What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Oxygen Sensor?

An automotive oxygen sensor detects the presence of oxygen in the exhaust gases. The information is used to determine the number of parameters essential for combustion engine efficiency and emission control. Its role is to control combustion engine efficiency and emissions and ensure that appropriate fuel is delivered to the cylinders.


What Is an Oxygen Sensor Inside of a Vehicle?

An automotive oxygen sensor is a piece of equipment you find inside modern cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It prevents the so-called knock from occurring, which can happen when an engine misfires or detonates too soon before it has finished burning its mixture of air and fuel. The sensor prevents knocking by detecting sufficient levels of oxygen present in the exhaust gases exiting from the cylinder head, and if there aren't, the system shuts down.


Oxygen sensors are mounted in the exhaust pipe to monitor the efficiency of combustion in an engine. Their job is to replace some of the air that burned during the operation with high-temperature oxygen gas. The sensor uses a heated filament wire (electrically) or platinum wire (chemically) as its heat source and emits a low-current electrical signal in response to changes in temperature.


What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Oxygen Sensor?

Driving with an oxygen sensor malfunction can greatly decrease your car’s performance overall. Some symptoms could indicate oxygen sensor trouble, such as:

  • Erratic engine performance
  • Sudden cranking or failing engine
  • A warning light on the dashboard

If your vehicle experiences any of these symptoms, it's time to service it.


When To Replace a Bad Oxygen Sensor?

You can replace oxygen sensors when they lose their performance or start showing signs of wear and tear. The oxygen sensor is a part of the oxygen feedback loop, which is responsible for detecting and maintaining a safe oxygen concentration in the engine. When an oxygen sensor malfunctions or wears out, the engine may not receive accurate information about how much oxygen is needed. In turn, this could cause an engine to overspeed which could lead to severe damage and costly repairs.


If you need an oxygen sensor replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Rev Limit Auto Center today!

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