Is Your Car's O2 Sensor Going Bad? Learn How To Diagnose And Fix The Problem

Your car has an O2 sensor, otherwise known as an oxygen sensor. It helps regulate the oxygen inside your car's exhaust system and helps with determining the proper amount of oxygen and fuel needed in the engine. If you feel like there may be an issue with your car's O2 sensor, learn how to diagnose and fix the problem.

Signs of A Bad O2 Sensor

There are several warning signs that your car's O2 sensor needs replacement. One of the most common signs is when the service engine soon light is activated. The car's exhaust will also smell like rotten eggs, and your car will start using more gas than usual. Ignoring the problem can lead to the car's catalytic converter failing, excessive exhaust emissions, and an engine that bucks, skips, hesitates, or surges unexpectedly.

While these problems can all be caused by a bad O2 sensor, they can also be caused by a car's coolant sensor and catalytic converter. The best way to determine if the problem is with the O2 sensor is to visit an auto repair shop. They can plug your car into a computer that can read the service engine soon light's error code. It will tell you exactly what the problem is.

Replacing A Bad O2 Sensor

Your car will have multiple O2 sensors. Thankfully, the owners manual will tell you where each sensor is located, and the auto shop's computer will tell you which O2 sensor is damaged.

Replacing the sensor will require the following items

  • Replacement O2 sensor
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench or socket set

Start by disconnecting the car's battery. Then locate the O2 sensor that needs replacement according to the owner's manual. O2 sensors look like spark plugs.

Use a screwdriver to disconnect the electrical connection going to the O2 sensor. Then unscrew the damaged sensor using a wrench or socket. Screw the new sensor where the old one went, and reconnect electricity to the sensor. Reconnect the car battery, and you're done! Drive your car around and see if there is a notable improvement in its performance.

Replacing an old O2 sensor is easy if you follow these steps. If you feel like it would be too difficult for you based on the description provided, you can take your car to an auto repair shop (such as Vince's Auto Service) to have the job done for you. It is the best way to ensure that the repair is done correctly if you do not feel confident doing it yourself.