The function of an automotive oxygen sensor, also known as an O2 sensor, is to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases of a vehicle. It is a crucial component of the engine management system as it provides feedback to the engine control unit (ECU) about the air-fuel mixture being burned in the engine.
The oxygen sensor helps the ECU determine the ideal air-to-fuel ratio for efficient combustion and to maintain emission control. It detects the oxygen content in the exhaust stream and sends voltage signals to the ECU, indicating whether the engine is running rich (too much fuel) or lean (too little fuel), allowing the ECU to make necessary adjustments in real-time. This information helps optimize fuel economy, reduce emissions, and ensure the engine operates at peak performance.