To accurately measure NOx levels in your exhaust, NOx sensors have to be extremely sensitive. Unfortunately, this means they’re also quite delicate. The average NOx sensor should last for 50,000–60,000 miles, but many of them fail long before this! Most malfunctions are caused by soot build-up, but NOx sensors can also be contaminated by moisture during installation or from internal leaks.
Most long-haul drivers will need to replace at least one set of NOx sensors in their truck’s working life and this can be pricy. This creates a conundrum: fork out for an expensive OEM replacement or look for a cheaper aftermarket alternative! With the recent NOx sensor shortage, many OTR drivers that usually stick to OEM sensors have tried aftermarket parts instead. With this checklist, drivers can make sure they choose quality replacements from reliable aftermarket suppliers.
1. Get Your Replacement NOx Sensor from a Reliable Source!
Every OTR driver has heard the horror stories! NOx sensors from dodgy eBay sellers that never arrive, new parts failing within a week, impossible-to-reach customer service departments… These stories are a big part of why many drivers stick to OEMs instead of trying cheaper aftermarket suppliers. However, the recent NOx sensor shortage has led many OTR drivers to try aftermarket parts for the first time. For the most part, drivers who chose reputable suppliers have been pleasantly surprised. However, not all aftermarket manufacturers are of the same quality, so it’s important to choose one with a good reputation.
2. Choose a Specialist!
The aftertreatment system is very interconnected, so NOx sensors must be compatible with the whole system and the engine. However, because of this, NOx sensor issues are often the result of leaks and blockages from other parts. To produce a high-quality NOx sensor, manufacturers have to understand the common problems and malfunctions experienced by the whole system! NOx sensors from manufacturers with proven aftertreatment expertise generally last longer and are much less likely to cause problems!
3. Make Sure it’s Compatible with Your Semitruck!
A reputable manufacturer will thoroughly test their NOx sensors for unexpected malfunctions or complications. Before investing in a replacement, make sure it’s been tested for functionality and compatibility with your engine type! A NOx sensor that connects properly to your engine and aftertreatment system should ensure accurate readings. However, even reliable manufacturers sometimes produce a faulty part, so the next thing to look out for is the warranty!
4. Choose a NOx Sensor with a Good Warranty!
Before you buy an aftermarket NOx sensor, check what kind of warranty it has. This includes finding out whether the manufacturer is known for honoring warranties and how quickly they usually replace faulty parts. Establish whether they have an easy-to-reach customer service team in case there’s a problem with your part. Consider whether you’ve used their aftermarket parts before. If you still aren’t sure, look at their reviews and ask about them through your dealer or on OTR driver forums! This way you can enjoy the benefits of aftermarket parts and trust that you’ve chosen a reliable supplier!
The next thing to find out is how the company marks their parts! If a NOx sensor’s serial number is only identified by a sticker, it could burn off during the first use, giving companies grounds to deny your warranty. A reputable company will mark their parts with durable serial numbers that withstand heavy use during the warranty period and beyond. By making it easy to return any faulty parts, aftermarket companies show that they trust their parts to perform as promised.
5. Have it Professionally Installed!
One of the leading causes of NOx sensor failure is moisture contamination during installation. With this in mind, we recommend going to a professional mechanic rather than trying to install a NOx sensor yourself! If you install a faulty one yourself, it’s harder to prove that the fault occurred during manufacture not installation. A professional mechanic can check for issues and install the part with much less risk of damaging or contaminating it! It’s also worth discovering if the aftermarket manufacturer you’re buying from sells to dealers, or just to individuals. Even better, find out if your dealer has ordered parts from them before, and if they’d recommend the supplier!
Why Should You Come to Roadwarrior for Aftermarket NOx Sensors?
We know that a lot of OTR drivers are wary of aftermarket NOx sensors because of how delicate and easily damaged they are. With that in mind, we don’t expect you to just trust that ours are a safe bet. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should give them a go:
- We have the largest aftermarket catalogue of aftertreatment parts in the semitruck industry. We’ve built up this catalogue one product at a time by really understanding the whole system and how each part impacts the rest.
- Our parts aren’t cheap stand-ins for OEM replacements—they offer OEM-equivalent or better performance! We test our NOx sensors both for compatibility with OEM engines, and to make sure they provide the most accurate, reliable readings.
- You can order NOx sensors through our site, or through your dealer, and we will happily ship them direct to your dealer!
- We rarely have parts returned, but when a faulty part is sent back, our record for honoring warranties is the best in the industry. This is partly because we stencil on our serial numbers, so our parts are easy to identify and return. With 12 distribution centers across North America and an approachable customer service team, it’s a quick and easy process to get you a replacement NOx sensor if something goes wrong.
- We’ve worked really hard to build our reputation as a reliable aftermarket supplier with good-quality products. We’ve done this by using only the best materials, thoroughly researching and testing each new product, and offering our customers complete transparency. We won’t put our brand name on something unless we’re sure that it’s reliable and good quality, and if you receive a faulty part, you can be assured that we’ll replace it and get you back on the road in the shortest time possible!