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Can My Oxygen Sensor Affect My Engine’s Performance?

Yes, Star Motors European advises that a malfunctioning oxygen sensor can affect your engine’s performance. Also called the O2 sensor, this exhaust system part collects data about how much oxygen is in your European automobile’s exhaust. When the oxygen sensor malfunctions, you will notice one or more of the following problems.

Black Vehicle Exhaust

The data that the O2 sensor collects is transferred to the engine control module so it knows whether to make adjustments to the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the oxygen sensor sends incorrect data, the module may add too much fuel to the chamber. When this happens, your vehicle will release black exhaust smoke because it is burning away the excess fuel.

Dashboard Warning

The oxygen sensor will also send an error code to the engine control module if it is not functioning properly. This is one of the most common reasons why your check engine light comes on. Until such time as you replace the sensor, you will have to deal with the illuminated check engine light. Your vehicle cannot pass a smog check if the check engine light is on.

Fuel Economy Loss

You will also notice a difference in your European automobile’s fuel economy. This is because the engine may be burning away excess fuel as discussed above or struggling to run if the combustion chamber has too much air in it. Either way, a malfunctioning O2 sensor can cause your fuel economy to take a hit. It’s much easier to catch this if you keep track of your vehicle’s gas mileage.

High Emissions Levels

As we just mentioned, your automobile will not pass a smog check if the check engine light is on. It will also fail the smog check if the oxygen sensor is malfunctioning and your vehicle is burning too much fuel. This increases the level of carbon in your vehicle’s exhaust. This high emissions level will cause your automobile to fail the smog check until such time as you get the oxygen sensor replaced.

Rotten Egg Smell

Finally, if you notice a smell that smells like rotten eggs, it’s possible that the oxygen sensor has caused the catalytic converter to fail. This is a crucial exhaust system part that handles the carbon monoxide. When it fails, it burns sulfur, and sulfur smells like rotten eggs.

Star Motors European in San Juan Capistrano, CA, can help. We can run a diagnostic check on your European automobile to see if the oxygen sensor has returned an error code. If so, we will replace it.

Photo by rukawajung from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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