433
143,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde LEXUS GX GS IS 2 LS TOYOTA Land Cruiser Yaris IQ Auris

Item No.: UNI033W512
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1462013
Kabellaenge_mm: 275
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Verwendung: Lambdawert
90,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time

HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS Lambdasonde MITSUBISHI Colt 6 / CZC 1.5 CZT 150 PS

auch für OPEL AGILA B 1.0 65/68 PS + 1.2 86/94 PS

Item No.: UNI033W581
Manufacturer: HERTH+BUSS JAKOPARTS
part number: J1465009
Kabellaenge_mm: 375
Lambdasonde: beheizt
Mengeneinheit: Stück
Anzahl_Der_Leitungen: 4
Baugruppe: Gemischaufbereitung
Verwendung: Lambdawert
87,95 EUR

incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs

Currently not available at the time
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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.