What Are the Signs of a Poor O2 Sensor?

An automotive oxygen sensor, or O2 sensor, is responsible for detecting the oxygen levels in your exhaust gases. The sensor measures it and sends this information to the car's computer to ensure a smooth and controlled combustion process. Without it, your car would be running very inefficiently and even dangerously in some cases.


The automotive O2 sensor is a small piece that you find in most cars, SUVs, and trucks nowadays. It prevents engine knocking, which occurs when the engine misfires or fires too soon before burning the air and fuel mixture. The sensor prevents engine damage by measuring and allowing the correct oxygen levels.


Oxygen sensors are commonly located in the exhaust pipe to monitor combustion efficiency in an engine. Their position is to return some of the air that burned with high-temperature oxygen gas during the process. The sensor uses a heated wire or platinum wire as its heat source and ejects a low-current electrical cue in response to shifts in temperature.


Driving with a faulty O2 sensor can significantly decrease your automobile's performance and efficiency. Below are the warning signs of a damaged oxygen sensor:

  • Irregular engine performance or frequent power surges
  • Rough running engine
  • Poor fuel mileage
  • Failure of emission test
  • Check engine light lit up on dashboard

If you experience any of the signs above, it usually means you need to have your O2 sensor replaced. It's best not to wait until you experience these signs before replacing the sensor, as it could hurt your engine. 


When an oxygen sensor stops working or wears out, the engine will not be able to process how much oxygen is needed for the combustion process. Consequently, this could cause an engine to overspeed, leading to irreversible damage and countless repairs.


If you need an O2 sensor replacement in Burbank, CA, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Future Auto Service today!