Oxygen Sensor Problems Can Make Driving Your Automobile Difficult

The oxygen (O2) sensor can cause problems with your automobile’s engine if it is going bad. The average lifespan of an O2 sensor in newer automobiles is 90,000 miles to 100,000 miles. If you drive an older automobile, you can expect to get about 30,000 miles out of the oxygen sensor. Shums Auto Repair can replace your O2 sensor if it needs it. Here are signs that it does.

Check Engine Warning

A malfunctioning O2 sensor will cause the engine control unit to turn on the check engine light. The engine control unit will receive an error from the oxygen sensor that it cannot correct. Because it can’t correct the problem on its own, it will turn on the check engine light to alert you of the trouble.

Engine Performance Loss

You may also notice significant performance loss from your vehicle’s engine. The engine’s acceleration and power may lag if the O2 sensor has convinced the engine control unit that the combustion chamber needs more air when it doesn’t. The engine will surge if the unit thinks the chamber needs more fuel.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Naturally, these engine performance problems will reduce your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, you will not get the gas mileage that you normally get. Replacing the faulty O2 sensor will restore your engine’s performance and improve the vehicle’s fuel economy.

Pungent Exhaust Odors

A malfunctioning O2 sensor can also cause problems with your automobile’s catalytic converter. It can cause the engine control unit to overload the converter with excess fuel and its resulting hydrocarbons in the exhaust. Consequently, the converter will release rotten egg odors into your vehicle’s exhaust.

Black Engine Exhaust

Another sign that the catalytic converter is being overloaded and is unable to treat the engine’s exhaust is if you end up with black smoke flowing out of the tailpipe. This is a sign that the exhaust is untreated and that the engine control unit has put too much fuel into the combustion chamber.

High Emissions Levels

Finally, this excess fuel will also increase the emissions that your vehicle releases into the environment. This can create a ton of problems when your automobile must pass an emissions test. Unfortunately, until the dying O2 sensor is replaced, your car, truck, or C/SUV will fail the emissions test.

Shums Auto Repair in Philadelphia, PA, can help by replacing your faulty O2 sensor when it needs it. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Vladimir1965 from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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