As a driver, the last thing you want to see as you’re cruising down the highway is the check engine light on your dashboard. However, this indicator is commonly triggered by bad oxygen sensors. But what are oxygen sensors, and how do you know if yours are bad? Luckily, the certified mechanics at Austin’s Pro Max in Spanaway, Washington, are here to tell you everything you need to know.
Oxygen sensors are electronic devices that monitor the engine’s air-fuel ratio. They ensure your engine is always working optimally. Additionally, oxygen sensors will alert you if your vehicle’s emissions are too excessive. As with every part of your car, the oxygen sensors can wear out over time. It’s important to know the signs of a bad sensor to prevent costlier damage from happening.
If your oxygen sensors are worn-out or damaged, your car could experience the following symptoms:
Illuminated Check Engine Light: A bad oxygen sensor may cause your check engine light to switch on. However, this is only one of several reasons this indicator is on. Always have your car inspected by a mechanic to get to the root of the problem.
Poor Gas Mileage: If you’ve noticed a sudden decrease in your fuel economy, a bad oxygen sensor could be blamed. Your engine is less efficient when the oxygen-to-fuel ratio is off.
Emissions Test Failure: Most failed emissions tests are due to a bad oxygen sensor. If your car has high emissions levels, you may need to have your sensors looked at immediately.
Older Cars: If your car is older, you should be getting the oxygen sensors replaced every 45,000 to 65,000 miles. Newer cars can be driven up to 90,000 miles before having their sensors replaced.
If your check engine light is on, schedule an automotive repair appointment at Austin’s Pro Max in Spanaway, Washington, today. Our car care experts will diagnose your car and efficiently repair the issues. Call us today at (253) 472-1336 to fix your bad oxygen sensors or other problems.