Does Your Car Have a Faulty Oxygen Sensor?

The oxygen sensor is also called the O2 sensor. This auto part has a lifespan of around 50,000 miles, but proper vehicle maintenance extends the life of the sensor. If you’re driving a high-mileage vehicle and you’ve never had the O2 sensor replaced, you might notice the following signs of a faulty O2 sensor. If you do notice any of these signs, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered here at Premier Auto Repair.

Black Exhaust Smoke

Black exhaust smoke can be a sign of a malfunctioning oxygen sensor. The reason why is simple. The oxygen sensor is not reporting the correct oxygen levels in the exhaust to the engine control unit and, as a consequence, the engine control unit increases the amount of fuel in the combustion chamber. The engine burns away this excess fuel and you end up with black exhaust smoke.

Engine Problems

Excess fuel in the combustion chamber can also make your engine pick up speed sporadically and idle roughly. The oxygen sensor that is going bad can also trick the engine control unit into putting too much air into the combustion chamber, which will cause engine and acceleration lag.

Fuel Efficiency Loss

Either condition will reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. This is because the engine is not running efficiently, and when an engine is not running efficiently, it will not burn the fuel efficiently. Consequently, you will find yourself heading to the service station more often.

Higher Emissions

If the malfunctioning O2 sensor has caused too much fuel to be released into the combustion chamber, your vehicle will produce more carbon emissions. This is because it is burning away the excess fuel and, as a consequence, the carbon in your vehicle’s exhaust will be increased.

Rotten Egg Smell

This increase in carbon emissions can also clog the catalytic converter. Consequently, a clogged catalytic converter often smells like rotten eggs. You will smell the unpleasant odor in your vehicle’s exhaust as well as in the engine bay.

Check Engine Warning

Finally, a malfunctioning O2 sensor will generate a check engine light warning on your dashboard. Unfortunately, your check engine light will continue to shine until such time as you replace the faulty O2 sensor. One of the most frequent occurrences that turns on the check engine light is a bad oxygen sensor.

Premier Auto Repair in Tyler, TX, is your one-stop shop for all of your automotive service needs. Call us today if you think that your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning.

Photo by Nottpossible from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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