Toyota hood popped on Long Island, NY, in preparation for engine inspection and O2 sensor repair.

Five Signs Your O2 Sensor Needs Replacing

Posted at Fri, Jun 5, 2020 10:00 AM

There are so many vital components to your vehicle that it is easy to forget about some of them, and the oxygen sensor is one of those that is often overlooked by drivers here on Long Island. The O2 sensor measures the exhaust gases coming out from the engine, and this data is used by the power control module (PCM) to calculate the right amount of fuel to air ratio in order to ensure that your engine is running efficiently. The sensor, which is in the exhaust system, makes sure that the engine timing and the fuel injection work in tandem and when it all functions properly, it also lessens the harmful emissions that your vehicle releases. When the oxygen sensor starts to fail, there will be indicators, and to help you get familiar with them, our staff here at Westbury Toyota has put together a quick description of the five most obvious signs of oxygen sensor failure.

An Increase In Fuel Consumption

One tell-tale sign that your Toyota’s oxygen sensor might be on the fritz is if your vehicle has started consuming a lot more fuel that it regularly does. A malfunctioning sensor will inject more fuel into the system than is actually needed, so if you suspect that is the case, be sure to keep track of how often you are refueling or how many gallons you are going through. Also, be sure to book your car in with the seasoned experts here in the Westbury Toyota service center if you are experiencing this issue, because the longer you let this problem go unchecked, the more money you will end up spending on fuel.

Failed Emissions Test

If your car fails an emissions test, there is a good chance that a broken oxygen sensor is the culprit. This is a pretty serious issue, as if the emissions test is failed, the vehicle cannot be registered again once the license plate tag expires. Obviously this is a less than ideal situation, so if you suspect that your O2 sensor is malfunctioning, you need to address the problem as quickly as possible.

A Rotten Egg Smell

If you are detecting a rotten egg smell when your car is running, it is likely because the oxygen sensor is not working as it should be and is injecting too much fuel into the engine. This excess of fuel will not only produce the unpleasant stench, but will also release thick black smoke. This can also lead to exposure to carbon monoxide, particularly with older cars, and something that dangerous needs to be fixed as quickly as possible to ensure that you and your family stay safe on the roads of Long Island.

The Engine Idles Rough/Misfires

Another indicator that the oxygen sensor needs to be replaced is if the engine’s performance starts to decline. Examples of this issue in action include irregular idling and the engine misfiring or running rough when you are driving. In addition, you might find that your car experiences a loss of power, particularly when heading uphill, or that it even stalls out when you slow down or come to a halt.

The Check Engine Light Is On

Your Toyota’s check engine light can come on for a number of reasons, and a failing oxygen sensor is one of those. As your owner’s manual will explain, you should always bring your car in for an inspection if the check engine light comes on. Ignoring it can lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road, particularly if the O2 sensor is the culprit, so don’t wait any longer to pay us a visit if you are currently experiencing this issue.

Paying Attention To The Warning Signs

As you can see, a failing O2 sensor can lead to a bevy of minor and major issues. Nip this problem in the bud – if you suspect your Toyota’s oxygen sensor is acting up, either replace it yourself if you have the know how or book it in with one of our technicians here at Westbury Toyota. We have all the experience and the know-how needed to tackle the issue with expediency and skill, and we will have your Toyota up and running in top shape in no time.

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