Vehicle Sensors

This page contains a list of the most common sensors found in modern vehicles, as well as a brief description of their purpose. To get a more detailed guide, click on the button next to each sensor.

Powertrain Sensors

Powertrain sensors are used within a vehicles engine, transmission and other components designed to propel the vehicle forwards.

Manifold Air Temperature Sensor

Manifold temperature sensors measure the temperature of the air inside the intake manifold.

Engine Oil Pressure Sensor

The engine oil pressure sensor monitors the pressure of the oil in the engine and provides feedback.

Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

The fuel management system determines the engine operating temperature using coolant temperature sensors. The control unit alters the injection timing and firing angle according to the sensor data and the operational conditions.

Transmission Oil Temperature Sensor

The transmission oil temperature sensor monitors the temperature of the oil in the transmission and provides feedback to prevent the transmission from overheating.

Engine Oil Temperature Sensor

The engine oil temperature sensor monitors the temperature of the oil in the engine and provides feedback altering the engine performance and operation.

Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor

The exhaust gas temperature sensor detects the temperature of the exhaust gas, this may be used for emissions or by the ECU to alter engine parameters.

Boost Air Temperature Sensor

The boost air temperature sensor monitors the temperature of the air after the forced induction system and provides feedback altering the engine performance and operation.

Engine Oil Temperature Sensor

The engine oil temperature sensor monitors the temperature of the oil in the engine and provides feedback altering the engine performance and operation.

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Sensor

The MAP sensor works with the intake air pressure to determine air and fuel quantities for ignition cylinders. The MAP sensor monitors intake manifold vacuum relative to barometric pressure.

Barometric Absolute Pressure (BAP) Sensor

Barometric pressure sensors are used for engine control unit (ECU) management, seat comfort, and battery pressure sensing.

Transmission Input Speed Sensor

A transmission input speed sensor works with the transmission output speed sensor to calculate the transmission gear ratio.

Engine Oil Pressure Sensor

The engine oil pressure sensor detects the pressure of the oil within the engine.

Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor

The fuel rail pressure sensor detects the pressure of the fuel within the high-pressure fuel rail of the engine.

Air Conditioning (A/C) Pressure Sensor

The A/C pressure sensor monitors the A/C loop's high pressure level to enable or disable the compressor and fan.

Brake Vacuum Pressure Sensor

Modern brake boosters have a vacuum (or pressure) sensor. It monitors brake booster vacuum.

Transmission Output Speed Sensor

A transmission output speed sensor works with the transmission input speed sensor to calculate the transmission gear ratio.

Vehicle Speed (VSS) / ABS Sensor

VSS, also known as an ABS sensor, measures wheel speed. The ECM uses this data to adjust engine functions.

Camshaft Speed / Position Sensor

The camshaft sensor allows the engine control unit to determine the exact position and speed of the camshaft(s).

Throttle Position Sensor

The throttle position sensor determines the exact position of the throttle, the ECM uses this to adjust the position of an electronic throttle body on the intake.

Pedal Position Sensor

A pedal position sensor is used on modern cars to provide the ECM with the exact position of the pedals, such as the throttle, brake, and clutch pedal.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Position Sensor

The EGR position sensor provides the ECM with the position of the exhaust gas recirculation valve. It's part of the emissions control / reduction system.

Knock Sensor

A knock sensor detects high-frequency vibrations characteristic of engine knocking and transmits a signal to the ECU which can then alter engine function.

Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor

The MAF sensor has the job of measuring the amount of air entering the intake.

Oil Condition Sensor

An oil condition sensor measures the capacity and conductivity of the oil providing the ECM with an oil quality value.

Transmission Position Sensor

The transmission position sensor detects which gear the vehicle is currently in.

Fuel Tank Pressure (FTP) Sensor

The fuel tank pressure sensor is an important part of the evaporative emissions control system that is designed to capture unburnt fuel vapours from the fuel tank.

Oxygen (O2) / Lambda Sensor

The oxygen sensor, also known as lambda sensor, detects of the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. This sensor provides a way of measuring fuel mixture.

Fuel Level Sensor

The fuel level sensor identifies the level of the fuel in the fuel tank.

NOx Sensor

NOx sensors monitor the level of nitrogen oxide emitted by a diesel vehicle to ensure compliance with emissions regulations, this is part of the emissions system.