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Types of car pressure sensors and how they work

 

Tire Pressure Sensor (TPMS):

  • Principle: TPMS sensors typically use a piezoelectric or capacitive pressure sensor technology.
  • Operation: Each TPMS sensor is mounted inside a tire and constantly monitors the air pressure. When the pressure decreases, the sensor's internal diaphragm or structure deforms, causing a change in capacitance or generating a voltage.
  • Transmission: The sensor wirelessly transmits the pressure data to the vehicle's onboard computer, which processes the information and triggers a warning light on the dashboard if the pressure falls below a predefined threshold.

 

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Sensor:

  • Principle: MAP sensors often use a piezoresistive or capacitive element.
  • Operation: The MAP sensor measures the pressure in the engine's intake manifold. As the engine sucks in air, the pressure in the manifold changes. The sensor responds to these changes by altering its electrical properties, such as resistance or capacitance.
  • Signal Processing: The sensor's output is sent to the Engine Control Unit (ECU), which uses this data to optimize fuel injection and air-fuel mixture for engine performance and emissions control.

Oil Pressure Sensor:

  • Principle: Oil pressure sensors typically use a piezoresistive sensing element.
  • Operation: The oil pressure sensor is mounted in the engine and monitors the pressure of engine oil. When the oil pressure changes, it causes a corresponding change in the sensor's electrical resistance.
  • Output: The sensor's output is sent to the ECU and may also be used to trigger a warning light on the dashboard if oil pressure drops too low.

Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor:

  • Principle: These sensors often use piezoelectric or piezoresistive elements.
  • Operation: Transmission fluid pressure sensors monitor the hydraulic pressure in the transmission. Changes in pressure result in a change in the sensor's electrical properties.
  • Signal Processing: The sensor's output is used to control transmission functions, such as gear shifting and torque converter lockup.
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