Issue 9: Lambda sensor cross-referencing issues

The situation

Cross-referencing components within the automotive aftermarket is common practice for most motor factors, but can’t always be relied on when identifying the correct parts for your application. Each manufacturer of lambda sensors, design their aftermarket product in slightly different ways, resulting in products that can cross-reference for some applications, but not others.


The below example shows a common difference in the design of cross-referenced lambda sensors. Figures A and B, are 2 separate lambda sensors offered in the aftermarket.

The two sensors cross-reference to different OE numbers and different applications due to the plug shape having an indent on opposite sides.

Cross referencing examples

Figure C shows a lambda sensor that has been re-designed in the aftermarket. The design of the plug has both of the indents shown in Figures A and B. This allows it to cross-reference to all of the OE’s and fit all of the applications from both products, creating a hybrid of A and B.

Whilst this enables Figure C to replace A and B, it can cause problems when cross referencing from Figure C, as both A and B could be generated as an alternative. This gives the impression that they are all the same, which is incorrect.

Similarly, when cross-referencing Figure C, if only a single part is generated (Figure A or Figure B), it’s often believed that the parts are identical and will therefore fit the same applications. As we can see in the above example, this is not always true.

How Cambiare can help

Cross-referencing is a great way to indicate an alternative part, however the only way to ensure that the part attained is suitable for the intended application, is to check that the application has been catalogued for the part. Cambiare’s online catalogue makes it easy to check you have the correct part for the application. Be sure to use the ‘Vehicle Search’ function as shown below, as opposed to the ‘Part Number Search’, as this will provide you with the detail needed to make the correct selection.

Using Cambiare catalogue in 3 steps

Using Cambiare catalogue in 3 steps - part 2

Cambiare Tips and Tricks Issue 9 PDF