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Discussion Starter #1
These are the 5 wire upstream o2/LAF sensors for the early first gen insights. You can find them on Amazon for about $100 and on ebay for about $30 shipped to your door.

Good:
Price
The car goes into lean burn way easier than NGK 24301 upstream o2.

Bad:
Goes into lean burn waaaaaay to easily.

It seems as if this sensor isn't as "fine tuned" as the NGK. With my NGK, if I was driving at a constant 65mph and it jumped into lean burn, I could keep the speed (no hills) and it would do ok. With the Kwiksen, it would jump into extreme lean burn mode and my car would actually lose some speed. I could push down a little on the gas pedal and my car would not respond. My car wouldn't respond until I would push the gas pedal 1/2 way down and then my car would sort of take off and jump into assist (obviously getting rid of the lean burn at that time).....or Id have to let off the gas and get back on it.

For me, it made my car no fun to drive and hard to drive since it would go into lean burn very easily, but lose the moment.

After about 1 or 2 days of driving to work with this sensor, I switched back to the quality sensor and my car is back to driving like normal. I wish the NGK would help go into lean burn a little easier, but the Kwiksen was just too much. I would not recommend this sensor. Maybe my car is a little temperamental. lol. Curious if anyone else has tried this sensor before.
 

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If you do a search and then trawl through many threads, you will find countless other people who have tried to cheap out on the O2 sensors. I can not think of a single instance where this worked out. Everyone has always come back complaining of issues.

It turns out if one buys a $30-100 piece of junk, then he'll receive a piece of junk. Stunning.

The correct choice is always to stick with the oem-make name brand sensors. For M.Y. 2000-2001 USDM Insights, you want an NTK 24301.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you do a search and then trawl through many threads, you will find countless other people who have tried to cheap out on the O2 sensors. I can not think of a single instance where this worked out. Everyone has always come back complaining of issues.

It turns out if one buys a $30-100 piece of junk, then he'll receive a piece of junk. Stunning.

The correct choice is always to stick with the oem-make name brand sensors. For M.Y. 2000-2001 USDM Insights, you want an NTK 24301.
The only reason I bought this cheap one was because I really don't think my o2 is actually bad. I was trying to see if the CEL would come back on and it did.

I'd rather spend $30 to replicate results than a few hundred. This is only the 2nd part that I've replaced on a car that I would say for a fact you need to use the more expensive/quality part. The other part that I've replaced that actually needed the quality brand is the knock sensors on an LS engine.
 

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The only reason I bought this cheap one was because I really don't think my o2 is actually bad. I was trying to see if the CEL would come back on and it did.

I'd rather spend $30 to replicate results than a few hundred. This is only the 2nd part that I've replaced on a car that I would say for a fact you need to use the more expensive/quality part. The other part that I've replaced that actually needed the quality brand is the knock sensors on an LS engine.
I haven't been following your other thread(s) and this information wasn't contained in your OP.
 

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@Horn12007
Thank you for taking the time to report your findings. I really appreciate this, because we don't get many detailed reports of when something has not worked out.

I spent some time early this year examining LAF sensors and EGR valves, researching them to understand how they work, how they contribute to fuel economy, how they fail, whether there were any off-brands that might be substitutes for these expensive parts, and how one might determine if they are suitable. I am also in the middle of a similar exercise for the knock sensor.

I have built test harnesses for the knock sensor and EGR valve. But devising a simple LAF sensor test is much more difficult. A poorly performing sensor is visually indiscernable from a good one. Testing requires exposing it to a 600+ degree exhaust stream with an air-fuel ratio you can control, along with a second known good LAF sensor as a reference and the electronics to perform the measurements. And first, you have to buy the sensor...

I have been thinking about buying one of these off-brand sensors to test. I did buy a respected name brand sensor for a test, for the same reason as you (suspecting LAF issues). This sensor appeared in several sites that sell auto parts as a valid substitute for a late 2001-2006 MT.

What you found:

...If I was driving at a constant 65mph and it jumped into lean burn, I could keep the speed (no hills) and it would do ok. With the Kwiksen, it would jump into extreme lean burn mode and my car would actually lose some speed. I could push down a little on the gas pedal and my car would not respond. My car wouldn't respond until I would push the gas pedal 1/2 way down and then my car would sort of take off and jump into assist (obviously getting rid of the lean burn at that time).....or Id have to let off the gas and get back on it.
Well, this description matches almost exactly what I observed when I installed the name brand sensor. When the car entered lean burn, if you then accelerated lightly it would not only not respond, it would actually start slowing down. If you gradually pressed the pedal far enough it would eventually drop out of lean burn and drop into assist with a sudden burst of acceleration.

I used an advanced code reader to capture data through the diagnostic port and did a lot of reading about LAF sensors to try to figure out what was wrong. I wrote a script to plot the data as a graph to try to see what might be happening. I concluded that the sensor was working, but that it saturated at an air-fuel ratio less than what the Insight was capable of. The ECU, trying to reach the proper air fuel ratio reading, was likely further reducing the fuel injector output to reach the sensor reading that the sensor was not actually capable of. Eventually the engine gave up and returned to a stoichometric burn, but with assist and a sudden burst of acceleration due to how much energy had been lost while fruitlessly trying to reach the desired air:fuel ratio.

The only visual differences between this sensor and the one in the car were the hole pattern, and numbers on the side which did not correspond to anything definitive via Google search. I set the sensor aside and attributed the issue to a mistake made when the manufacturer made the compatibility table. The MT Insight, after all, has a uniquely high air fuel ratio that requires a more costly exhaust setup to control emissions than other cars, and possibly the person making up the table did not realize this and made a mistake.

Months later, a CVT of similar vintage fell into my lap. While assessing it, I pulled the LAF sensor. The hole pattern was familiar: it matched that of the sensor I just described. Guess what: the US CVT does not have lean burn and does not need a LAF sensor with especially high dynamic range.

Sooo... I see you are in North Carolina. I hope you can make it to the annual Eastern Insight tech meet and bring your sensor so we can test it in my CVT, or perhaps you can find a CVT to try it in.

And thanks for providing a valuable data point.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You only needed to spend 75 but you went cheap. Plus you would got both sensors. So now back to square one..
Purchasing another sensor would probably not fix the problem. Again, the NTK 24301 sensor was brand new just before I bought the car. This was more of an attempt to see if I could replicate the CEL coming back on since I think that my NTK sensor is still good. The CEL symptoms have been replicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't been following your other thread(s) and this information wasn't contained in your OP.
True, it was not needed in terms of just giving a review on the Kwiksen LAF.

EDIT: WHEN I WAS REFERRING TO THE LS ENGINE AND KNOCK SENSORS. I WAS REFERRING TO THE GM 4.8/5.3/6.0 FAMILY OF ENGINES AND HOW SOMETIMES YOU CAN CHEAP OUT ON ENGINES AND SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO GET THE QUALITY BRAND.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Horn12007
Thank you for taking the time to report your findings. I really appreciate this, because we don't get many detailed reports of when something has not worked out.

I spent some time early this year examining LAF sensors and EGR valves, researching them to understand how they work, how they contribute to fuel economy, how they fail, whether there were any off-brands that might be substitutes for these expensive parts, and how one might determine if they are suitable. I am also in the middle of a similar exercise for the knock sensor.

I have built test harnesses for the knock sensor and EGR valve. But devising a simple LAF sensor test is much more difficult. A poorly performing sensor is visually indiscernable from a good one. Testing requires exposing it to a 600+ degree exhaust stream with an air-fuel ratio you can control, along with a second known good LAF sensor as a reference and the electronics to perform the measurements. And first, you have to buy the sensor...

I have been thinking about buying one of these off-brand sensors to test. I did buy a respected name brand sensor for a test, for the same reason as you (suspecting LAF issues). This sensor appeared in several sites that sell auto parts as a valid substitute for a late 2001-2006 MT.

What you found:



Well, this description matches almost exactly what I observed when I installed the name brand sensor. When the car entered lean burn, if you then accelerated lightly it would not only not respond, it would actually start slowing down. If you gradually pressed the pedal far enough it would eventually drop out of lean burn and drop into assist with a sudden burst of acceleration.

I used an advanced code reader to capture data through the diagnostic port and did a lot of reading about LAF sensors to try to figure out what was wrong. I wrote a script to plot the data as a graph to try to see what might be happening. I concluded that the sensor was working, but that it saturated at an air-fuel ratio less than what the Insight was capable of. The ECU, trying to reach the proper air fuel ratio reading, was likely further reducing the fuel injector output to reach the sensor reading that the sensor was not actually capable of. Eventually the engine gave up and returned to a stoichometric burn, but with assist and a sudden burst of acceleration due to how much energy had been lost while fruitlessly trying to reach the desired air:fuel ratio.

The only visual differences between this sensor and the one in the car were the hole pattern, and numbers on the side which did not correspond to anything definitive via Google search. I set the sensor aside and attributed the issue to a mistake made when the manufacturer made the compatibility table. The MT Insight, after all, has a uniquely high air fuel ratio that requires a more costly exhaust setup to control emissions than other cars, and possibly the person making up the table did not realize this and made a mistake.

Months later, a CVT of similar vintage fell into my lap. While assessing it, I pulled the LAF sensor. The hole pattern was familiar: it matched that of the sensor I just described. Guess what: the US CVT does not have lean burn and does not need a LAF sensor with especially high dynamic range.

Sooo... I see you are in North Carolina. I hope you can make it to the annual Eastern Insight tech meet and bring your sensor so we can test it in my CVT, or perhaps you can find a CVT to try it in.

And thanks for providing a valuable data point.

Sean
Thanks Sean. Yeah I hope it helps out future members/insight owners. Someone in the future may look at buying one and just type "kwiksen" in the search and this will pop up. Obviously results may vary, but based on my 2 days of using it, I'd never recommend it. I agree about seeing if there are cheaper alternatives for parts. It's nice when someone actually has some first hand experience other than just going with what the manufacturer says. Sometimes it works and saves money, sometimes it doesn't.

In terms of your experience with a LAF sensor, you are saying you experienced the same thing, but with a name brand? What brand was that?

In terms of your ECU idea, that makes sense. I personally just think that the cheap ones aren't "calibrated" or sophisticated enough for the MT Insights. It then tricks/gives false readings to the ECU and the ECU responds based off that bad info.

To clear up something.....When I was talking about the knock sensor. I was referring to the GM LS family of engines and how you needed to buy a quality sensor. It was just something I added in that wasn't really needed.

I have no idea when/where the Eastern meet up is? Also, I'm not against working with other insight owners in the region if they want to test with this sensor. I think I might be able to return this sensor, but would also like to see results on another insight.
 
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