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Six Signs Your Car’s O2 Sensor Is Failing

You can count on Horizon Auto Center to replace the oxygen sensor in your automobile if it fails. The average lifespan of the O2 sensor is about 100,000 miles. Some sensors fail sooner than this and others last longer. Below, you will find six signs that the oxygen sensor is malfunctioning. Don’t worry. Bring your vehicle to our shop for a sensor test and replacement.

1. Check Engine Warning

A common reason why the engine control unit turns on the check engine light is a problem with the oxygen sensor. This sensor is designed to send error codes to the unit when it goes bad. This gives the unit the opportunity to turn on the check engine light so you know there is a problem.

2. Black Exhaust Smoke

A faulty O2 sensor can also indirectly increase the amount of exhaust released through your tailpipe. The O2 sensor can cause the engine control unit to increase the fuel content in the combustion chamber if it thinks it needs it. The unit will do this based on oxygen readings by the O2 sensor. If the readings are incorrect, the excess fuel will not be necessary and your engine will produce black exhaust.

3. Failed Emissions Test

Your vehicle will also fail an emissions test if it is required to take one. This is because the added fuel is adding excess hydrocarbons into your vehicle’s exhaust. Unfortunately, the exhaust will have a hydrocarbon content that is higher than what is allowed in the state of Texas.

4. Poor Engine Performance

This excess fuel can also affect your engine’s performance as can too much air. The latter can also happen with a malfunctioning O2 sensor. You will deal with an engine that surges or sputters constantly. This can make driving your car, truck, or utility vehicle difficult.

5. Reduced Gas Mileage

You will also see a reduction in your vehicle’s gas mileage because the engine is burning more fuel. Even if the engine is sputtering, it uses more diesel fuel or gasoline in its operation. Consequently, the engine performance problems indirectly caused by the O2 sensor can affect your fuel economy.

6. Strange Exhaust Odors

Finally, a sign that your automobile is releasing too many hydrocarbons is the smell of rotten eggs in the exhaust. This is an indication that your catalytic converter has been clogged by the excess fuel’s carbon deposits. That’s right, a malfunctioning O2 sensor can damage your catalytic converter.

Horizon Auto Center in Rockwall, TX, is here to help, so call us today to set up an appointment for an O2 inspection.

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