Whether tuning the high-performance engine of your car or simply logging the data of an ECU, wideband gauges are the best when it comes to monitoring vital data like air/fuel ratio. A perfect wideband gauge will ensure the highest engine safety and increased engine efficiency by spontaneously delivering the latest condition of the correspondence.
Finding the best wideband gauge fit for your usage can be both time consuming and tedious. Again, if you don’t know enough about it will be a nightmare! To save you from this terror we have extensively researched to present you a buying guide that will lead you to the perfect wideband gauge for you.
What is a Wideband Gauge?
Basically, a wideband gauge is a meter that calculates the air to fuel ratio of an internal combustion engine with the help of some sensors. In other words, it is a device that measures the amount of oxygen exiting from the exhaust to the number of fuel gasses. This extra grip on the engine enables the users to fine-tune the machine according to the usage.
Best Wideband Gauges Review
We have tracked down some of the best wideband gauges considering all the possible usage scenarios and features. So, let’s have a look.
1. AEM (30-4110) UEGO Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge
AEMs 30-4110 sports an LED display to indicate the air/fuel ratio of your engine. Along with the display, there is also a sweeping LED needle that changes color with the change of the ratio from rich to lean. With interchangeable black and white side bezels along with faceplates, you can customize the interior look of your car.
Bosh 4.9 LSU sensor is used in the gauge which draws less current, measures AFR accurately and has a faster light off time than the 4.2 LSU sensors. Moreover, the sensor features the same fuel compatibility as the 4.2 LSU sensors and relieves you from the pain of free-air calibration every month. Connectors used in the sensors aren’t the same so you can’t use your 4.2 LSU connectors.
A 52mm (2-1/16”) gauge housing ensures an easy fit in most gauge pods and makes it remotely mountable vertically anywhere. Again, the gauge features a 0-5V analog output ensuring data logging and usage in almost any engine management system. Two harnesses are used to connect at the back of the gauge. The longer harness is used to connect the sensors.
AEM offers much with its UEGO (30-4110) but lacks in the area of durability as many of the users reported the build not sturdy enough to last more than 5 or 6 months. Some even found the gauge to be shipped with a faulty piece.
2. PLX Devices DM-6 SM-AFR Gen4 Gauge Combo
PLX devices DM-6 is a versatile multipurpose gauge that does much more than just measuring the AFR ratio. You can see mass airflow, short time fuel along with RPM both in numeric and graphical form at any instant of time due to highly advanced sensor module containing 16 sensors.
The DM-6 sports a touch screen high contrast OLED display for splendid visibility. A standard 52mm (2-1/16”) gauge housing ensures an easy fit in most of the gauge pods. Three capacitive buttons are there for multifunctional usage.
The fourth generation of the product uses Bosch’s latest LSU 4.9 wideband oxygen sensor as the main ornament of the gauge. It is much faster, more durable and power-efficient than the previous generation. Fuels like gasoline, biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, E85, LPG and CNG are compatible with the wideband controller. The oxygen sensor reaction time is displayed from 10mS to 1000mS.
Both the narrowband (0-1V) and wideband (0-5V) are supported for interfacing with 3rd party devices. There is another digital serial output. You can use all three outputs simultaneously. The wideband output is ideal for interfacing with ECU’s and data loggers and the narrowband is for stock narrowband oxygen sensor replacement. Advanced soft start technology will prolong your oxygen sensor’s life.
Though the company provides a gauge of standard size, it is not designed to be mounted in all the standard gauge clusters and no mounting hardware is also provided. You will have to use a zip-tie to hang it in A/C vent.
3. Innovate Motorsports (3796) DB RED Wideband Air/Fuel Gauge Kit
DB Red wideband AFR gauge arrives with a jet-black faceplate. Along with the dark faceplate, a bright orange neon display creates a perfect combination for comfortable viewing experience either in bright or in dimmed lighting scenarios.
The gauge supports the latest Bosch’s 4.9LSU sensor that ensures efficient and quick response time so you can get the reading in real-time. Moreover, calibrating the oxygen sensor will also ensure that you will get the result with maximum accuracy. Again, the product comes with the latest LC-2 wideband controller to offer you far more than just looking at the ratios.
Two configurable analog outputs of 0V to 5V range can be seen as the output of the wideband gauge. Analog outputs are ideal for the scenarios when you are interfacing the gauge with any aftermarket ECU’s or using as data loggers. The AFR range of the gauge is quite long compared with the other gauges (from 7.4 to 22.4).
The gauge is of a more conventional shape of 52mm (2 1/16 inch) making it super easy to fit into any gauge pods and also vertically mountable. A complete package consisting of a weld-on bung and some programing cables is shipped along with the wideband gauge.
The high effectiveness and accuracy come with a price of oxygen calibrating of the gauge every one or two months. If it does bother you avoid this one!
4. GlowShift Elite 10 Color Wideband Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge Kit
Glowshifts high-performance wideband gauge the Elite 10 is designed to be beast inside keeping beauty on top. It sports an LED display of 10 color modes that are tinted and also demonstrates a stealth-like feature when not active. To comfort your eyes during night long-drives the brightness of the gauge reduces automatically. Two buttons are for you to change colors, display high-low warnings, and other multifunctional usages.
The 4.9LSU wideband oxygen sensor is the backbone of the gauge that measures the ratio from 10 to 20 with unparalleled accuracy. Benefits including maximized engine power along with performance and higher fuel efficiency are achieved than the previous generation 4.2LSU sensors.
A 13inch wideband oxygen sensor offers a more versatile usage like adjusting the high-low function warning or remembering the last peak value. If you are into data logging, two of the analog(0-5V) outputs will meet your needs perfectly.
The gauge is incredibly mobile for the size of only 2 1/16 inch and easily mountable using the traditional pods. However, the manufacturer does provide gauge pods to mount on top of dashboards. All installation hardware along with the harnesses are delivered with the package.
The gauge messes with color controlling as it cannot recall the color you have set before if the voltage is below the 11V mark when starting. Not a big issue to move on!
5. AEM Uego Gauge (30-4110NS)
The air to fuel ratio on the AEM (30-4110NS) is displayed into a bright LED display with the help of a needle. You can easily figure out your engine efficiency by simply looking at the sweeping needle that changes color with the change of AFR ratio from rich to lean.
AEM not only focuses on performance but also keeps looking into the equation. Interchangeable black and white faceplates fit in both bright and dim scenarios. You can either go with black or silver side bezels resulting in an aesthetic finish.
To measure the AFR ratio with high accuracy, AEM goes with the Bosch’s latest 4.9LSU wideband oxygen sensors. Faster lights off time along with less current consumptions achieved with the same fuel consumption is the major perk that comes with the up-gradation from the 4.2LSU sensors. Finally, you don’t ever have to calibrate the sensor with free air.
The gauge sports a standard gauge housing of 52mm (2-1/16″) that ensures an easy fit in any gauge pods and vertically mountable anywhere. An analog output from 0V to 5V is present for data logging that supports any engine management systems. You don’t have to panic for installation as the package is shipped with the required harnesses and small hardware with a guide.
Durability is a vital area where the 30-4110NS fails as many of the consumers reported the gauge to be broken after a short usage time. Some gauges even show faulty readings. But AEM will have your back if you face any issues within 12 months of purchase.
Guide to Buy the Best Wideband Gauge
The hardware market is flooded with a hand full of wideband gauges. Finding the one for you will be a piece of cake for you if you analyze the gauges on the basis of their key features and your work needs. If you are not an expert don’t panic.
We have thoroughly checked every unlocking feature and considered all the possible work conditions to deliver you with a buying guide that will destroy your dilemma and lead you to the most valued wideband gauge. So, now be ready to note down some of the key areas.
Durability is a must consider as you are not going to buy a gauge every now and then. Your gauge needs to be strong enough to hold itself in a piece while functioning. The firmness of the bung along with the display must be checked before buying.
All your money will be wasted if you end up buying a gauge that doesn’t suit your vehicle’s engine type. The gauges are of two types depending on engine support. One only works with a gasoline engine and the other supports both gasoline and electrical engines.
Again, in an electric system, not all the cars run in the same voltage system. Some of them are designed to handle voltages as high as 20 volts and again some of them cannot withstand voltage higher than 12 volts. Messing this up will end up over or underpowering your wideband gauge. Thus, you have to choose a gauge that will work well with the specific voltage system.
Displays in gauges are found to be in two types. Some companies go with a simple digital display that displays the AFR values in real-time. Again, some others customize their gauge to be digital and analog at the same time! The digital display shows the real-time AFR values and an analog needle with changing colors moves from rich to lean marks.
A soothing display that will comfort your eyes in both bright and dim scenarios will end up giving you a joyful ride. Some of the gauges achieve it by a simple color combination. Some even go as far as reducing the light in the night times with the help of sensors.
AFR or air to fuel ratio has a direct relation with the response time. Most of the gauges can display AFR values between 10-20. These are not compatible with narrower usage as you might have to run the engine below the 10 marks. For narrower usage to facilitate faster response time, some gauge can detect lower values like 7.4 and even reach broader values up to 22.4.
There are two types of gauges found depending on whether they need calibration or not. Free air calibration is required every one or two months for some of the gauges. These gauges are found to be more precise and reliable if you can accept the hustle of calibrating.
Then, there are the wideband gauges that do not require any kind of calibration at all. These gauges sometimes may suffer from accuracy but will relieve you from the pain of feeding fresh air every month.
You would really not want to have a gauge that has a slow response time and lags often. That’s why a gauge supported by the best sensors is always the thumb rule. Bosch’s 4.9 sensors are the best of the quality in the market as they are at the same time reliable and will also ensure the maximum accuracy along with fast response times.
Some manufacturers add several additional features with the gauge for increasing productivity. Some of the remarkable features include plotted graphs of the outputs, calculating and displaying RPM in real-time, and keeping track of the last peak values. You can always choose between the bonuses for higher work efficiency.
Q: What is the best/ ideal AFR ratio?
Ans: The ideal/ best air to fuel ratio is the ratio when full combustion occurs. Theoretically, for full combustion the value is 14.7:1 or in other words, in order to completely burn 1kg of fuel, 14.7kgs of air is needed.
Q: What causes the oxygen sensor to fail?
Ans: There are a number of abusive usages that may cause your oxygen sensor to fail completely. Contaminated fuel, corrosion, and leaks from oil are the major factors leading to sensor failures. Again, byproducts like sulfur, lead, fuel additives mix up overtimes and block the signals traveling from sensors to engines computer.
Q: Are air/fuel sensors and oxygen sensors the same?
Ans: Both are almost the same but air/fuel sensors can read a much wider and leaner air/fuel mixture values than conventional oxygen sensors. Because of the wide range, they are known as wideband sensors. Again, air/fuel sensors don’t produce a voltage that suddenly changes on either side of the lambda when the ratio goes from rich to lean.
After quantitative and qualitative analysis of the products, DB Red and DM-6 of PLX Devices are the ones having their necks ahead in the race in terms of some aspects. If you want to tune your engine for a narrower usage to achieve faster response time then DB Red will be your best choice.
Again, if you don’t need the extra lower bands and want to tune your vehicle so that you can keep a track on the engine as well as to monitor for the extra details of your vehicle, then the DM-6 will be perfect for you. Moreover, most fuels are compatible with it and you can play a lot with the 16 sensors and the extra digital output.
It is necessary for you to find the best wideband gauge that will be a perfect suit for your machine and work usage. Thus, the perfect wideband gauge will ensure you feed the right amount of air with fuel increasing both the engine and fuel efficiency significantly.