For your vehicle to run efficiently, it will rely on the right mix of air and fuel within each individual combustion chamber. This mixture needs to be carefully regulated so that it produces the optimal result and, crucially, regulates exhaust emission so that it is in compliance with the law. To make sure that the oxygen level is always correct, a specific sensor is set up to monitor the exhaust flow and to report back if any issues are found. What do you need to know about this sensor, and what should you do if it starts to play up?
Sensors in Action
Every vehicle fitted with a catalytic converter is required to have one of these oxygen sensors in place, and some vehicles may have more than one. Usually, the sensor will be mounted to the outside of the converter and the tip will be placed inside to monitor the flow of exhaust gas from the engine. If the oxygen level is not right, then the sensor will register this and send a message to the ECU. In turn, a warning light will be illuminated on the dashboard and you will need to investigate the problem.
Checking the Code
To get more details, you will need to connect a diagnostic code reader to the vehicle, and this will download a specific code. The code will identify the oxygen sensor as the source of the warning, and you will need to take a much closer look at the air intake system. Typically, this will be a job for a mechanic, given the sophisticated nature of the typical engine management system today.
Detecting a Faulty Sensor
Still, if the sensor fails then it may not even register a fault code, but you may nevertheless know that something is wrong. After all, you may detect an unusual smell from the rear of the exhaust or may notice that the car is behaving erratically. It may stall at a traffic light or could stutter when it should be accelerating, and these signs may tell you that the mixture is incorrect, or that the sensor has failed to detect the problem when it should.
Most people will take the vehicle to a mechanic in order to change the sensor, as the job calls for a certain type of tool. At the same time, the mechanic will take a look at the air intake system and make any adjustments as needed. Reach out to auto mechanical repair technicians to get help today.