All vehicles manufactured after 1980 will include oxygen (O2) sensors. Their main purpose is to ensure that your engine is running its best by monitoring the relative amount of oxygen in the system. Oxygen sensors are connected directly to the car's computer. If a sensor is failing or tripped because of improper oxygen levels (too little or too much), it will notify the computer. In fact, the check engine light is most commonly on because of an oxygen sensor warning.
What Do Oxygen Sensors Do?
Oxygen sensors also perform a major role when it comes to vehicle emissions. As emissions standards have tightened throughout the years, so have the requirements for oxygen sensors. If you have a faulty oxygen sensor in your car, you likely won't pass a California smog inspection. Oxygen sensors are placed in strategic spots in the exhaust system in order to make sure the engine is running with the ideal amount of oxygen compared to the fuel being burned.
How Many Oxygen Sensors Are There in My Car?
Most cars have several oxygen sensors. The basic arrangement is one in front of the catalytic converter and one in each of the vehicle's exhaust manifolds. Many modern vehicles will have at least four oxygen sensors specifically placed at key points in the exhaust system. This helps prevent emissions failures while also allowing the computer to calibrate the engine for better performance and fuel efficiency.
My Check Engine Light is On. Now What?
Like most automotive components, oxygen sensors can fail or wear out over time. If your check engine light is on, it may just mean you need to have one of your oxygen sensors replaced. Or, the oxygen sensor may be doing its job and detecting a significant problem within the engine or exhaust system. Either way, it's a good idea to have your vehicle inspected by a professional automotive technician to get to the source of the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Oxygen Sensor Inspection and Repairs at San Francisco Automotive Solutions
If your check engine light is on and/or you have issues with your car's oxygen sensors, count on the Bay Area's premier auto repair shop for expert service with a personal touch. Call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170. You can also send a text to that number or use this link to book your appointment online.