The oxygen or (O2) sensor is a car part that you probably don’t think much about. In fact, most people probably don’t even know what it is or what it even does. However, you should know that it is essential for your vehicle to function normally or perform effectively.
An oxygen sensor or O2 sensor is the piece in your car that reads and detects the oxygen level within your exhaust system. It sends continuous data regarding the amount of unburnt oxygen in the exhaust system to the engine’s computer to determine the proper air-to-fuel ratio. The O2 sensor is composed of ceramics and includes many porous holes, which are coated in platinum and enclosed by a threaded case.
All vehicles sold in the US are required to have catalytic converters in each exhaust pipe. These catalytic converters transform harmful fumes, such as carbon monoxide, and turn them into less safer gasses. Every catalytic converter needs to be paired with a couple of O2 sensors. Therefore, if you have a single exhaust system, you probably have one catalytic converter and two oxygen sensors to accompany it.
The dual oxygen sensors usually sit within an exhaust pipe. The sensors will detect the cleanliness of the fumes before it even enters the catalytic converter. The sensors will ultimately communicate with your engine to ensure the optimal performance of your vehicle. Your engine control unit (ECU) uses the information to determine the proper air to fuel ratio to combust.
How Do You Maintain Your Oxygen Sensors?
The good news is, there are various things you can do to extend the lifespan of your oxygen sensors. The first step is to stay away from using low-quality gasoline. You can always refer to your owner’s manual to see what your car’s manufacturer recommends for fuel octane. You should never use a lower octane level gas just because it is cheaper.
Lastly, make sure you’re having your vehicle serviced on time. You should never neglect critical parts such as your air filters and spark plugs. By taking proper care of your vehicle, you’ll hopefully never have to worry too much about your oxygen sensors. For all your automotive maintenance and repair needs, please give J&S Automotive a call or visit today!