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Automotive Sensors (A-Z List & Descriptions)

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

The sensors used in modern vehicles are listed on this page, along with a brief explanation of each one's function. 

Powertrain Sensors

Powertrain sensors are used within a vehicles engine, transmission and other components designed to propel the vehicle forwards.



Manifold Air Temperature Sensor

The temperature of the air inside the intake manifold is measured using manifold temperature sensors.

Engine Oil Pressure Sensor

The engine oil pressure sensor provides feedback to the ECU while keeping track of the oil pressure in the engine.

Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

Using coolant temperature sensors, the fuel management system ascertains the operating temperature of the engine. According to the sensor data and the operational circumstances, the control unit modifies the injection timing and firing angle.

Transmission Oil Temperature Sensor

The transmission oil temperature sensor keeps track of the transmission's oil's temperature and provides feedback to keep it from overheating.

Engine Oil Temperature Sensor

The engine oil temperature sensor continuously measures the temperature of the engine's oil and provides feedback to adjust engine operation and performance.

Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor

The exhaust gas temperature sensor measures exhaust gas temperature, which the ECU can utilise to change engine parameters or for emissions.

​Boost Air Temperature Sensor

The boost air temperature sensor monitors the temperature of the air after the forced induction system and provides feedback which can adjust the engine performance and operation.

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Sensor

To calculate the right amount of fuel and air, the MAP sensor collaborates with the intake air pressure sensor. The MAP sensor monitors the relation between intake manifold vacuum and barometric pressure.

Barometric Absolute Pressure (BAP) Sensor

Barometric pressure sensors are used in diesel and gasoline engine control. They accurately and continuously monitor atmospheric pressure. Weather and altitude affect atmospheric pressure.

Transmission Input Speed Sensor

To determine the transmission gear ratio, a transmission input speed sensor and a transmission output speed sensor are used.

Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor

The fuel rail pressure sensor measures the fuel pressure inside the engine's high-pressure fuel rail.

Air Conditioning (A/C) Pressure Sensor

In order to turn on or off the compressor and fan, the A/C pressure sensor continuously checks the high pressure level in the A/C loop.

Brake Vacuum Pressure Sensor

​A vacuum (or pressure) sensor is a feature of modern brake boosters. It collects data of the brake booster vacuum pressure.

Transmission Output Speed Sensor

To determine the transmission gear ratio, a transmission input speed sensor and a transmission output speed sensor operate together.

Vehicle Speed (VSS) / ABS Sensor

Wheel speed is measured by VSS, sometimes referred to as an ABS sensor. These details are used by the ECM to modify engine operations or for certain systems such as ABS and traction control.

Camshaft Speed / Position Sensor​

The engine control unit can precisely detect the location and speed of the camshaft due to the camshaft sensor(s).

Throttle Position Sensor

The ECM uses the information from the throttle position sensor to alter the positioning of an electronic throttle body on the intake.

Pedal Position Sensor

​Modern vehicles have a pedal position sensor to give the ECM precise information on the location of the clutch, brake, and throttle pedals.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Position Sensor

The exhaust gas recirculation valve's position is sent to the ECM by the EGR position sensor. It is an element of the emissions reduction and control system.

Knock Sensor

A knock sensor sends a signal to the ECU, which can then change engine function, when it detects the high-frequency vibrations that are indicative of engine knocking.

Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor