The ominous check engine light shows the driver that the car is due for a visit to the auto shop. Although this is almost always an unwelcome development, it is a helpful system designed to help you nip performance issues in the bud before they cause major damage. One of the most common reasons the check engine light comes on is because the oxygen sensor is off-kilter.
What is an Oxygen Sensor?
An oxygen sensor is an electronic device designed to measure the proportion of oxygen to gas in the engine. This device is a vital part of your vehicle's emissions system. Oxygen levels in the engine need to be regulated because for combustion to happen, the right amount of oxygen is needed. Most cars need about 14 grams of oxygen for every gram of gas, and the oxygen regulator maintains this balance.
What Happens if the Oxygen Sensor is Damaged?
Your oxygen sensor is on the car's passenger side and is usually mounted onto the exhaust pipe. If your oxygen sensor is broken, your car will lose up to 40% of its fuel efficiency. When you take the car into the shop for a checkup, your mechanic may describe your engine as running lean. This term simply means that your engine is getting too much gas.
If they describe your engine as running rich, this simply means the engine has the opposite problem; running on insufficient oxygen. If your engine is running lean, your car may jerk or have a slow power pick-up speed. Alternatively, if the engine is running rich, your vehicle is likely releasing a plume of smoke polluting the air and resulting in engine damage.
Does your car need an oxygen sensor replacement or repair? We welcome you to 515 Motorsport for fast, efficient, and reliable services.