If you drive a newer automobile, you can expect to get about 100,000 miles out of the oxygen sensor. This sensor keeps track of the levels of oxygen that are found in your vehicle’s exhaust. It reports these levels to the main computer chip, which is the engine control module. The module uses this information to make certain the air and fuel in the combustion chamber are at optimal levels. We are going to list the signs of oxygen sensor trouble below.
Check Engine Warning
One of the first things that will happen if your oxygen sensor goes bad is the check engine light will illuminate on the dashboard. Also called the O2 sensor, this sensor sends an error code to the engine control module if it experiences a failure. The module turns on the check engine light as a result of the O2 sensor’s error code.
Black Exhaust Smoke
As we mentioned above, the O2 sensor tracks the oxygen levels in the exhaust so the engine control module can adjust the air and fuel if necessary. If the oxygen sensor sends incorrect information, the module may put too much fuel in the combustion chamber and you will end up with black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe.
Too much fuel can also make your engine pick up speed unexpectedly while you are driving your automobile. If the opposite occurs and the engine control module puts too much air into the combustion chamber, your engine will sputter and stall.
High Emissions Levels
Another indication that the O2 sensor is going bad is if your vehicle cannot pass an emissions test because the exhaust has high emission levels in it. This is a sign that the combustion chamber is burning too much fuel. Again, a faulty O2 sensor can cause the engine control module to put excess fuel in the combustion chamber unnecessarily.
Reduced Gas Mileage
Naturally, this will reduce the gas mileage your car, truck, or utility vehicle gets. Unfortunately, you will find yourself heading to the service station more often to fill the tank. The more fuel your engine burns the more often you’ll need to refill.
Rotten Egg Smells
Finally, excess emissions in your vehicle’s exhaust can prematurely kill the catalytic converter. When this happens, you may smell rotten eggs in the exhaust and your engine may start to overheat frequently.
We are the best auto service shop in the area, so call us today if you suspect your oxygen sensor is going bad. We can test the sensor and replace it if necessary.