A study of "check engine" light repairs for 2011 revealed that the most common automotive repair nationally is the replacement of oxygen sensors. So car owners in Clifton VA and Burke VA be forewarned. When not working properly, this issue can result in up to 40 percent drop in the fuel economy.
So what is an oxygen sensor? An engine needs oxygen to burn gasoline, but there is a perfect oxygen to gasoline ratio that ensures the engine is running efficiently. An oxygen sensor detects this ratio and provides feedback to engine to ensure the right amount of fuel is being delivered based on the oxygen levels.
Faulty oxygen sensors can be challenging to detect, but there are a few signs:
- A rough engine idle or a feeling that the engine is misfiring when at low idle
- A pinging sound in the engine
- A sudden and big drop in gas mileage
- A failed emissions inspection, which may indicate the sensor may be failing to keep emissions within the required limits
If you are experiencing any of these issues, you should drop in to visit with your mechanic for a quick check as these could also be signs of other issues. Though rare, failure to address a problem with the O2 sensor could lead to issues with your catalytic converter.
The catalytic converter was developed to address pollution problems in major cities and metropolitan areas like Fairfax, VA and Northern Virginia. The catalytic converter processes harmful emissions so they are less harmful when they exit the exhaust pipe.
If the catalytic converter becomes clogged or poisoned as a result of a faulty O2 sensor, you could have your foot heavy on the gas pedal and the car will not go any faster. Other symptoms are similar to faulty O2 sensor. Using leaded gas or too much gas additive can also clog the catalytic converter
Take heed and don't put off small repairs for too long. Wiygul Automotive Clinic wants to prevent you from spending more money down the road. Serving the Northern Virginia communities of Burke, VA, Fairfax Station, VA, Clifton, VA, Fairfax City, VA and Springfield, VA, we can address all of your car care needs.