Is a Faulty Oxygen Sensor Causing My Engine to Hesitate?

Yes, a faulty oxygen (O2) sensor can make your engine hesitate if there is too much air in the combustion chamber. This condition can also make your acceleration lag. Ideal Automotive also advises that your engine may surge if there is too much fuel in the chamber. Unfortunately, both of these conditions can be caused by a malfunctioning O2 sensor as well as the problems listed below.

Black Exhaust Smoke

As your automobile burns away the excess fuel in the combustion chamber, it will release black smoke into your vehicle’s exhaust. You will see this smoke flowing out of your tailpipe. You know how much exhaust you should see normally, which is none, and if you see abnormal exhaust levels, it’s important to have this looked into right away to ensure you avoid an engine fire.

High Vehicle Emissions

Excess fuel also releases too many toxins into the vehicle’s exhaust. When this happens, your car, truck, or utility vehicle ends up releasing these excess hydrocarbons in the exhaust and, as a consequence, your vehicle emissions get much higher. We don’t have emissions testing here in Minnesota, but if you live in a state that does test vehicle emissions, your automobile will likely fail the test.

Poor Fuel Economy

The combination of excess fuel and an inefficient engine will cause your automobile’s gas mileage to suffer. Consequently, you will head to the service station more often until you get the dying O2 sensor replaced. Once the sensor is no longer malfunctioning, the engine control module will balance the air and fuel in the combustion chamber, and your vehicle’s engine will run efficiently.

Rotten Egg Smell

Let’s talk more about excess hydrocarbons, though. When these hydrocarbons make their way through the catalytic converter to be converted into safer emissions, they can overload the converter and clog it. This will result in the smell of rotten eggs coming from underneath your automobile and from the exhaust. This is an unfortunate side effect of a malfunctioning O2 sensor.

Dashboard Warning

Finally, the symptoms listed above will be accompanied by a dashboard warning light. Specifically, the check engine light will turn on. It’s important to note that this may be your only indication that your oxygen sensor has gone bad. As such, it’s crucial to find out why the check engine light came on as soon as possible.

We can do that here at Ideal Automotive in Blaine, MN. Call us today to schedule a diagnostic test.

photo by Media from Pexels via Canva Pro

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