Failed Emissions Tests
Some bad or failing oxygen sensor symptoms include failed emissions tests, flashing or illuminated CEL (check engine light), misfiring, rough idling or stalling, poor fuel economy, black exhaust fumes, and sulfur or a rotten egg smell. You need immediate service if you notice a rotten egg smell or your check engine light (CEL) comes on. Call Rush Automotive in Leander, TX.
Oxygen sensors usually last around 30,000 to 50,000 miles, and depending on driving habits, that equates to every three to five years. On newer vehicles, sensors are equipped with an additional heated element that increases the sensor life to around 100,000 miles or seven to 10 years. When the O2 sensor fails, it usually leads to the engine misfiring or stalling, adding harmful pollutants into the air. The vehicle’s powertrain runs on an incorrect oxygen/ fuel mixture which can lead to a clogged catalytic converter adding more pollutants to the environment. Oxygen sensors fail for many reasons. One reason is byproducts of combustion like sulfur, lead, fuel additives, and oil ash becoming attached to the sensor, which prevents a signal from being sent to your engine’s computer. Using the wrong fuel grade can accelerate the aging process of the oxygen sensor.
Mechanically inclined car enthusiasts sometimes remove the oxygen sensor and use a wire brush, or an aerosol cleaner, to remove foreign deposits. Rush Automotive does not recommend doing this. The oxygen sensor is too vital to your vehicle’s performance. You risk damaging the sensor and possibly altering the air-fuel mixture. Other signs of a damaged oxygen sensor are engine hesitations, skipping, power surges, or bucking. Bucking is when the vehicle jerks when you’re driving. Call Rush Automotive or visit us in Leander, TX, if you need anything automotive.