There was a time when vehicles were equipped with OBD-Zero - meaning, there was no computer system supporting the mechanical components. While it kept vehicles away from electronic bugs, their engines ran significantly harder as they went up to higher grounds. These days, newer vehicles are equipped with their own on-board diagnostics system. And feeding your vehicle's OBD system with an accurate atmospheric pressure reading spells the difference between optimum and lack-luster performance. Here, we tested how well the AEM barometric pressure sensor can deliver that vital data to our vehicle's system. We drove to Big Bear Lake with our 2005 Toyota Tundra equipped with the AEM stainless steel barometric pressure sensor.
- The stainless steel sensor has a +/- 0.5% margin of error while the brass sensor has a +/- 3% margin of error
- Universal component
- Integral weatherproof connector
- Less than 1 ms response time
- Multiple adapter choices
- AEM Limited Warranty
- Going up Big Bear, the Tundra's V6 gave us a good steady power. Opening the throttle wide open was not really necessary aside from the few times that we made quick overtakes on very slow vehicles.
- AEM products have not let us down so far. These include the pressure sensor. However, we are still on the lookout for other brands and newer sensors that can potentially do a better job delivering data to the vehicle's computer system.
- The instruction manual for the pressure sensor was a little snob for people who have not yet been assimilated to the automotive tech party. While this issue is not really a problem for our team, other people might have to shell out extra bucks to have the sensor properly installed in an auto shop.
- The AEM barometric pressure is a bit pricey compared to the average. If you are not very particular with brands, you can go for generic brands. Their prices can be as low as a quarter of the AEM sensor.
The price of the steel sensor is more than double the price of brass, but it offers a more accurate reading. This will be a trade off that you have to decide for yourself. Either way, both types of AEM barometric pressure sensor should be reliable under normal circumstances.