The lambda sensor, commonly known as an oxygen sensor, is a small probe found in the exhaust of your vehicle. Though it may be small, it is essential to the smooth running of your car. To make sure your lambda sensor is in good condition, it is important to know how it works and the warning signs in case something is wrong. 

What is a lambda sensor?

A lambda/oxygen sensor.

The lambda sensor is located specifically between the exhaust manifold and the catalytic converter within the car’s exhaust. Depending on how new your car is, it may have either one or two sensors; two in newer models and one in older models. 

What it does: The job of the lambda sensor is ultimately to make sure the engine runs correctly. It does this by adjusting the air and fuel mixtures within your car. It does this by controlling how much fuel is sent to the engine cylinders. 

Secondarily, it controls the emissions of your vehicle by ensuring the catalytic converter is functioning. Without this job being performed, your car could exceed the regulations on CO2 emissions which contributes to pollution and puts your vehicle at risk for not meeting safe road standards. 

How it works: The sensor performs both of its duties by measuring the air and fuel that were unburnt during combustion. This data informs how much fuel and air need to be sent, as well as how much gas needs to be released.  

What causes a faulty lambda sensor? 

There are a few reasons why a lambda sensor may stop functioning properly. But first, it is important to recognize the signs that something is wrong with the sensor. 

Symptoms of a faulty lambda sensor include: fuel being consumed at a higher rate than normal, rough motions when starting the vehicle, the engine warning light appearing on the dashboard, and a higher rate of emissions. 

The causes of the lambda sensor going bad tend to come down to any problem which offsets the air to fuel ratio in your vehicle. Some of these include: 

  • Worn spark plugs 
  • Dirty air filter
  • Damaged fuel pump
  • Lead in petrol
  • Overfilled engine oil

Why does a bad lambda sensor need to be fixed? 

There are few reasons why a faulty lambda sensor needs to be replaced or fixed. Like any other part, the sensor will face typical wear and tear over time. Regardless of the cause however, if you suspect your oxygen sensor is not operating as it should, inspection is vital. Most importantly, this is because inaccurate readings from the sensor will affect the air/fuel mixture in your vehicle, which is not ideal. You can expect higher fuel consumption, rough idling, and misfires in this case. If these issues do not get fixed, your engine and exhaust may suffer further damage, which means more expensive repairs for you and more potential danger. 

Another reason to get this part repaired in case of damage is because of the harmful impact it may have on the environment. A failing oxygen sensor will increase the emissions your vehicle puts into the atmosphere.  

It can also cause a failed Warrant of Fitness and should be repaired as soon as possible. 

Lambda Sensor Repair in Hamilton 

Do you suspect your lambda sensor is not providing accurate readings? If so, we can help! 

At Grimmer Motors, our mechanics are highly skilled and can run advanced diagnostics tests to determine if your lambda sensor is failing and why. Our shop always gives you quick, trustworthy, and affordable service for any of your vehicle’s troubles. Book an appointment now with Grimmer Motors to get your lambda sensor inspected and repaired in Hamilton!


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