Modern age car engine’s control system relies on inputs from different sensors to regulate the performance of the engine and its emissions and other important functions. If these sensors do not provide accurate information, the driver may experience increased fuel consumption, drivability, emissions failures, and other problems.
Most important sensors in the engine of modern cars are the oxygen sensor. O2 is also called an O2 sensor because it is the chemical formula for oxygen. Oxygen sensors monitor the amount of unburned oxygen present in the exhaust as it leaves the engine. By monitoring oxygen levels, the sensor provides a means to measure the fuel mixture. The O2 sensor tells the computer if the fuel mixture is burning rich (lack of oxygen) or lean (too much oxygen). Knowing the fuel-air ratio allows the vehicle’s engine to make the necessary changes to ensure that the vehicle operates normally.
The O2 sensor is mandatory for all cars built after 1981. Due to ODB-II regulations that apply to vehicles built after 1996, many newer vehicles have multiple O2 sensors. In fact, some cars have up to four oxygen sensors. Cars made after 1996 require a second oxygen sensor below the catalytic converter. The operating efficiency of the catalytic converter is monitored by O2 sensor.
If the sensor after the catalytic converter shows minimal changes from the initial oxygen sensor reading, it indicates that the catalytic converter is not working properly. Modern vehicles with a V-6 or V-8 engine can have up to four O2 sensors. One is placed in each cylinder bank and the other is placed after each catalytic converter. Failure of the oxygen sensor in the cylinder block or the oxygen sensor in the catalytic converter can cause serious problems with the vehicle’s engine.
Oxygen sensors play an important role in engine performance and emission control, so you may be wondering when to consider replacing them.
When is it necessary to replace the O2 sensor?
Oxygen sensors are not included in maintenance items that require regular replacement, such as oil filters and air filters, so they are usually replaced only in the event of failure.
Oxygen sensors are an important component of fuel and emissions systems because they monitor the amount of oxygen in the exhaust and send that information to the engine computer and adjust the air-fuel ratio accordingly. If the oxygen sensor fails, the engine computer will not be able to set the air-fuel ratio correctly, resulting in poor fuel economy, increased emissions, and damage to other components such as overheated catalytic converters.
The vehicles we recognize do not have warning lights that signal when the oxygen sensor fails. So, if you have a faulty oxygen sensor that needs to be replaced, you need to rely on other vital signs to warn you. The check engine light on the dash came on and increased fuel consumption.
Signs of a need for a new O2 sensor:
A check engine light on can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a catalytic converter. Or it could be a minor problem, like a loose gas cap, and should always be investigated further. However, it may indicate a problem with the O2 sensor or another part of the exhaust or exhaust system. The repair shop should be able to read the trigger on the check engine light, and a mechanic or auto parts shop can perform this service for free.
Other signs that a new oxygen sensor is needed include altered idle conditions, spark plug misfires, power outages, shutdowns, or significant increases in fuel consumption. These symptoms can also be a sign of other problems, but the EPA states that replacing the faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel economy by up to 40%, so is the vehicle thirsty for gas? It is one of the places to check. If the vehicle fails the emissions test, it may also be due to a malfunction of the O2 sensor.
Prices for new oxygen sensors can range from less than $ 100 on some models to more than $ 300 on other models, but do not include the effort which can vary significantly from vehicle to vehicle depending on sensor location … As a result, the total cost of replacing an oxygen sensor can vary greatly depending on the type of vehicle you drive.