O2 Sensor Analyzer Product review of Lenehan Research's O2 Sensor Analyzer by: Bruce Bonebrake Managing Editor at BAT AUTO firstname.lastname@example.org www.lenehanresearch.com PHONE: 1-949-472-1026 When Peter Lenehan from Lenehan Research contacted us about his newest product, the O2 Sensor Analyzer , needless to say, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. This tool is very unique in a lot of respects. To be able to determine 100% (+ /- 5%) that the O2 sensor is performing properly is a hard task to accomplish. With a Scan Tool connected, or a DVOM, you may see the voltage fluctuation and think that the O2 sensor is fine, BUT is it really? Even with an expensive Lab Scope, you may be fooled into an incorrect diagnoisis. Let me tell you why. The Lab Scope, DVOM and Scan Tool are merely reading the O2 sensor during the current engine performance cycle. The only one of the three testers that reads the O2 in "Real Time" is the Lab Scope. The question is, what about the reponse of the O2 sensor under the extreme operating conditions the system will be performing in, while driving the vehicle daily? Wouldn't this be the most important time for the O2 sensor to send the correct voltage signal (input signal) to the PCM? You bet it is!! The O2 sensor Monitor will do JUST that!! When the O2 sensor Test is selected, the first thing that will happen is the O2 Sensor Analyzer will force the system below 175 mV (full Lean). Once this has been accomplished, the "Snap Throttle" / "Introduce Propane" LED on the tester, will illuminate after the Start button is pressed. After the throttle has been snapped (or propane is introduced), the O2 Analyzer will check to determine if the O2 sensor went to over 800 mV(full Rich) within 100 mS. If the O2 Sensor DID make the response, the "PASS" LED will illuminate. If the O2 sensor DID NOT make the required response, the "FAIL" LED will illuminate. The first question that may come to mind right now is, why do we need to know this? If the Scan Tool shows an "active"O2 sensor, doesn't that tell us that it is working properly? That is the problem, no, IT DOESN'T!! Let's get started.. I'll explain more along the way. It is said that one out of ten vehicles on the road have a defective O2 sensor. The O2 Sensor Analyzer will find that one vehicle, and also, let you know without a doubt that the other nine are OK. I believe that the heart of the fuel management is the O2 sensor. The PCM is the brain, naturally, but the PCM is making decisions based on the input information from all the sensors. The sensors that are "borderline" are the ones that are extremely hard to find. With the MULTIPLE O2 sensors on today's vehicles, it would be easy to spend HUNDREDS of dollars on a SINGLE O2 sensor. That is right, some of the O2 sensors are very expensive, and, how do you know that the O2 sensor is bad and should be replaced? OR that the new sensor you replaced the old one with is operating properly? I realize that it is brand new, but how many times have we seen a part that was new, be defective? It is not common, but the fact remains, it happens. So, let's review what we have talked about so far. 1) It is VERY DIFFICULT to be absolutely certain that the O2 Sensor(s) are working 100%, even with a Lab Scope. 2) It is said that one out of ten vehicles will have a defective O2 sensor. 3) The "heart" of the fuel management is the input sent to the PCM from the the O2 Sensor(s) 4) Some of the O2 Sensors are VERY EXPENSIVE, and then on a "multiple O2 Sensors" equipped vehicle, which O2 Sensor do you replace? And, are you 100% certain that it is the right one and not that something else in the system is causing the O2 Sensor to stay LEAN or RICH? 5) The State of California has an O2 Sensor test as part of the vehicle emission test (CA BAR). If you perform repair work in California, or if your state adopts this, and a vehicle fails the O2 Sensor test, how will you verify that the replacement O2 Sensor will be working properly? Makes us think, doesn't it? Ok, ok...(grin)..Let's get to the review.. Let's start with the packaging. You know, when I buy a piece of equipment, maybe it is just me, but the package that will hold my investment tells me that the manufacturer cares about the product. The last thing I want to do is damage my investment and I want to be able to completely and securely store it after use. Let's take a look at the package that the O2 Sensor Analyzer comes in. It is a heavy duty blow molded case that fits the tester like a glove!! Right from the start, I am impressed when I see this. And, have you ever had to hunt down the contact number of the product? Well, Peter has the phone number ON THE LABEL, ON THE INSTRUCTION BOOKLET, and the LABEL LOCATED INSIDE THE TOP COVER!! When you open the blow molded case, here is what you will see on the inside of the cover. These are the operating instructions folks!! VERY HANDY!!! There is also the enclosed manual that will provide additional information, but, this label explains how to connect the leads and how to use the functions. See the phone number and even the website address? No need to search for the information here.. Yes Peter, (grin).. we DO notice these things, and they are MUCH appreciated!!!!! The tester is enclosed in a reuseable "bubble wrap" pouch for safe keeping. You will notice that with the contents removed, as seen in the lower picture, there is even a foam mat in the bottom of the case. This is what I am talking about. You know, to see the tester at this stage, let's face it, you have already purchased it, it has arrived to you, you open the shipping box and have removed the carefully placed shipping material, the blow molded case, and as you keep opening and removing pieces, all the way to the end, the care has been thought of and given here. What does that tell you? It tells me what I already know from reviewing other Lenehan products, to Peter, this is personal. This isn't a company that "mass-produces" a product to get rich quick, Peter takes great pride in his products!! The contents of the blow molded case are: 1) the O2 Sensor Analyzer itself 2) the user's manual 3) the warranty card 4) the reuseable bubble pouch 5) a zip bag containing the lead adapters 6) a copy of the Motor's Top 20 Tools article that Lenehan Research was awarded for the superb "What Quit's First" tester. Getting started... The tester will need 2-AA batteries installed. They do not come with the tester, which is just as well, as the shelf life of included batteries would be unknown if they did. Inserting the batteries is a simple "no tools required" task. The rear of the tester has a slide open battery cover. The polarity is clearly marked inside the battery compartment.