If your Toyota has over 100,000 miles on it, it may be time for a new oxygen sensor. Also called the O2 sensor, the sensor is located in the exhaust system. It is based in the tailpipe so it can measure the oxygen level in the exhaust. The engine control unit needs this information so it can keep the air and fuel in the combustion chamber balanced. Here are signs that your Toyota needs a new O2 sensor.
One of the first things that will happen is the engine control unit will turn on the check engine light. This is a warning that lets you know there is something wrong with your Toyota that doesn’t have a warning light of its own. In this case, the O2 sensor has likely malfunctioned.
As we mentioned above, the engine control unit uses the data from the O2 sensor to make changes to the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the O2 sensor is malfunctioning, you may start to have problems with your Toyota’s engine performance. It may lag or surge.
Poor Fuel Economy
Either way, the Toyota is also going to have a difficult time running economically if the O2 sensor is bad. Consequently, you will not get the fuel mileage that you normally get out of the Toyota. This can be hard if you are living on a tight budget and cannot afford to fill the Toyota more than you normally do.
Rancid Exhaust Odors
A malfunctioning oxygen sensor can actually damage the catalytic converter. When this happens, the converter gets clogged and releases rancid odors. These odors are caused by burning sulfur inside of the catalytic converter. The smell will remind you of rotten eggs if you have ever smelled them.
Black Exhaust Smoke
In addition, you may see black exhaust smoke flowing out of your Toyota’s tailpipe because the catalytic converter is unable to treat the exhaust. This is also a sign that the faulty O2 sensor has convinced the engine control unit that the engine needs more fuel when it doesn’t.
High Emissions Levels
Finally, these things can increase the emissions levels in your Toyota’s exhaust. Consequently, if you live in an area that requires emissions testing, you may end up failing the test. You will definitely fail the test if the check engine light is on.
We specialize in Toyota service and repair, so call us today if your Toyota is doing any of the things listed above.