What is an O2 sensor simulator?
The OBD-II cars (1996-1998) have two O2 sensors to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas. First sensor is measuring it right after gases escape engine and this data is used to adjust fuel trim of the engine, as well as catch some faulty conditions. The second sensor is located after the catalic converter, and is used to detect the health of catalic converter. The ECU expects the signal from the sensor to be oscillating from below 0.4v to above 0.6v, but not above 1.2v, every few seconds while driving.
If you install an aftermarket downpipe with no cat (which is for off-road applications only) the ECU will detect this and indicate an error (MIL). The You can reset the ECU to clear the error code.
How to build Your Own Oxygen Sensor Simulator!
The rest of the page shows how to build an oscillating signal generator with just the right frequency and voltage to fool the ECU. It is based on classical astable operating mode of 555 timer.
Don't attach it directly to the ECU right after assembly. Instead attach it to the battery and check the output. You should get approximately 0v/0.7v flipping about every 3.3 seconds when the car is not running, and 0v/0.9v when the car is running. The current should stay below 10mA.
One LED should be always on whenever the power is supplied. Another LED indicates when the output signal is high, so it should go on and off with the signal.
When tapping the ECU wires, check everything before hooking up the oscillator. The power source should read 0v when the key is removed, about 12.6v when they key is at ACC and about 14.3 when the alternator is running. The resistance between ground wire and the body shield of the ECU should be 0 ohms. And it would be best if you run the car and monitor the voltage of the original oxygen sensor wire before cutting it to make sure you have indeed got the right one. The resistance between ECU PIN #47 and ground is about 1.3 to 1.6 M Ohm.
The original sensor should still be dangling around, or plugged into the downpipe. The reason is that ECU also monitors the resistance of heater circuit inside the sensor. If you want to COMPELTELY disconnect it, you will need to measure the resistance of the heater circuit and install the right resistor between ECU PIN #72 and ECU PIN #31 Anyway, there is no need to do it if you just leave O2 sensor alone and only intercept the oxygen signal wire.
R1 100 K Ohm
R2 1 M Ohm
R3 100 K Ohm
R4 10 K Ohm
C1 4.7 uF
C2 22 uF
D1 1.7v@20mA LED
D2 1.7v@20mA LED
I assume no responsibility for any kind of damages.