A balance of air and fuel is necessary in order to keep the engine healthy. But if you add the exhaust system to the equation, you also need to consider the effect of this mixture to the performance of the catalytic converter. In order to extend the life of the engine and the catalytic converter, you need a good oxygen sensor. This device ensures that the mixture of air and fuel includes equal amounts of each. Otherwise, either the engine or the catalytic converter will be damaged--the former if more air is put in to the mixture (lean), and the latter if more fuel is added (rich). Thus, your oxygen sensor helps the ECU to alter the ratio of each combustion ingredient in order to have a balance in performance and fuel economy. If your O2 sensor is damaged, you may replace it with one from NTK. But before doing so, let us first put the unit to the test.
- Original equipment replacement
- Extensively tested for quality and reliability
- Comes with a water-proof connector
- With a ceramic sensing element
- Comes with a year or 12,000-mile limited warranty
We tested this component on a 2009 Chevrolet Cruze and a 1993 Dodge Colt, and here is what we have to say:
- The unit looked generally good. The sensor housing was made of a durable material. The wire was not bent and did not have any cut. We had no appearance-related problem with the unit.
- The water-proof connector was a good idea. We did not have to worry about the connector rusting or compromising the sensing element of the unit.
- Once the new sensor was installed on each vehicle, we cruised on the highway and in the city in order to see if there would be a change in performance. Shifting the Cruze and the Colt was more enjoyable because we heard a different kind of aggressive bark from the engine when adjusted to each gear. Fuel economy also became a bit better, while horsepower and torque outputs were almost the same. We were satisfied, though, because the power outputs did not decrease.
- The oxygen sensor had shorter wires compared with the old ones removed from the Cruze and the Colt. Thus, we had to reroute the wire for the Cruze and connect additional wire for the Colt in order to solve the problem.
The price of this NTK oxygen sensor can be found on the expensive end of the spectrum. However, it does not fall short on performance. The two vehicles we used performed better in terms of fuel economy and shifting response when the unit was installed. Despite its price, this product is not a bad bet after all.