Best Wideband Gauges: Top Options for High-Performance Engines
Get accurate readings of your vehicle's air-to-fuel ratios with these wideband gauges
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 7, 2019
A wideband gauge or a wideband O2 sensor is the next best upgrade from a narrowband gauge. It helps anyone with a powerful engine to monitor the air-to-fuel ratios that can’t be recognized by a narrowband gauge. Here we take a look at some of the most accurate wideband gauges for your vehicle.
- Best OverallAEM UEGO Gauge Display SetSummarySummaryA set of customizable gauges that can fit in almost all gauge podsProsProsFast, accurate, and highly responsive. Power-efficient. Easy-to-read LED display. Color changing indicator needle. It doesn’t need free air sensor calibration. Includes interchangeable faceplates and bezels. Includes a booster pressure gauge.ConsConsNon-interchangeable sensors. It doesn’t measure ratios lower than 10:1. Short bung.
- Best ValueInnovative Motorsports MTX-L PlusSummarySummaryAn innovative wideband gauge with fast analog speeds and superior sensor control.ProsProsAffordable. Sleek design. Accurate and reliable. Easy to read. Features 100-percent digital wideband technology. It can calibrate the oxygen sensor for maximum accuracy. Durable. Easy to install and use. Offers fast O2 sensor feedback.ConsConsHard-to-follow user instructions. It doesn’t come pre-calibrated. It has a delicate sensor that’s prone to failure.
- Honorable MentionGlowShift Elite AFR Gauge KitSummarySummaryA colorful wideband gauge with an analog display that’s compatible with most modern data loggers.ProsProsReads from 10.0 to 20.0 AFR. Vintage look. It can display 10 different LED colors. Adjustable brightness. Includes an audio-visual warning when limits are exceeded. It comes with mounting hardware. Backed with free lifetime technical support.ConsConsSome of the LED colors may stop working. May display inaccurate readings with time. Vague installation instructions.
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- Calibrate your wideband oxygen sensor often to maintain accuracy. You should do this every three months. Also, recalibrate the sensor when you experience altitude changes of more than 5,000 feet.
- If you notice that the wideband gauge is displaying faulty readings, it could be due to a bad sensor. Your car may run less efficiently, and you may experience engine misfires or rough idle. Also, the check engine lights will constantly come on. Consider getting an aftermarket oxygen sensor replacement that can pair with the wideband gauge.
- You can loosen a rusted or stuck oxygen sensor with penetrating oil. Alternatively, if the sensor is in an open place where you can easily remove it, you could heat up the engine for about 30 minutes and allow the exhaust and catalytic converter to heat up. The metal will expand and release the sensor. Do not pour cold water on the sensor as it may crack. Use gloves to protect your hands from the heat.
Q: How does a wideband gauge work?
A: Wideband gauges use accurate oxygen sensors to measure the air-to-fuel mixture in your engine's exhaust. The sensor feeds the data to the vehicle's computer system, which is then translated into numerical figures that appear on the wideband display.
Q: What causes a wideband gauge failure?
A: The main cause of failure is poor positioning of the oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor needs to be positioned 24 inches downstream from the exhaust ports to take accurate measurements. If it’s too close to the exhaust, the high gas temperatures and high overcooling velocity of the exhaust gas will lead to sudden overheating or freezing of the wideband, which can destroy the components.
Q: What's the difference between a narrowband and wideband AFR gauge?
A: A narrowband Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) gauge uses your car's stock O2 sensor and will only read data at a range of zero (lean mix) to one volt (rich mix). A wideband gauge typically comes with its own oxygen sensor that reads data at about zero to five volts. It’s, therefore, more accurate than a narrowband gauge and typically features fancy LED-lit displays.
We chose the AEM UEGO Gauge Display Set as our top pick due to its reliable calibration and accurate data readings. It also sends back timely responses to even the slightest changes in ratios and draws minimal current from your vehicle’s electrical system.
The Innovative Motorsports MTX-L Plus is our value pick. It’s one of the most affordable wideband gauges that provide accurate real-time data on how the engine is running.