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Unlocking Engine Efficiency:

Understanding The Differential Pressure Feedback (DPFE) Sensor

By R&D
Published on December 26th, 2023

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Amidst the constant evolution of automotive technology, manufacturers consistently strive for the ultimate objectives of enhancing engine efficiency and performance. The DPFE sensor assumes a substantial role in guaranteeing operational efficacy and curbing emissions in contemporary vehicles. In this article, we delve into the workings, significance, and troubleshooting of the DPFE sensor, shedding light on its integral role in the automotive industry.

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Differential Pressure Feedback (DPFE) Sensor

Understanding the DPFE Sensor

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx). These pollutants form when high temperatures cause nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the air to react. By reintroducing a portion of exhaust gases into the intake manifold, the EGR system lowers combustion temperatures and diminishes NOx formation. This process enhances fuel efficiency and helps mitigate the environmental impact of internal combustion engines. The Differential Pressure Feedback (DPFE) sensor is a component of the EGR system. The principal function of the DPFE sensor is to measure the pressure difference across the exhaust gas recirculation system. This function assists in regulating the opening and closing of the EGR valve, which controls the recirculation of exhaust gases back into the combustion chambers.

The DPFE sensor measures the difference in pressure of the exhaust gas both before and after it passes through the EGR system. This pressure difference, also known as the "differential pressure," is indicative of the flow rate of exhaust gas recirculation. The sensor converts this pressure difference into an electrical voltage signal, which is then supplied to the Engine Control Mnit (ECM).

Importance of the DPFE Sensor

It is critical that the DPFE sensor provides accurate data to the ECM to enable precise control of the EGR valve's operation. This data-driven approach optimizes the recirculation of exhaust gases, and ensures the correct amount of exhaust gas is introduced into the combustion chambers. This method of control aids in promoting emissions reduction, fuel efficiency, and engine performance.

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Common Symptoms of a Faulty DPFE Sensor

The DPFE sensor is responsible for measuring the pressure difference across the EGR valve to help the ECM regulate the EGR flow. If the DPFE sensor fails or malfunctions, it can lead to various symptoms and issues in the vehicle. Common symptoms of a faulty DPFE sensor include:

Reduced Engine Performance: If the DPFE sensor provides inaccurate readings, the ECM cannot control the EGR valve effectively. This can cause a decrease in engine performance, including reduced power, acceleration, and overall responsiveness.

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Ineffective Engine Performance

Increased Emissions: The EGR system's purpose is to recirculate a portion of exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. A faulty DPFE sensor may prevent the EGR valve from operating correctly, leading to increased emissions and failed emissions tests.

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Increase Emissions

Poor Fuel Efficiency: A malfunctioning EGR system can affect the air-fuel mixture and combustion process, potentially leading to decreased fuel efficiency.

Hesitation and Jerking: When the EGR system isn't functioning properly as the result of a faulty DPFE sensor, the engine may hesitate or jerk during idle, acceleration or while maintaining a steady speed.

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Hesitation and Jerking

Pinging or Knocking Sounds: If the DPFE sensor is not operating properly, it can lead to abnormal combustion, resulting in knocking or pinging sounds from the engine.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

As with any automotive component, the DPFE sensor will wear over time. Common issues for a worn sensor include signal errors, leading to improper EGR valve operation and consequent emissions imbalances. These problems can be diagnosed through OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) scans, which provide Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) related to the DPFE sensor. Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to prevent obstructions and ensure accurate pressure readings.

Cost of ECT sensor replacement

The cost of replacing a DPFE sensor ranges from $100 to $300. However, costs may vary depending depending on the vehicle make and model, as well as the labor costs in your area.

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