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  • Wide-band oxygen--or O2--sensors are beginning to come into their own as a performance item, but have actually been around for some time. These sensors can accurately monitor air/fuel ratios well outside the range of narrow-band sensors, and are crucial to tuning.

    History

    The wide-band O2 sensor was first patented by Robert Bosch GmbH in 1994 for emissions testing, but was rapidly miniaturized for use in automobiles.

    O2 Sensor Purpose

    The purpose of any oxygen sensor is to record a vehicle's exhaust gas heat, and to send the data to a computer to extrapolate the engine's air/fuel ratio in real time. A hotter exhaust stream means too little fuel to the engine, and a colder one means it's getting too much.

    Wide-Band Purpose

    While narrow-band O2 sensors can only give a signal indicating whether the vehicle is above or below the ideal 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio, wide-band sensors are designed to accurately detect readings from 7:1 to 22:1.

    Wide-Band Construction

    Wide-band sensors use an integrated gas pump to stabilize the signal, allowing the sensor to work in temperature ranges far above and below those in which narrow-bands can function.

    Advantages

    Because the wide-band signal is stabilized, it can tell the tuner if the air/fuel ratio is 12.25:1 or 15.2:1. A narrow-band sensor can indicate if the mixture is above or below 14.7:1, but not how far off it is.

    Source:

    Widebando2sensor.com: Wide-Band FAQ

    GNTType.org: O2 Sensor FAQ

    Dnd-automotive.com: How does an O2 Sensor Work

    More Information:

    AEM wide-Band Review (Video)

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