Six Signs My Car’s Oxygen Sensor Is Bad

The oxygen sensor is also referred to as the O2 sensor. It is located in the tailpipe. This location is necessary for it to determine how much oxygen is in the exhaust. Your vehicle’s main computer chip uses this information to make sure the combustion chamber always has the right amount of air and fuel. If the O2 sensor goes bad, you will have the following problems.

1. Illuminated CEL

One of the first things that will happen is the check engine light will turn on. Usually, when the O2 sensor malfunctions, it shoots an error code to the main computer chip. The chip cannot repair the oxygen sensor, so it turns on the check engine light to let you know there is a problem.

2. Performance Problems

Unfortunately, you may also start to have engine performance problems if the O2 sensor is bad. This is because it may send incorrect information to the computer chip. Consequently, the chip may adjust the air and fuel in the combustion chamber unnecessarily. This can make your engine sputter or surge.

3. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Naturally, when the engine is running inefficiently, you will see a reduction in your fuel efficiency. This means the engine will consume more fuel regardless of whether it is sputtering or surging. Unfortunately, the engine will continue to gorge on fuel until you replace the oxygen sensor.

4. Sulfur in the Exhaust

If the main computer chip adds extra fuel to the combustion chamber when it doesn’t need it, the excess hydrocarbons produced by the burning fuel will clog the catalytic converter. Unfortunately, when this happens, your exhaust will start to smell like rotten eggs because there is sulfur in it.

5. Black Exhaust Smoke

In addition, you may also see black exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. This is not only a sign that the engine is burning excess fuel but also that the catalytic converter is not treating the exhaust. Consequently, all of this can be caused by a malfunctioning O2 sensor in your vehicle’s tailpipe.

6. Increased Emissions

In fact, if you live in a state that requires emissions testing, your automobile may fail the test because of the excess hydrocarbons being burned in the exhaust. In addition, no automobile will pass an emissions test if the check engine light is illuminated, which will happen with a faulty O2 sensor.

If you are having any of the problems discussed above, call us right away to set up a service visit. We can replace the O2 sensor if it has gone bad.

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