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Oxygen Sensors for Import and Domestic Cars
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More information about Oxygen Sensors
An oxygen sensor is an electrical device that tests a car’s exhaust and determines how much oxygen is in it.
The engine of a car runs because of combustion that takes place in the cylinders of the engine. These combustions have three ingredients: oxygen, fuel, and a spark. The spark ignites a mix of oxygen and fuel, and the subsequent energy drives the piston downward, causing the crank shaft to rotate, which provides the power for driving your vehicle.
Whenever fuel is burned, a certain amount of oxygen is used by the reaction. If there isn’t enough oxygen in the mix, then there will be excess fuel that won’t be burnt. In contrast, if there is too much oxygen, there will be some left over, once the fuel is expended. In an engine’s cylinder, it is best to have the exact amount of oxygen needed to burn the amount of fuel sent from the injector. For most car engines the perfect air/fuel mixture is approximately 14.7 to 1 (14.7 parts air to 1 part fuel). Any mixture less than 14.7 to 1 is considered to be a rich mixture, any more than 14.7 to 1 is a lean mixture.
The oxygen comes from the air in the atmosphere through the air intake; Meaning that the temperature and oxygen content is constantly varying. This makes it hard for the vehicle to know the amount of oxygen that is in the air when it enters the engine. However the oxygen leaving the engine is completely sealed. The computer in the vehicle after each spark, can find out the amount of oxygen there is left. The computer can then calculate whether to add or subtract from the amount of fuel being injected, for the engine to run as efficiency as it can.
When an oxygen sensor is malfunctioning, your vehicle won’t work as efficiently. The engine will not burn fuel as economically and as a result, you’ll use more gas than normal. As a result, your vehicle’s exhaust will contain more toxins. Vehicles still have a while to go before they stop causing environmental damage, but with a faulty oxygen sensor, environmental harm will be much greater. It is important to replace your o2 sensor at the first sign of trouble, it may be poor fuel economy, not running as smoothly as usual, or the check engine light turning on, a faulty sensor can cause catalytic convertor failure if not replaced.