How to Spot A Troubled EGT Sensor and What to Do About It

  • EGT sensor

For those who aren’t exactly vehicle savvy, some parts and the purpose of those parts in a vehicle or machine can cause a lot of confusion. While you don’t have to be a whiz when it comes to all things mechanical or vehicular, it does help to know the basics. A basic grasp of how the parts of your vehicle or machine works could have you major big bucks down the road when it comes to repairs, especially if you know how to spot a problem before it becomes an even bigger problem. Take EGT sensors for example.


What Is An EGT Sensor Anyway?

An EGT sensor stands for exhaust gas temperature sensor and it plays an important role in your vehicle or machine. The purpose of an EGT sensor is to measure your exhaust gas temperature. The information that is gathered by the sensor will then be sent to your engine control unit (ECU). Once the ECU receives this information, the corresponding action is taken.


Now, the function of an ECU is going to vary based on the type of engine you have. In a petrol engine, the sensor’s primary role will be to serve as a protector. It is going to work to protect your engine’s key components from excessively high temperatures. When the ECU sensor detects a higher temperature, it is going to try and lower that by boosting the pressure or increasing how much fuel is injected into the catalytic converter.


In a diesel engine, the ECU sensor works a little differently. Yes, it is still used to monitor the temperature, but this time it is monitoring the temperature in your DPF or diesel particulate filter. The sensor will try and establish what the correct temperature should be for the DPF regeneration to take place and minimize the harmful emissions given out by your vehicle.


Why Your EGT Sensor Might Be Facing Problems

An EGT sensor could fail due to several problems. For example, one of these problems would be excessive exposure to higher temperatures of more than 900°C at times.


Another reason why your EGT sensor might be facing some problems could be due to the loose internal connections that might be caused by severe vibrations. Bends and twists in the EGT sensor’s wires might cause it to break. When you replace other components in your car’s exhaust system, if the EGT sensor is not handled carefully, it could be at risk of breaking when the wires are already bending and twisting.


Your EGT sensors might start running into problems when it has been contaminated by other fluids. This could be antifreeze or oils, for example, and getting contaminated is going to cause your sensor to produce inaccurate readings. When your EGT sensor is running into problems, it would usually give some warning signs that you need to look out for. These signs include some of the following:


  • Your check engine light is on.
  • A faulty sensor could cause a malfunction in your EGR system without triggering your check engine light. You might not realize there is a problem until it is too late.
  • Your fuel is not as efficient as it usually is. When your sensors are not running as they should, it could cause your vehicle to consume more fuel than it normally would.
  • Your faulty EGT sensors could also cause your DPF filters to regenerate unnecessarily.
  • When your exhaust temperatures increase, it could cause your car’s other components to fail prematurely.


What to Do If You Suspect Something Is Amiss

If you think something might be wrong with your EGT sensor, there are a couple of things you could do to troubleshoot the problem before you run out and get new parts. Sometimes you might need a new EGT sensor, but other times a little troubleshooting could do the trick:


  • Check your connectors for any signs of loose connections. Sometimes, you might spot some signs of corrosion happening too or wiring damage.
  • Check your sensors for any signs of contaminants build-up. If this is the case, it should be a quick fix. All you need to do is clean it with a dry cloth to clear the build-up and hopefully, this should fix the problem.
  • If you have a diagnostic tool on hand, run an electronic test. Your diagnostic tool will help you read the fault codes on the test.
  • Run another test on your EGT sensor using an IR measurement device. Do the test when your engine is running and the temperature in your exhaust is higher to give you a better comparison between the two readings. If you are able to conduct both these tests, it should give you a much better idea of what is going on with your EGT sensors. The results from the IR device test will allow you to compare the readings against the live data you collected when you ran your test with the diagnostic tool
  • Turn on your ignition to measure what the voltage is on your sensor’s connector. The EGT sensor plug should be disconnected when you do this. The reading you should get should be around 5 volts. If you’re not getting 5 volts, then check the supply of the ECU.


If you do need new EGT sensors, it is always best to buy from a supplier you can trust, like DPF Parts Direct, for example. At DPF, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with quality after-treatment products in an efficient and reliable manner, getting you and your customers back on the road fast. We offer expert phone and chat support to help you get the exact part you need. Supported by industry veterans, DPF Parts Direct has an extensive selection that includes DPFs, DOCs, v-clamps, weld bungs, gaskets, sensors, DPF cleaning equipment, and more from industry-leading brands, such as Redline Emissions Products, Durafit, Skyline, Filtertherm, & EcoClean to name a few With nine warehouse locations throughout North America. DPF Parts Direct delivers orders quickly to wherever you may be.


When it comes to your vehicle and care, trust in no one else but the experts. It’ll be one of the best decisions you make.