NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is the world’s largest manufacturer of lambda sensors and supplies a market-leading range to the aftermarket under the NTK brand name.
There are good reasons why NTK Lambda sensors are the number one choice of vehicle manufacturers (VMs) around the world, they are ‘Similar but different’. NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd says the experience it has in supplying the VMs worldwide allows it to offer exactly the right sensor for every vehicle application. The company says distributors should encourage garages to always go with a bespoke original equipment (OE) quality Lambda sensor and steer well clear of ‘universal sensors’.
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK), Ltd, said: “As a company NGK never stands still. NTK has more than 40 years’ experience in the sensor business, which not only includes Lambda sensors, but also Exhaust Gas Temperature sensors (EGTS), NOx sensors and Mass Air Flow (MAF) and Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors.
“This was expanded in April last year by the introduction of a new range of camshaft & crankshaft sensors, also known as engine speed & position sensors, which have also been very positively received.”
Lambda Sensors’ Installation Tips
Sensors are very vehicle specific, therefore it is essential that the replacement item has the same specification as the original factory fitted part.
Differences in the wiring configuration may not be easily identified therefore selection of the correct part is vital. Part of the EOBD (European On-Board Diagnostics) function is to monitor the performance of both the fuel regulating and catalyst monitoring diagnostic sensor. Fitting a sensor that does not match the specification of the original part could result in poor running, record of a fault code or cause the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) to illuminate, telling the driver that there is a problem in the system.
Sensors live in a harsh environment and corrosion of the exhaust and sensor is inevitable. This can make removal difficult and so it is essential that suitable tools be employed, such as a tube spanner, to prevent personal injury or damage to the sensor.
Before installing the new sensor, ensure that the threads are clean and in good condition. All NTK sensors have a factory applied anti-seize compound on the threads. This grease is sensor friendly and care should be taken if alternative greases are used to make sure that they contain no sensor damaging ingredients.
Tighten the sensor to the recommended torque to ensure correct sealing, a good earth via the exhaust (if applicable) and not to over stress the metal shell. Before connecting the multi-plug, check the vehicle side connector for damage, oil contamination and corrosion.
NGK says distributors should help educate garages by ensuring they fit a new NTK Lambda sensor whenever they replace a vehicle’s catalytic convertor.
A worn or failed sensor can result in drastically reduced control of the fuelling system which could result in increased fuel consumption, uneven running, generally poor performance or failure of an emission test, so replacement is good news for the customer, garage and distributor.