Car sensors: What are they and what types are there? (2022)

11 Min Read
Car sensors
Autonomous smart car automatic wireless sensor driving on road around the car. Autonomous smart car goes on the scans the roads, observe the distance and Automatic braking system

What kinds of sensors does the car have? Car sensors have become an increasingly important industry in the past twenty years.

They have contributed significantly to automobiles’ increased comfort, safety, and cleanliness. This article will briefly overview the most critical sensors in a vehicle.

Car sensors

The function of sensors:

A particular state constantly characterizes sensors at a given time. They transmit the captured value to a control device as an electrical or wireless signal.

There, the programmed nominal state and the received current state are contrasted with one another.

There are a variety of responses that can take place, depending on the nature of the discrepancy.

These responses can range from straightforward signals to the production of an error code or even the activation of the car’s emergency operation.

When viewed from a technical standpoint, the complexity of many sensors is belied by their deceptively straightforward design.

Simply put, many of the sensors installed in automobiles are merely not a necessary—magnetic or bimetallic composition.

Their straightforward construction helps keep costs down while ensuring they are entirely dependable.

Other sensors are much more complex.

Lambda probes, which measure the amount of oxygen present in exhaust gases, and radar-based travel sensors are two examples of the types of high-tech sensors currently available.

There are many different kinds of sensors

Different types of sensors can be grouped into the following categories:

1. Position sensors

2. RPM sensors

3. Accelerometers

4. Pressure sensors

5. Temperature sensors

6. Power sensors

1. Position sensors

Position sensors determine where a particular part is situated in relation to a predetermined track by measuring its position. These may take either a linear or a circular form.

Sensors of linear position are utilized, for instance, for the purpose of measuring the depth of a tank’s supply of fuel, engine oil, or AdBlue.

Angle sensors are another name for position sensors that detect angles along circular paths. These, for instance, are responsible for determining the position of the crankshaft or the yaw angle.

The group of position sensors also includes sensors of the ultrasonic or radar variety that are attached to the bumpers of vehicles.

2. RPM sensors

RPM sensors are used to measure the rotational speed of various components within the vehicle, beginning with the engine.

The rotational speed of the crankshaft and camshaft is continuously recorded as it is an essential component for controlling the engine.

In addition to that, ABS sensors are of the utmost significance. They are constantly monitoring whether or not a wheel is turning and the speed at which it is bending.

The ABS sensor is a good illustration of a conventional example of a straightforward but highly efficient feeler.

In its most basic form, it is made up of a miniature electromagnet that is fastened to a spinning perforated disc.

The control device will be able to determine whether or not the wheel is turning so long as it continues to receive a constant frequency of magnetic fields.

Around the same time, the relatively straightforward ABS system was upgraded to the more advanced ESP, which is responsible for stability control.

The sensors in a car have continued to advance along with technological advancements.

3. Accelerometers

Accelerometers are of utmost significance when it comes to passive safety. Both the seat belt tensioners and the airbags deploy as soon as the vehicle begins to speed up.

Get yourself ready in case something unexpected happens. This challenging driving mode causes the entire chassis control system to undergo a state of adaptation.

4. Pressure sensors

Pressure sensors are used to analyze the behavior of gases and liquids in a given environment. They send the control device the actual pressure values of the following systems in which they are installed:

Fuel pipe

– Brake hose

– Intake system

– Air conditioning

– Power steering hydraulic pressure

– Tire pressure

It is vitally essential to monitor these pressures across the different systems constantly.

When there is a drop in pressure in the brake lines or the brake servo, the vehicle becomes difficult to control.

If there is a drop in fuel pressure, the vehicle will not even turn over. When the tire pressure is too low, the car may skid out of control immediately.

Because of this, the government has mandated that all new cars manufactured after 2014 come equipped with a system that monitors the pressure in the tires.

5. Temperature sensors

Temperature sensors are used to record the heat produced by a particular component. Not only is this information essential for the operator of the vehicle, but the majority of temperature sensors also serve as transducers for the control unit.

In order for the control unit of the vehicle to be able to make appropriate adjustments to the engine controls, it must first receive accurate information about the temperature conditions.

The following locations are where the temperature sensors are situated:

– Cooling system

– Intake system

– Oil pan

– Fuel tank

– Cabin

– Body

– Refrigerant for air conditioning

– As well as on tires (if applicable)

Car sensors, what are they and what types are there

6. Power sensors

It is essential to have force sensors installed in vehicles in order to ensure proper vehicle dynamics and occupant safety.

The pedals, the brakes, and the steering system all have force sensors built into them, and these sensors are used to measure the transmission.

In many contemporary vehicles, the seats themselves are equipped with sensors. These give off a warning signal to let you know that it is essential to fasten your seat belt at all times.

They are also responsible for supporting the tensioners.

7. Additional sensors

For the purpose of measuring the flow of air that is aspirated, a flow meter is utilized.

In the exhaust system, just prior to the catalytic converter is where you will find the lambda sensor. It is a sensor that can measure the amount of oxygen that is present in the exhaust gas.

Knock sensors are responsible for monitoring the combustion in the cylinders.

Small cause, big effect

The sensors are another vehicle component that will wear out over time. Should they be unsuccessful, the vehicle will soon break down.

In the past, determining what caused a car to break down required a great deal of patience because of the complexity of the problem.

Since modern control devices check the plausibility of the values received by the sensors, it is much simpler to pinpoint the component that is malfunctioning thanks to this feature.

Changing out the sensor is frequently the most efficient way to find a solution to the problem. However, the availability of sensors varies significantly from situation to situation.

Some of them can be eliminated in a flash and with no special equipment required. On the other hand, others call for extensive maintenance.

In general, each sensor can be thought of as an electronic component that is connected to the wiring harness.

This connection is a weak point that is frequently missed out on being addressed.

Copper is used extensively in the construction of the contacts that link the wiring harness and the sensor.

This has the potential to oxidize over time, which would disrupt the current.

It is therefore beneficial to begin by searching for the contacts, then thoroughly cleaning them, and then sealing them with the appropriate spray.

As a result, some engine problems that at first glance appear to be serious can be solved for next to nothing, practically.

However, even if a sensor malfunctions, there is still a good chance that the vehicle could be salvaged. It is even often worthwhile to replace hard-to-reach parts such as the impulse transmitter.

Therefore, owners of older vehicles should educate themselves about the recommended replacement intervals for sensors.

Performing preventative maintenance on some sensors by replacing them on a regular basis is a sensible measure to take.

Because of this, potentially catastrophic engine problems are avoided. One example of such a sensor is the temperature sensor housed within the engine cooler.

Other examples include the oxygen sensor and the pressure sensor.

If this is changed out at the same time as the heat exchanger or fan, then the latter components will be able to function to their full potential.

In addition to this, the lambda probe ought to have its batteries changed on a regular basis. This helps to preserve the life of the catalytic converter while also reducing fuel consumption.

Share this Article
Leave a comment