Oxygen Sensors, sometimes referred to as O2 Sensors measure the amount of oxygen in gas or liquid in the vehicle. The oxygen measured in the engine allows it to run as efficiently as possible in order to produce few emissions that would otherwise be potentially harmful to one's health and the vehicle's safety.
The desired "perfect" ratio of air to gasoline is 14.7:1, but keep in mind that different fuels can have different ratios. Oxygen sensors screw into the exhaust pipe of a vehicle and take readouts on the composition of the exhaust as part of the emissions control system of the vehicle. They relay this information back to the vehicle’s computer.
When should I replace my oxygen sensor?
You should replace your oxygen sensor any time that the service engine light on your vehicle comes on and the code that it gives is related to the oxygen sensor. Otherwise, it is worthwhile to replace the sensor if you are replacing the exhaust anyway, since it is a cheap part.
What happens if I don’t?
If you continue driving your car with a faulty sensor de oxígeno, the computer may alter the ratio of fuel and air in the engine, which can make your car run a lot less smoothly. This may cause misfires.
How to do it: Replacing your oxygen sensor:
- 1. Find the car oxygen sensor underneath your vehicle. It will look like a plug popping out of your exhaust system. Some vehicles may have more than one oxygen sensor.
- Disconnect the sensor with a screwdriver. Use the screwdriver to push in the tabs and pull the connector off of the sensor.
- You can now unscrew the car oxygen sensors from the exhaust pipe with a wrench or socket.
- Make sure that your new oxygen sensor looks like the old one in terms of size and shape.
- Screw the new sensor back into the pipe until it is tight, but do not over tighten it.
- Connect the sensor to the electrical wiring.
- Now follow the steps on whatever electronic diagnostic system that you have access to in order to clear the code from your car’s computer that was causing the service engine light. If you do not have a diagnostic system, you may need to take the vehicle to the dealership or to a mechanic to get your service engine light reset.
- Start up the car and take it for a test drive. It should run a lot more smoothly.
Anything else I need to know?
For some vehicles, you may need to remove some ancillary parts to get to the Spark Plug Replacement, so be prepared for that. If you run into problems with that process, you may need to do some research to get instructions that are specific to your vehicle.
You can run your car without a functioning oxygen sensor, but it will not run very smoothly if the computer is programmed to adjust the mixture of fuel and air based on the readouts from the sensor. It also will not pass inspection in most states.
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