Over the years, I have gone from being frightened to performing repairs involving sensors to feeling like sensors are my best friends. They greatly reduce the guesswork necessary in repairing a car, provided I have the needed computer technology to scan the error codes.

I am now trying to see the bigger picture of sensors. It seems to me that the following sensors exist on most every car built after 1985 and are crucial to the function of the car:

  • Throttle Position Sensor
  • Mass Airflow Sensor
  • Engine Knock Sensor
  • Camshaft position sensor
  • Crankshaft position
  • O2 sensor

Whereas the following sensors are present on most cars in the last 30 years, but are more for convenience (or at least the engine would run fine if I were to disconnect them):

  • Fuel level sensor
  • this-that-and-the-other kinds of fluid level and fluid temperature sensors
  • tire pressure sensors
  • door open and door closed sensors etc.

My question is this: when it comes to the sensors that directly affect engine performance, have I left any major ones off the list? Are there any car-make-specific sensors that I'm missing?


  • My car has an A$s-hat sensor. If someone is tailgating me i tap the breaks to get them to back off. If they do not back off or get closer the A$s-hat sensor kicks in and throttles the engine down, thereby slowing the car to a crawl. In extreme cases it will shut the engine down, say at an intersection and the person is really being obnoxious, it knows that the person can not move if my car does not move and it kills the engine for 10 minutes. This is an after market sensor and it happens to be in whatever vehicle i may be driving at the time.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 18:50
  • I have a MFE sensor - Middle Finger Extension. It's constantly using an advanced algorithm to evaluate the driving habits of others. It gets better as time goes on - adapting to others' driving habits, and ultimately results in a smoother ride for the vehicle overall.
    – the_photon
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 2:58

4 Answers 4


Speedometers are frequently electronic, and driven by a speed sensor somewhere in the drivetrain.


Others are:

Temperature sensor coolant

Oil pressure sensor

are two that come to mind.


Speed sensor in each wheel to determine if there is skidding or drive train wheel spin . And about a thousand other sensors. Such as limit up and limit down on all power windows ; similarly on all directions of all power seats movement. Steering wheel position sensors to signal the computer so it can calculate current trajectory on the back-up display, etc,etc,etc,etc.


Your MAP, manifold air pressure sensor, can cause some odd issues if it is beginning to fail. The PCM uses it to determine engine vacuum and ambient air pressure.

Umm.. also beware of the sensor packages that triggerthe air bags. They'll go off with the keys out of the ignition. if you decide to handle the mysterious module under your center console...

The yaw sensor can cause some unusual problems in Chevy suspensions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .