What is an Oxygen Sensor?

Also known as an O2 sensor, an oxygen sensor is a vital component of your car's exhaust system. They keep track of the amount of oxygen in your car's exhaust gases as they exit the engine and into the atmosphere. This is mostly a test of efficiency to ensure that the catalytic converter is functioning well. Oxygen sensors monitor whether your engine's air-fuel mixture is too rich or lean, then drive the information to the engine's Powertrain Control Module. Consequently, your vehicle's PCM will make the necessary adjustments to maintain an ideal air-fuel balance in the engine.

Given its importance, a failing oxygen sensor can disrupt the entire combustion process. Besides reduced engine performance, a faulty oxygen sensor can negatively impact environmental emissions. Thankfully, you can easily recognize the symptoms early enough to contact a certified technician before your sensors fail. Here are some of the signs of a failing oxygen sensor you cannot afford to ignore:

  • The engine light comes on

  • Reduced fuel mileage

  • Poor engine performance, rough idling, stalling, and misfires

  • Failed emission test

  • Code checker signaling oxygen sensor failure

When Should You Replace your Oxygen Sensor?

Despite their significance, O2 sensors are not among the regular maintenance items. As such, most car owners tend to ignore them until they fail. All the same, if your vehicle is less than 20 years old, you should have its sensor replaced every 100,000 miles. However, if it's a little older, you should consider an O2 replacement every 50,000 to 70,000 miles. Timely O2 replacements reduce the amount of toxic emissions leaving your car's exhaust system while maintaining your car's engine at its best working conditions. Besides, it prevents more extensive damages, which would ultimately translate to expensive repair and replacement costs.

Oxygen sensors are relatively easy and affordable to replace. The replacement may varies based on your car's make and model. Regardless, no investment is too expensive, especially when it comes to protecting your car's valuable engine and exhaust system and keeping them running smoothly for longer.

If you need oxygen sensor repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

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