Oxygen sensors monitor how much oxygen is in your car’s exhaust. Most cars have at least two – one in front of the catalytic converter – to regulate fuel supply, and one after it – to measure its efficiency.
Two Sensors Worth. Oxygen sensors monitor how much oxygen is in your car’s exhaust. Most cars have at least two – one in front of the catalytic converter – to regulate fuel supply, and one after it – to measure its efficiency.
Using Your Smart Sensor. The O2 sensor compares the level of oxygen in the sensor to the outside air. If levels of oxygen are too high or low in the exhaust, your engine will automatically make adjustments. So yes, your oxygen sensor is smarter than a fifth grader.
That’s Not Good Sensor. The O2 sensors in most vehicles will last for about 100,000 miles, but they do eventually go bad. The extremely hot exhaust that runs through the sensors is full of chemicals. Contaminated fuel and damaged engines can further shorten the life of an O2 sensor.
Have you Lost Your Sensor? An OBD2 reader is the best way to find out if your oxygen sensor is going bad, but there are other hints along the way:
Check engine light.
Black smoke in the tailpipe.
Reduced gas mileage.
New Sensors. Replacing an oxygen sensor is not hard, but you can do damage if it’s not done properly. The best way is to bring your vehicle in to us, and let us take care of it for you! Testing the O2 sensor is done during your annual car inspection, so we can let you know early if it’s time to replace it.
There is a lot of good sense involved in maintaining your car’s engine, and O2 sensors are just part of the equation. Bring your vehicle to us, and let us help you keep it in the best condition possible. If you think about it, it’s the most sensible thing to do.
Also – fun fact – One time we were in a car so high up on a mountain (about 8000 feet above sea level – straight up) that the oxygen sensor reading was not valid because there was not a lot of oxygen in the air. The car was really sluggish as a result. It was so strange.