Santiago Soluciones

Oxygen sensor failures and their repairs

Today we’ll be talking about the oxygen sensor: Its failures and how to repair them, but first I am going to explain its functions to understand why it gets damaged. 

The most common failures are either

  • Power loss
  • Vibrations when at idle 
  • Difficulty turning the car on

How do we know that the oxygen sensor is presenting problems in addition to the failures mentioned? It’s very easy. 

If you’re having trouble and the Check Engine Light is on, that’s the first indication that something isn’t right. 

If you can scan it, do it, although if your car has a lot of mileage and you have never changed this sensor, it would be best to disassemble it, clean it and place it again.

The second thing we are going to notice is: 

Fuel doesn’t last: 

This means that it is not reaching the mileage it should, this happens because the signals are incorrect and the computer decides to inject more gasoline to try to correct the failure, or to try to keep the engine running.

The next thing we will notice are problems in the performance of the engine

If we already have the previous symptoms and the engine is malfunctioning, its being forced a lot to climb slopes, or does not displace as it should, it’s most certainly an indication that the oxygen sensor is not in good condition.

Remember that a small mismatch in the engine of the air-fuel mixture can be the difference between having and not having power.

Another clue that will give us the broken oxygen sensor would be problems when at idle:

It is quite common that due to the amount of fuel that reaches the spark plugs, the engine has a hard time maintaining the minimum RPMs, so it will turn itself  off several times. 

This will be accompanied by vibrations as if it were a spark plug problem but it is actually the sensor that is failing.

Finally, the increase in emissions: 

We already know that this sensor reads the emissions that are expelled from the engine, so its failure increases the emissions and polluting gases released into the atmosphere.

This is because the mixture is either too rich in fuel or it’s lacking it.

When we do the scan, it will show the following codes:

P0133 Slow or Late Response

P0134  Static Signal

P0171 Air fuel mixture is too poor

P0172 Air fuel mixture is too rich

So, can the oxygen sensor be repaired?

It cannot be repaired, it must be changed. Although you can do a good cleaning, place it again, run the san once more  and check if it throws any error.

Another thing you can do is when placing the sensor, checking that the cable doesn’t touch the part of the catalyst, remember that it gets very hot and can melt the wiring.

I also recommend screwing as far as possible,  because if the thread is isolated it will lose pressure and present failures.

And that would be the end for now. Hope you liked the video, and remember if you have any of these failures leave it in the comments below and subscribe for more content, see you next time

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