All About Different Types of Sensors in Cars

August 19, 2022
Posted by: Ramee M

The automobile industry is continuously evolving where the latest technology offers an efficient driving experience to users. For efficient performance, cars these days have a lot of sensors that are crucial for the function of several systems. Hence, car sensors are one of the efficient functional parts that boost the optimal performance of a vehicle. Read on to find out the types of sensors in the car and their functions.


The main function of all the types of cars system sensors is to monitor the operating functions and transmit all the information collected via car computer. Car sensors control different aspects of a vehicle which include emission levels, temperature, oil pressure and coolant system. There are many types of sensors depending on the type and technology of the part they monitor.

Here is our take on the types of sensors in the car and their functions.


The effective functioning of your vehicle’s engine depends on the intake of oxygen. However, the unequal intake can cause issues with your engine. The oxygen sensor is placed near the exhaust manifold that measures the O2 level in the vehicle’s exhaust system. These sensors detect if the engine is running on too fast or too slow an air/fuel mixture by burning a portion of oxygen through the exhaust system.

This data reading is converted into a voltage signal that is sent to the electronic control unit to set the optimum air/fuel mixture. This process is constantly changing depending on the load on the engine. For instance, when you are driving down hills, accelerating and other factors.


The purpose of Mass Air Flow (MAF) is to detect the amount of air entering the engine and send a signal to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The signal helps in calculating the correct amount of fuel to be delivered to the engine.

The sensor is located near the air filter and helps in reducing exhaust gases and air supply. A faulty or dirty mass air flow sensor can send wrong input signals to the engine control unit, which in turn can wrongly activate other components. The load for the mass air sensor is especially great in turbo diesel engines since both the flow and the speed of the air are very high.

The failure of a mass air flow sensor can idle or completely stop the vehicle. Hence, if you notice the MAF sensor failure, then check warning lights on the car dashboard.


The speed sensor is essential for the correct operation of the dash or cluster speedometer. Its malfunction can affect the performance of your car and can lead to more serious problems. The sensor is connected to the crankshaft and is responsible for measuring how fast the vehicle is moving.

The sensor then sends this signal to the automotive computer (ECU). The ECU uses this signal to calculate the exact moment when the automatic car transmission should change gear.


The camshaft and crankshaft position sensors are a critical part of distributor operation. The sensor works as a multi-function sensor to set the ignition timing. It also detects engine RPM and relative speed.

The purpose of a camshaft position sensor is to determine the position of the camshaft relative to the crankshaft. This data is then sent to the engine control module (ECM) for use with fuel injector and/or ignition system control.


The MAP sensor converts the engine vacuum/manifold pressure into an electrical signal so the computer knows what load the engine is running under. The manifold absolute pressure sensor informs the Engine Control Unit (ECE) of the absolute pressure measured inside the intake manifold. The sensor is located on the firewall, near the intake manifold. The symptoms of a bad MAP sensor could be poor fuel economy, problems in starting vehicles and engine misfire etc.

Now you know the function and importance of different types of sensors in cars, it is essential to keep them functional to get the optimal performance. In case your car isn’t performing well even after the frequent maintenance and repair, then consider buying a used car for sale in the Qatar.

Stay tuned to the leading Qatar’s auto blog to get more information about car parts.

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