An oxygen sensor is a key part of a vehicle's emissions control system. It monitors the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases and adjusts the fuel mixture to ensure the engine is running at peak efficiency. Over time, the sensor can become fouled by deposits and start sending false signals to the powertrain control module (PCM). When this starts happening, the oxygen sensor might need to be replaced.
If your car's oxygen sensor is bad, there are a few symptoms you may notice. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms that may signal a bad oxygen sensor. If you notice any of them, it's important to have your car's oxygen sensor checked by a mechanic to ensure that it is functioning properly.
Symptoms of a Bad Oxygen Sensor
Decreased Engine Efficiency and Fuel Economy
A bad oxygen sensor can cause decreased engine efficiency and bad fuel economy. The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the air-fuel mixture in the engine. If the sensor is not working properly, it can send wrong information to the PCM which in turn could release more fuel than necessary to the combustion chambers. This can cause the mixture to become too rich and lead to decreased engine efficiency and poor fuel economy.
Increase in Emissions from Car's Exhaust
A bad oxygen sensor can cause an increase in emissions from a car's exhaust. The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the air-to-fuel ratio in the engine. If the oxygen sensor is not working properly, it can cause the engine to run too lean or too rich. This can lead to increased emissions, failure in emissions tests, and decreased fuel economy.
Check Engine Light May Come On
If your check engine light is coming on, it could be a symptom of a bad oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the oxygen levels in the exhaust system, and if it detects that the levels are too low, it will trigger the check engine light. In some cases, a bad oxygen sensor can also cause the engine to run lean, which can lead to engine damage. If you suspect that your oxygen sensor is bad, you should have it checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
At our auto repair shop, we inspect and replace oxygen sensors. If you require this service, we invite you to bring your vehicle today!