Also called the O2 sensor, a malfunctioning oxygen sensor can wreak havoc underneath the hood. This sensor communicates with your automobile’s main computer chip to let it know how much oxygen is in the exhaust. If it sends the wrong information, the engine control module will make unnecessary adjustments to the fuel and air in the combustion chamber. Consequently, Pit Shop Auto Repair advises that your car, truck, or utility vehicle will experience one or more of the following symptoms.
Black Engine Exhaust
When your engine burns excess fuel, it creates black exhaust that flows out of the tailpipe. If the faulty O2 sensor sends information that causes the engine control module to unnecessarily increase the fuel in the combustion chamber, you will end up with black engine exhaust. You will continue to see this exhaust until you replace the dead oxygen sensor.
Engine Performance Issues
These fuel and air imbalances also cause engine performance issues. For example, if the combustion chamber is burning excess fuel, your engine will pick up and drop speed unexpectedly. If the combustion chamber has too much air in it, your vehicle’s acceleration and engine will sputter and hiccup. You will notice this particularly when you are driving faster.
High Emissions Levels
Unfortunately, excess fuel in the combustion chamber means excess hydrocarbons in your vehicle’s exhaust. As a consequence, your automobile will release high emissions levels in the exhaust that will cause it to fail any emissions test that it takes. In fact, a common reason why automobiles fail emissions tests is a faulty or malfunctioning O2 sensor.
Poor Fuel Economy
Naturally, if the imbalance in the combustion chamber is creating a problem with your engine’s efficiency, you will end up with a reduction in your vehicle’s fuel economy. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this if the O2 sensor is sending incorrect data regarding the oxygen levels in the exhaust. The engine control module is going by the numbers that it is receiving.
Rotten Egg Smell
Finally, aside from failing an emissions test, excess hydrocarbons in your vehicle’s exhaust can clog the catalytic converter. When this happens, you might smell rotten eggs, you will end up with excessive heat in the engine and underneath your vehicle, your engine performance will suffer, and, again, you may end up with black exhaust flowing out of the tailpipe.
Don’t worry. Pit Shop Auto Repair in Libertyville, IL, can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment for your automobile. We will test the oxygen sensor and replace it if necessary.