Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

4 Signs That Your Vehicle's Oxygen Sensor is Faulty


The oxygen sensor, or O2 sensor, in your vehicle is a relatively inexpensive part, but its role is extremely important. This is because there is a particular ratio of air to gasoline that makes combustion within the engine perfect. If there is too little air to meet this perfect ratio, there will be fuel left over after combustion; if there is too much air, excess oxygen is produced within the engine.

Without a working O2 sensor, your engine will be unable to achieve this perfect ratio, which can cause long-term damage to your machine. Unfortunately, not many people know how to spot the signs of a faulty sensor. Here are the most crucial signs to watch out for.

1. Drop in Miles Per Gallon

There are several reasons why you might have experienced a drop in fuel efficiency, with anything from poorly aligned tires to a defective thermostat potentially causing issues. However, a noticeable drop in efficiency is often caused by a faulty O2 sensor. This often occurs when too much fuel is injected into the engine's combustion cylinders, but any disturbance in the delicate air/fuel ratio is going to have an effect on mileage.

2. Black Smoke

If the ratio of air and fuel within your engine becomes overly-dominated by fuel, mechanics will say that your car is running with a 'rich mixture'. If this happens, that excess fuel will be burnt up, and you might notice black smoke emanating from the tailpipe. This is often accompanied by an unpleasant smell reminiscent of rotten eggs, and it will typically cause an excessive build-up of soot around the exhaust tip.

3. Rough Idling

Vehicles that have faulty O2 sensors will often perform somewhat roughly, particularly while you're idling. Engine functions will not be happening properly, and this can lead to rough sounds and movements; these often grow in severity over time, so you might not notice them when they first appear.

4. Check Engine Light is On

The check engine light is one of those things that has become easier and easier to ignore as modern cars have become more and more reliable. However, a lit check engine light is often one of the first warning signs of a malfunctioning O2 sensor. This is especially likely if you're driving either a truck or a higher-mileage car.

If you think there might be something wrong with your vehicle's O2 sensor, just take a trip to your local car mechanics or service centre. They should be able to diagnose the problem properly and set you up with a new sensor.


28 April 2016