Five Signs You’ve Got a Bad Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor is an important part in your car, truck, or utility vehicle, and if you drive a vehicle that was built after 1980, you have an oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor is part of the emissions control system, and its primary function is to measure the amount of oxygen in the air/fuel mixture and in the released emissions. How can you tell if your oxygen sensor isn’t working properly? Righter’s Auto Repair lists five signs your oxygen sensor is failing below.

Your Check Engine Light Will Come On

One of the most common reasons why a check engine light comes on and a vehicle fails an emissions inspection is the oxygen sensor. This isn’t the only thing that will trigger a check engine warning, but if your vehicle’s oxygen sensor isn’t working properly, the check engine light will most likely come on.

You’re Getting Horrible Gas Mileage

Because the oxygen sensor helps keep track of the vehicle’s air/fuel mixture, a bad sensor can directly affect your gas mileage. The engine will work harder if there is too much air in the mixture and it will burn the excess gas if there is too much fuel in the mixture. Either way, your gas mileage will suffer.

Your Engine Sounds Rough

The air/fuel mixture affects many things in your vehicle’s motor, including the combustion intervals and timing. A bad oxygen sensor can cause the engine to idle roughly. It can also affect engine performance. For example, your engine might stall when you step on the gas or be very slow to accelerate.

Your Vehicle Fails its Emissions Test

As mentioned above, one of the most common reasons why a vehicle fails an emissions test is the oxygen sensor. This is because the sensor also tracks how much oxygen is in the vehicle’s exhaust. If there is too much or too little oxygen in the exhaust, the vehicle will fail the smog check.

Your Vehicle Is Old

Finally, if you drive an oldie but a goodie that has over 100,000 miles on it, your oxygen sensor is living on borrowed time. On average, it’s recommended to have the oxygen sensor replaced every 60,000 miles to 90,000 miles. If your vehicle is 16 years or older, have the sensor replaced every 45,000 miles.

Stop by Righter’s Auto Repair in Grand Ledge, MI, if you think your oxygen sensor is failing. You can set up an appointment for a diagnostic check by contacting us today.

Photo by Nottpossible from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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