Oxygen Sensor Simulator

The oxygen sensor simulator as built on a protoboard. Note the cigarette lighter plug used for power source. The adjustment knob is at the left, and the switch is on the right. The red indicator LED is in the middle. Only use red, because the voltage drop of the LED is part of the circuit!

The schematic diagram for the simulator. Closing the switch engages the simulator. Turning the knob clockwise simulates a lean condition, turns the LED off, and the car should start running rich to compensate. The big "V" is a digital voltmeter(not shown in the pictures). Using a smaller value for C1, perhaps 4.7 uF, will make the circuit oscillate faster and might be more like a real oxygen sensor(a new sensor switches more often than an old one).

The adapter cable. Note the connector recycled from an old oxygen sensor. Hard to see under the black tape: 100K resistor.

The schematic diagram of the adapter cable and oxygen sensor. Note the heater is shown as a resistor, mine measured about 7 ohms. Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Will you build one of these for me, or sell me the one you built? A: No, I won’t do that. If there is a community college or high school near you with an electronics class, you should contact the instructor and ask if there are students looking for a small job. This project is simple enough it should not pose a problem. Q: I built the project but I have to fiddle with the knob all the time. A: The car eventually will get too rich or too lean because it isn’t using the oxygen sensor anymore. This is a diagnostic aid, not a long-term replacement for an oxygen sensor. Q: I do racing on the weekends with my street car. Will this project help me tune the car to different conditions? A: If you do drag racing, yes. The races are short enough you can set a mixture and it will hold long enough. Each time you start the car it will go to the mixture you set. Other forms of racing take too long, and the mixture will creep towards very rich, you’d have to adjust the knob while driving. Q: Is this thing legal to use in California on the road or at the track? A: I am not a lawyer, but I would guess it is legal as a diagnostic aid, for emergency use, and for off-road use. If it’s really important to you, consider it not legal or get a lawyer’s opinion. It is not a computer under NHRA general regulations section 9:1 so it should be legal for drag racing at any track in the US. http://www.bobblick.com/techref/projects/o2sensor/o2sim/o2sim.html

O2 Sensor Bypass
Tired of getting those pesky CELs because you don't have a catalytic converter or your 2nd O2 sensor is failing? Here are the steps to follow to eliminate the sensor entirely.

1. The first part is to eliminate the actual sensor part of the O2 sensor. This is how our circuit will more or less be, note that we won't have the O2 sensor at all anymore. Here's our schematic:

2. Take the 1Mohm (that's 1,000,000 ohms) and the 1�F (micro-farad) capacitor and solder the two together in parallel. 3. Remove the front seat from your car and detach the two O2 sensor harnesses from each other. You want to work on the harness side that is attached to the O2 sensor (it's easiest). Cut all 4 wires leaving about 2.5-3" of wire. You should now be able to remove the harness piece from the car. 4. Strip �-�" of insulation off of the blue and white wires. Solder your two components onto the blue and white wires. 5. Tape/heatshrink everything up and make sure that nothing is shorting against anything else. 6. Now we'll eliminate the heater element of the circuit. You'll need a resistor of ~12 Ohms. This heater element flows around 1 Amp of current so you'll need resistors that can dissipate at least 12 Watts of current. Don't scrimp here as under-rated resistors could set your car on fire. 7. Strip the two black wires, solder the resistor in between the two wires. Tape/heatshrink everything well. 8. Plug the harness back into the other ECU side of the harness and put your seat back in. That's it, you're done!

O2 sensor simulator

OBD-II cars (1996 - present) have the two O2 sensors to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas. First sensor is measuring it right after gases escape engine and this data is used to adjust fuel trim of the engine, as well as catch some faulty conditions. The second sensor is located after the catalic converter, and is used to detect the health of catalic converter, it does not influence the car's performance in any way. The ECU expects the signal from the sensor to be oscillating from below 0.4v to above 0.6v, but not above 1.2v, every few seconds when cruising. If the exhaust system is modified to eliminate the catalytic converter the ECU will detect this and throw a code, turning on the check engine light on the instrument cluster. The ECU usually takes a while to detect and report this condition. The ECU can be reset and the error code can be cleared but it's not convenient and hinders one's ability to know if there are any other error codes due to a constantly illuminated check engine light. It is possible to simulate the O2 sensor to eliminate the check engine light. There are two methods to doing this, one is a simpler circuit that creates a load and uses a capacitor to simulate the o2 sensor, while much easier to construct, results may vary. The second more complex circuit is claser to the signal of an o2 sensor and should be used if one has the resources to build it.

O2 sensor simulator circuit #1
The following circuit is very easy to construct. The capacitor and the 1Mohm resistor should be soldered together in parallel. Then the old o2 sensor should be cut off, leaving the plug and wires in tact. After stripping the wires, the capacitor and resistor should be soldered between the blue and white wires, or whichever wires are responsible for the sensor itself. After that the whole thing should be taped or have heatshrink tubing placed on it to avoid any shorts. The other pair, which is for the heater element should be soldered to a resistor of ~ 12 Ohms to create a load, if there is no load on the heater element wires and they are left alone, the ECU will create an error code.

IMPORTANT: Use resistors that are rated for 12 watts of current or use many in parallel. The resistors will get extremely hot and if not rated for the current could start a car fire. Heatsinks can also be used to help.

O2 sensor simulator circuit #2

Building the following circuit will provide an oscillating signal generator with just the right frequency and voltage to fool the ECU. It is based on classical stable operating mode of 555 timer. The parts usually cost about $ 15 - $ 20 at RadioShack, however going to a local mom and pop electronics shop will make the project far cheaper. Some RadioShack stores are discontinuing carrying any electronic components.

Components:
 R1 100 K Ohm  R2 1 M Ohm  R3 100 K Ohm  R4 10 K Ohm  C1 4.7 uF  C2 22 uF  D1 1.7v@20mA LED  D2 1.7v@20mA LED

Hookup:
 Power source - Ignition, or to the ECU PIN #1  Ground - One of the ground points or ECU PIN #80  OUT - ECU PIN #47 (disconnect the O2 sensor wire)

RadioShack part numbers:
 276-309 - 5mm wide angle red led 1.7v, 20mA  276-1723 - The 555 programmable timer

 276-1995A - The 8 pin socket for timer chip. It makes soldering safer and

replacement easier
 276-150A - Generic PC board  64-3052A - Pack of blue tap-in connectors  278-1225 - Stranded wires (black, red and green)  270-1801 - Small black plastic project box 3 x 2 x 1  272-1024 - Capacitor, 4.7uF  272-1026 - Capacitor, 22uF

Additional notes
If you use different flavors of 555 timer chip or LEDs with different parameters you will need to readjust the values of R4 and R2 to get the interval and output voltage right. Don't attach it directly to the ECU right after assembly. Instead attach it to the battery and check the output. You should get approximately 0v/0.7v flipping about every 3.3 seconds when the car is not running, and 0v/0.9v when the car is running. The current should stay below 10mA. One LED should be always on whenever the power is supplied. Another LED indicates when the output signal is high, so it should go on and off with the signal. When tapping the ECU wires, triple check everything before hooking up the oscillator. The power source should read 0v when the key is removed, about 12.6v when they key is at ACC and about 14.3 when the alternator is running. The resistance between ground wire and the body shield of the ECU should be 0 ohms. And it would be best if you run the car and monitor the voltage of the original oxygen sensor wire before cutting it to make sure you have indeed got the right one. The resistance between ECU PIN #47 and ground is about 1.3 to 1.6 M Ohm. The original sensor should still be dangling around, or plugged into the downpipe. The reason is that ECU also monitors the resistance of heater circuit inside the sensor. If you want to COMPELTELY disconnect it, you will need to measure the resistance of the heater circuit and install the right resistor between ECU PIN #72 and ECU PIN #31 Anyway, there is no need to do it if you just leave O2 sensor alone and only intercept the oxygen signal wire. Above testing and precautions will prevent you from frying the ECU and spending major $$ $$. Anyway, I assume no responsibility if you still manage to do so.

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