A malfunctioning oxygen (O2) sensor often turns on the check engine light indirectly by sending your automobile’s main computer chip an error code. Once the chip receives the code, it turns on the check engine light because it cannot repair the O2 sensor itself. The average lifespan of an oxygen sensor is 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles. Ultimate Auto Repair advises that the check engine light is one indication that your oxygen sensor has gone bad. Here are other symptoms of a faulty O2 sensor.
Black Exhaust Smoke
The oxygen sensor is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. It’s designed to measure oxygen levels in the exhaust to help the main computer chip keep the air and fuel balanced in the combustion chamber. If it is malfunctioning and reports incorrect oxygen levels, the chip may put too much fuel into the combustion chamber and you will end up with black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe.
Burning Sulfur Odors
This excess fuel can also cause problems with your automobile’s catalytic converter. It can overload and clog the converter with carbon deposits. Once the catalytic converter is clogged, it will overheat and release odors that smell like rotten eggs. This is burning sulfur. You will smell the disgusting odors in your vehicle’s exhaust and coming from underneath your automobile.
High Emissions Levels
The excess fuel will also increase the emissions being released in your vehicle’s exhaust. Unfortunately, if you live in a state that requires emissions testing, your automobile will fail for three reasons. First, there will be too many emissions in the exhaust. Second, the faulty O2 sensor can make the vehicle fail the test. Third, no automobile will pass the test if the check engine light is on.
As you can see, the excess fuel causes numerous problems. One more issue is engine performance problems such as bucking and surging because of the excess fuel. If the main computer chip has increased the error level unnecessarily instead, your engine will sputter and struggle to perform at higher speeds and when under stress.
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
Finally, all of these things will reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. You will notice a significant difference in how many miles per gallon you get out of a full tank of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Replacing the malfunctioning oxygen sensor can resolve these issues, and Ultimate Auto Repair in Jackson, MI, can do that for you. Call our shop today to set up an appointment.