Watch Out for Oxygen Sensor Problems

If your car uses an oxygen sensor (all the new ones do), then make sure it is not malfunctioning. The job of the oxygen sensor is to measure how much oxygen there is relative to fuel in the combustion mixture. What can happen is that faulty or old sensors can start to register more oxygen then there actually is. In response, the computer in your car will flood in extra gas to try to get the right fuel/air ratio. All this extra gas is not really needed, and just gets wasted. Result: you can get really big drops in gas mileage. A malfunctioning oxygen sensor can give a 40% drop in miles per gallon. That's right. A big fat 40%. Old sensors can give 20% drops in gas mileage.

If you have noticed that suddenly your car seems to be burning a lot more gas lately and you really don't know why, because you didn't change anything and nothing seems to be wrong, suspect the oxygen sensor. Have your oxygen sensor changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. The few bucks to have it done is worth it to save on all that gas!

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