June 6, 2023

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What Happens When An Oxygen Sensor Goes Bad?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Oxygen Sensor | YourMechanic Advice

Wondering What happens when an oxygen sensor goes bad? Well, there are many symptoms that you will notice including overheating of the engine, dark fumes from the exhaust, and more. However, you can always fix a bad oxygen sensor with the help of branded aftermarket and good quality products.

In this article, we are going to discuss what happens to your vehicle when your oxygen sensor goes bad. We will also suggest some of the best sensors in the market that you can replace your current damaged oxygen sensor, for example, the KAX oxygen sensor, Bosch oxygen sensor, Walker oxygen sensor, etc.

Common Signs of a Bad Oxygen Sensor

There are several symptoms you should look for to learn if your oxygen sensor has gone bad. 

Reduction mileage. If you notice that your vehicle’s fuel efficiency has been reduced and you are doing more than usual rounds to the gas station, then it can be one of the signs of the oxygen sensor has gone bad.

Noise in the engine. When Oxygen Sensor doesn’t work properly, there will be a problem with the air-fuel control. Due to this, the engine will make pining or knocking noises.

Overheating engine. One of the reasons why a vehicle’s engine overheat is a failed oxygen sensor. It is highly recommended to clean the sensors or replace them as and when required.

Dark exhaust fumes. This is one of the common problems that vehicles face whenever the oxygen sensor goes bad, it produces dark fumes and also smells bad. However, you should also check your vehicle’s fuel system, whenever you notice dark fumes as it can also cause the same problem.

Reasons Behind Premature Failure Of Oxygen Sensor

There are various reasons why an oxygen sensor can turn bad prematurely. It could be low-quality fuel or contaminants present in the fuel that can clog the sensors. Due to this, sensors won’t be able to measure delivering of the fuel accurately.

Another reason is that the maintenance or changing of the air or fuel filters has been skipped. It can easily lead to premature failure of the oxygen sensor. Moreover, some vehicle owners skip annual inspections of their cars or trucks and that leads to more problems in the long run. 

Replacement Cost & Lifespan

The labor cost of replacing the oxygen sensor should be somewhere between $40 to $200, depending on the difficulty of replacing it. It also depends if you are taking your vehicle to a dealership or an individual. 

Wondering why replacement is important? Well, having a bad oxygen sensor can release harmful chemicals from your vehicle into the atmosphere, which will not only damage your engine but also pollute the environment.

Considering the lifespan of an oxygen sensor, it can last somewhere between 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles. However, if you are using a high-end luxury vehicle, then sensors can last up to 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles, which means you don’t have to replace them for 7 to 10 years.

Top Recommended Oxygen Sensor

#1 KAX® 250-24135 Oxygen Sensor

One of the best parts about getting KAX Oxygen Sensor is that they are easy to install. KAX 250-24135 Oxygen Sensor comes with pre-coated threads that will ensure you get assistance during installation. It will help you to improve fuel economy and engine performance. 

Price: $12.99

#2 KAX® 15733 Oxygen Sensor

Here’s another KAX Oxygen Sensor on the list. It is one of the most affordable options for you. This sensor is compatible with OE 15733 and it can be fit into the vehicle without modifications. If your vehicle is frequently stalling, facing rough idling, or poor acceleration, then you should definitely opt for this option. 

Price: $20.99

#3 Bosch Exact Fit Oxygen Sensor 13412

Bosch is a well-known brand for aftermarket oxygen sensors. However, one of the downsides of the brand is that they manufacture expensive products compared to others like KAX, which are more affordable with similar specs. Bosch Exact Fit Oxygen Sensor 13412 comes with high performance and gets installed easily.

Price: $42.99

#4 Walker Oxygen Sensor 350-34240

Walker Oxygen Sensor 350-34240 ensures to meet all OE specifications and comes with superior sensors that are made out of high-quality material. They are also easy to install and increase the efficiency of fuel consumption. It will overall help you to increase your engine’s performance.

However, the steep price is something that most vehicle owners avoid this one. Although if the expensive price is not an issue for you, then you should consider buying this one.

Price: $57.99