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Understanding the Importance of Auto Service: A Guide for Everyone

Auto service is critical, and without it, you can lose your car or put yourself in danger. Hi, my name is Pete, and after ignoring my brakes for too long, I was in an accident. I made it my goal to learn everything I could about the importance of car service. Regardless of how much or how little you know about cars, I hope that these blogs can help you. I plan to focus on a range of topics related to auto service and possibly some other ideas as well. This is my first blog, and I hope that you enjoy it. When I'm not writing, I work in a coffee shop during the day and part-time for a telemarketing company in the evenings. I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family.

Understanding the Importance of Auto Service: A Guide for Everyone

Mechanic tips 101 | Top signs of oxygen sensor problems

by Alexandra Obrien

The oxygen sensor is an important part of the car. Its role is simple; to perform tests on the vehicle, and determine whether the amounts of oxygen in the vehicle are enough. The results are then sent to the vehicle's computer and the right air-fuel ratio is combusted to make the engine run optimally. Problems with the oxygen sensor are often overlooked, and car owners realise the malfunction when they get to the mechanic. Sometimes, this may be too late because the engine will have suffered too much damage. So here are some of the top signs to consider.

Lurching motion

One of the effects of a malfunctioning oxygen sensor is that it may send a wrong message to the car's computer. The sensor may inform the vehicle that it's running on low oxygen supply, which causes the computer to increase its combustion proportions. Higher air and fuel ratios are used, and this may make the car lurch frequently and sputter. Such improper gas combinations may also lead to a dark exhaust emanating from your car. You may also catch the characteristic, rich odours of fuel.

Poor gas mileage.

Another effect of a damaged oxygen sensor is poor gas mileage. You'll realise that your vehicle uses up a lot more fuel than it previously did. Since the oxygen sensor plays a huge role in the combustion of the gas, it can undoubtedly affect your gas mileage. Though a reduction in the gas mileage can also be attributed to other faults in the engine, checking the oxygen sensor should be one of your first steps in troubleshooting this.

Reduced engine power

If you feel a reduction in the engine power, then the oxygen sensor may be to blame. The car may hesitate to start, or when it does, it accelerates very slowly even when you step on the gas. The combustion in the engine may be occurring at less-than-required amounts, and that's one of the reasons that reduces the power of the engine.

Failure to pass the smog test.

Another way to know if your car's oxygen sensor is okay is if it doesn't pass the smog test. About 50 to 60% of emission or smog test failures are caused by a faulty oxygen sensor. That's because once it malfunctions, more CO is released by the vehicle.

The oxygen sensor is a pretty inexpensive part to replace, so heading to your mechanic early enough can bring things back to order in a flash. A good sensor gives the engine a proper environment to operate, thus lengthening the life of your engine.