What is the O2 Sensor?
You may not know what the O2 sensor in your car is or why it is important. The O2 sensor stands for the oxygen sensor and it is what is used to monitor the the oxygen level in your car’s exhaust to determine the fuel mixture. If the car is burning too much oxygen, it is considered to be burning lean, and if it is not burning enough oxygen it is burning too rich. Having the right fuel mixture is important to the overall performance of your car and the O2 sensor plays an important role in that process.
As vehicle technology develops, manufacturers have figured out better ways to determine what the fuel mixture is in your car. In some vehicles, you may even find an O2 sensor on every cylinder. It depends on your car and the manufacturer, but most modern cars have an O2 sensor located under the hood of your car or underneath the car entirely. The sensors are found attached to your car’s exhaust pipe and will be in front of or behind the catalytic converter. Working with your vehicle’s computer, the sensor will indicate if the fuel mixture is either too lean or too rich and adjust to create the optimal fuel to air mixture. It also takes into consideration emission output and will determine what is most efficient for your car and what creates the lowest emissions.
If your O2 sensor is not working properly, it may increase the emission output and will not be able to determine what the proper fuel mixture is. This could result in your car’s performance being lowered and you may decrease your fuel efficiency. If you car is experiencing an O2 sensor issue, the best thing you can do is get it fixed so that it won’t be costing you money.
What Can Cause the O2 Sensor to Fail?
Most often a failing O2 sensor is caused by a leak. The leak is generally oil, but in some cases it may be a coolant leak. In either case, you will need to /contact-us/have the leak inspected to make sure that it is not the result of a more serious issue, and you will need to have the O2 sensor replaced if it has been damaged at all. It is also important to know that prior to 1996 a universal O2 sensor was needed, but modern vehicles will require a different one. Any questions about sensors can be directed to your mechanic who will be able to determine what your vehicle needs.
Having a mechanic that you trust is important, just as it is important to make sure that your mechanic is familiar with working on your type of vehicle. If a mechanic is familiar with your type of car, they will have a good understanding of parts that generally fail and will know what to keep an eye out for. If you think your O2 sensor is failing or has failed, the best thing you can do is take your car in for a diagnosis, then get the faulty sensor replaced.
How We Can Help
At Orange Motors, we have technicians who are expertly trained and will be able to help you figure out if your car has a broken oxygen sensor. They will work with you to determine the cause and to figure out what the best course of action is for your vehicle. Convenient to Orange County, CA residents, we aim to provide our customers with the best care to ensure that their car is functioning properly and will be able to have a long life. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment to have your O2 sensor inspected, visit our website or call our office where someone will be able to assist you.