Diagnosing Oxygen Sensor Issues in Vehicles


To minimize noxious emissions, modern cars come with oxygen sensors. This is an important device that regulates the flow of oxygen to your engine. Just like any other part of the car, the sensor experiences issues from time to time and it gets to a point that it must be replaced. With its help, the amount of noxious emissions will be reduced, the car will run efficiently and this will save you on gas.

What is the Work of the Oxygen Sensor?

The engine needs to be fed with the right amount of gasoline. The oxygen sensors that are fitted in the exhaust pipe helps with this. It adjusts the fuel to ensure that the right amount gets into the engine by detecting the ratio of gasoline and oxygen getting in.

What Are the Signs that the Oxygen Sensor has failed?

There are several signs that the oxygen sensor needs attention or to be replaced. Here are just some of the most common signs. 

  • The car seems to consume more fuel: If you notice that the car seems to consume more fuel than usual, it could be that the oxygen sensor is no longer functioning.
  • The engine hesitates when in operation. When the engine starts hesitating or it seems to surge, you should have the sensor checked.
  • A failed catalytic converter. If the catalytic converter has been functioning properly but it abruptly stopped working, it’s a sign that the sensor is in a poor condition.
  • Have you smelt rotten eggs from your exhaust? That is one of the most common signs of a failed sensor. This comes with increased exhaust emissions that are unusual.

What to do when it has failed

When the car has the above mentioned issues, it’s time to head to the mechanic although you can have it checked in advance. Technicians use special tools such as oxygen sensor socket, propane enrichment device and digital voltmeter to diagnose the issues. Once they affirm that the oxygen sensor needs replacement, they will do it within minutes. 

Having this device checked and replaced when necessary is crucial. It will prevent increased emissions from the exhaust, it helps in protecting the environment and people from pollution, you don’t have to worry about its effects on the engine and it will save you money on gas. Despite this being an easy device to replace, it’s advisable that you work with a knowledgeable technician. 

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