Symptoms of a Faulty Oxygen Sensor

Symptoms of a Faulty Oxygen Sensor

Blog - Chesapeake - Car mechanicA vehicle oxygen sensor measures the oxygen levels of the exhaust gases leaving the engine. The Power-train Control Module (PCM) uses the data to formulate the proper air to fuel ratio for the engine. Positioned inside the exhaust system, an oxygen sensor lets the fuel injection system and engine timing system to perform efficiently and enhance emissions control. A faulty oxygen sensor will gradually decrease engine performance and increase emissions, so it is important to know the symptoms before it fails.

Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light will be activated by a faulty oxygen sensor. When this occurs, seek the help of a certified automotive services facility for an inspection. There are a number of reasons why it may have activated, and a technician needs to perform computer-assisted diagnostics to determine the cause(s). A car that has logged high mileage will have a higher probability that its oxygen sensor requires replacement because they eventually wear out.

Poor Gas Mileage

When an oxygen sensor becomes defective, the performances of the fuel delivery and combustion systems will decrease. A faulty oxygen sensor will negatively affect the mixture of air and fuel. Excessive fuel may be injected into the engine, causing the engine to consume more fuel, reducing fuel efficiency. If you notice a sudden, abnormal increase in the number of gas station stops, ask a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle’s oxygen sensor.

Rough Idling and Misfiring

When an oxygen sensor is gradually failing, a car’s engine may start idling roughly and misfiring. The oxygen sensor’s output of data assists in the control of engine timing, combustion intervals, and air/fuel ratio. A faulty sensor will impact all of these engine functions, resulting in a rough engine idle and misfires.

Sensor Replacement

Cars made within the past 15 years should have their oxygen sensors replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. The replacement of a defective or faulty oxygen sensor will result in a smoother running engine and a reduction of emissions, prolonging the service lives of both the engine and exhaust system.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import Services has provided reputable and trusted services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

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