A little heat never hurts anybody. Or so we think. While we know that the engine of a car, especially a very powerful engine, is going to generate a lot of heat when it is driven, the question of how much heat can the engine actually take rarely ever springs to mind.
An engine will generate heat and that is something that is unavoidable. But why is there a need for an EGT and why should you buy an EGT sensor for your vehicle? Is it really a necessary purchase? That is what we’re here to find out.
The Truth Behind the Importance of An EGT Sensor
An EGT sensor is short for Exhaust Gas Temperature sensor. The EGT sensor in your vehicle functions primarily to measure the heat that is created by the combustion that happens inside your engine. The sensor is there to measure the temperature in your exhaust and ensure that the temperature remains at optimum level.
But hang on, aren’t engines designed to withstand extreme amounts of heat? Well, they are, but there is such a thing as getting too hot. Engines can overheat and when that happens, you’re endangering several other parts of your engine. An overheated engine has a risk of cracking the engine head, melting the pistons, destroying your turbos, and causing general havoc. None of which will spell good news because it could lead to a very expensive repair bill.
While your engine does need a certain amount of heat to run as it should, you never want your engine to become too hot to handle. This is where your EGT sensor plays a very crucial role and why you should consider installing one in your vehicle.
This is especially important for vehicles running on diesel fuel. When diesel fuel comes into contact with compressed intake air in the combustion chamber, temperatures can soar to more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon ignition, diesel fuel can create temperatures of more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the superheated flame will create cylinder pressures that can sometimes reach almost 3,000 psi.
When both the pressure and temperature are on the rise, your piston gets pushed down. This is what creates your torque and horsepower. Your EGT sensor is there to tell you precisely what is happening within your engine and what the running temperature is from moment to moment.
The temperature will fluctuate while you are on the move, but if the temperature ever gets abnormally hot, your sensor will be the one to alert you. You could be driving long just fine and everything seems normal without ever knowing that your engine might be in danger of running too hot if you don’t have an EGT sensor with you.
Your EGT sensor is an important component in your vehicle for the protection of your engine. You always want to be the first to know if something is not quite right. The sooner you catch the problem, the better your chances of fixing it before the problem becomes way too expensive or complicated to fix.
Think of the importance of your EGT sensor in the same way you put something in the oven. Once you have removed your delicious dish from the oven, you take off your oven mitts and tap it a few times with your fingers to see if the temperature is alright enough to touch it. Those taps last mere seconds and nothing happens to your fingers.
However, leave your fingers there for longer than a second or two and it will quickly feel like you’ve burned your fingers. The same analogy can be applied to your engines. The longer your engine is exposed to temperatures that are higher than it should, the more likely it is to become burned enough to be damaged. Just like your fingers.
By buying an EGT sensor and having it fitted in your engine, you’ll know when you’ve exceeded your heat limit and it’s time to slow it down a little to give your engine some time to cool off. This will go a long way in helping to preserve the lifespan of your engine. Take care of your vehicle and it will go a long way. Think of an EGT sensor as one of the many ways you keep up with the maintenance of your car outside its regular servicing needs.
Should You Buy Digital or Analog?
You’ll come across two types of EGT sensors when you’re shopping around for one. The first type of EGT sensor is an analog version while the second type is the digital variety. As a driver, you would have your preference. Some drivers might prefer the analog version while others are more inclined to the digital one. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so to speak.
One version is not better than the other, as they both function in the same way. Whether you choose to go analog or digital it doesn’t matter, they both produce the same result, which is to give you an insight into your exhaust gas temperature.
However, if you want to talk about which model has a slight advantage over the other, that would be the digital EGT sensor. That is because the digital version is much easier to read while you are on the go. When you’re on the road, you never want to take your eyes off the road for more than a second. With the digital EGT sensor, a second is all you need to check the numbers and see what your temperature readings are. That is because the digital version displays the exact number on the screen.
With the analog version, unless this is something you’ve already grown accustomed to, it might take more than a one-second glance at the screen to see what your readings are. You might have to look two or three times to get a definitive reading until you’ve become accustomed to your analog version.
For safety and peace of mind, especially if this is your first time installing an EGT sensor, the digital version might be the way to go.
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