When Does the O2 Sensor Go Bad?

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The O2 or oxygen sensor generally goes bad at about 100,000 miles. Goose Euro would be happy to replace your oxygen sensor when it needs it. This sensor is located in the tailpipe so it can report the oxygen level in the exhaust to the engine control unit or ECU. The unit uses this information to make adjustments to the combustion chamber’s air and fuel.

Engine Performance and Acceleration Issues

In some cases, when the O2 sensor malfunctions, it sends incorrect oxygen data to the ECU. Consequently, the ECU will be prompted to make unnecessary adjustments to the fuel and air in the combustion chamber. If there is too much air in the chamber, your engine’s performance and acceleration will lag. If there is too much fuel, the engine will surge.

A Noticeable Reduction in Fuel Economy

A faulty O2 sensor can indirectly cause a noticeable reduction in your vehicle’s fuel economy because of the engine performance issues discussed above. Unfortunately, whether there is too much air or too much fuel, your engine will go through the fuel more quickly.

Black Exhaust Flowing Out of the Tailpipe

When the ECU puts too much fuel into the chamber, it stresses out the catalytic converter. This is because the converter must process excess hydrocarbons. Consequently, these extra hydrocarbons deposit sulfur and carbon in the converter and cause it to malfunction. You may see black exhaust if your catalytic converter has gone bad.

Burning Sulfur Odors in the Engine Exhaust

Another sign that the catalytic converter has gone bad is burning sulfur odors in your vehicle’s exhaust. These odors resemble the rancid smell of rotten eggs. If the O2 sensor is causing the ECU to push too much fuel into the chamber, the catalytic converter could fail prematurely.

High Emissions Levels/Failed Emissions Test

Naturally, when there are high emissions levels left in your exhaust because the catalytic converter was unable to treat them, your vehicle will fail an emissions test. Your vehicle will also fail the emissions test because the faulty O2 sensor generally causes a check engine warning.

Illuminated or Flashing Check Engine Light

Speaking of this, it is common for your check engine light to turn on when the O2 sensor malfunctions. If the light is flashing, do not drive your automobile.

Call Goose Euro in San Antonio, TX, today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if you suspect that the oxygen sensor is going bad.

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