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Oxygen Sensor Replacement

Due to modern environmental concerns, car manufacturers have brought a raft of measures to help lower carbon footprint - namely emissions.

This is where the oxygen sensor comes in. This is a sensor that is connected to your exhaust manifold which detects the level of oxygen in your exhaust gas. This helps ensure that the car is running with the exact air/fuel ratio it needs for peak performance – in both power and efficiency.

What is an oxygen sensor?

An O2 sensor is an electrical sensor that is usually located before the catalytic converter and after the catalytic converter in some applications.

The oxygen sensor requires a high level of heat to operate and while the engine is warming up, a heating coil is used to keep the o2 sensor at the right temperature.

While the engine is running and pushing exhaust gas over the sensor, it creates a voltage output which indicates to the ecu on how to adjust the air/fuel ratio. Whether the engine is running too rich (high voltage, too much fuel) or too lean (low voltage, too much air).

Why do you need an oxygen sensor?

In order to make your vehicle operate correctly, get the best fuel mileage and keep emissions down, you need your o2 sensor.

Without it, you will get a poor performing car that gets a far worse fuel economy than usual and sends harmful pollutants out the exhaust.

What symptoms mean you need a new oxygen sensor?

Your engine warning light will come on, and in some models it will tell you that the o2 sensor needs replacing. Your fuel economy drops noticeably and the engine runs rough and can sometimes misfire. When starting or idling the car, the smell of unburnt fuel is very noticeable around the exhaust.

How do you replace an oxygen sensor?

The mechanic will use a diagnostic tool to determine which oxygen sensor needs replacing. The car is put on a hoist and any cowlings or shielding is removed to access the exhaust, the faulty sensor is disconnected and unscrewed. The new sensor is screwed in and wiring connected. The car is taken off the hoist, started and brought up to temperature. The mechanic will run the diagnostic tool to assess whether the new o2 sensor is working properly

How much does an oxygen sensor replacement cost?

An oxygen sensor replacement can cost between $175 to beyond $500, the main cost variable is the price of the new sensor and the difficulty of access.

How often do I need an oxygen sensor replacement?

Generally most car manufacturers will have a recommended service interval. Typically this is between 120,000km to 200,000km, or whenever the sensor fails.

Is a broken oxygen sensor unsafe

A broken sensor is best fixed as soon as possible. It won’t prevent you from driving your car but it will prevent your car from driving properly.

You don’t want to waste gas, make the engine run rough, or pump out harmful emissions. So get it seen to, as soon as possible.

 

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