1991-02-01

Detection of Catalyst Failure On-Vehicle Using the Dual Oxygen Sensor Method 910561

On-vehicle proof-of-concept testing was conducted to evaluate the ability of the dual oxygen sensor catalyst evaluation method to identify serious losses in catalyst efficiency under actual vehicle operating conditions. The dual oxygen sensor method, which utilizes a comparison between an upstream oxygen sensor and an oxygen sensor placed downstream of the catalyst, was initially studied by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under steady-state operating conditions on an engine dynamometer and reported in Clemmens, et al. (1).* At the time that study was released, questions were raised as to whether the technological concepts developed on a test fixture could be transferred to a vehicle operating under normal transient conditions.
This paper reports the results of a test program that used the dual oxygen sensor system coupled with a simulated on-board diagnostic algorithm to attempt detection of seriously deteriorated catalytic converters on a test vehicle operated over the Federal Test Procedure (FTP). This paper reports that, with some modifications, the algorithm reported in Clemmens was used to successfully distinguish between two properly converting catalysts and two poorly converting catalysts on the same test vehicle.

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