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Affects on sensors from ethanol

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Old 02-15-2007, 12:33 AM
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Affects on sensors from ethanol

I have to write a paper for one of my college automotive classes on the affects of ethanol/gasohol on O2 and air/fuel ratio sensors. What can you guys tell me about this subject?
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:17 AM
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You mean, how will it affect their longevity, or how it will affect their readings, or what?

I know of no physical problems between ethanol fuels and standard O2 sensors. In terms of running the engine, the O2 sensor will detect a lean condition and the computer will richen the mixture to compensate. Neither will have a clue the engine is running on ethanol; it simply tries to maintain a stiochiometric air to fuel ratio during closed-loop operation.

Where you run into problems is in open-loop operation. The computer does no compensation there, and a gasoline only motor runs lean.
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