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The Important Role of Oxygen Sensor in Your Mercedes

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Keith Cox
Mercedes Oxygen Sensor Failure Sign

Your Mercedes relies on many small components to keep its engine running efficiently. One of these is the oxygen sensor. While Mercedes vehicles are synonymous with high-quality, they are not immune to problems.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the purpose of oxygen sensors in your Mercedes, warning signs to look for with failing oxygen sensors, causes of oxygen sensor failure, preventative measures you can take to prolong your oxygen sensors, and how you can resolve your oxygen sensor issues early before inflicting severe engine damage on your vehicle.

The Purpose of an Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor, also known as an O2 sensor, monitors how much unburned oxygen is present in the exhaust as exhaust exits the engine. The sensor provides a means of measuring fuel mixture. The oxygen sensor detects if the fuel mix is burning too much or too little oxygen.

Knowing the ratio of fuel-to-air allows your vehicle’s engine to make any needed changes to ensure your car runs as it should. Two kinds of oxygen sensors exist: A single-wire oxygen sensor and the heated oxygen sensor. A fully-functioning Mercedes oxygen sensor aids in increasing fuel economy and lowering exhaust emissions. It provides the best performance of the engine and also reduces air pollution.

Warning Signs of Oxygen Sensor Failure

The first sign of a potential oxygen sensor failure is the check engine light illuminating on your dashboard, but here are some other common signs of oxygen sensor failure:

Rough Engine Idle and Misfires

The oxygen sensor output helps control engine timing, air-to-fuel ratio, and combustion intervals. Because of this, a bad sensor can disrupt these engine functions, causing a rough idle or misfires of your vehicle’s engine.

Poor Gas Mileage

A bad oxygen sensor will throw off the fuel delivery and fuel combustion systems. It can disrupt the air-to-fuel ratio mixture or inject too much fuel into the engine, causing poor fuel economy in your vehicle.

Filling up your gas tank more often than usual is a possible sign you’re receiving poor gas mileage. If you suspect as much, keep track of how often you’re filling your gas tank to determine if it’s become more than usual.

Black Smoke Emitting from Tailpipe

If you’re seeing black smoke emit from your vehicle’s tailpipe, it may be due to a failing oxygen sensor.

Emissions Test Failure

Most emissions test failures come from bad oxygen sensors. You may also notice a bad smell similar to rotten eggs coming from your vehicle.

Causes of Oxygen Sensor Failure

While oxygen sensors can function for as long as 100,000 miles, they usually go bad before getting the chance to reach that milestone. Over time, oxygen sensors become caked and dirty from by-products of combustion. These by-products can include fuel additives, lead, sulfur, and oil ash. The contamination causes the sensor to lose its ability to produce voltage and send the correct signal.

You can help prevent oxygen sensor failure by pumping only high-quality gasoline in your Mercedes and by keeping a routine maintenance schedule. A failure to seek routine maintenance of spark plugs and air filter replacements can increase the likelihood of incomplete fuel combustion, which leads to more corrosion in your emissions system. Early prevention and routine maintenance on your vehicle can prevent a bad oxygen sensor from inflicting irreparable damage to your car’s engine.

The Best Place to Resolve Oxygen Sensor Issues

It’s important to get your oxygen sensor replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your vehicle’s Mercedes Oxygen Sensor Check engine. Failure to act quickly could also expose your family to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Replacing an oxygen sensor is relatively simple, but should be handled by your trusted Mercedes repair and service center. The best place to get your oxygen sensor replaced is at Keith Cox Autobahn. We help Mercedes drivers with any and all issues, serving the Bellingham, WA area.

Our friendly team of experts are available Monday through Friday to resolve all your Mercedes concerns, so you can focus on getting back on the road with confidence in our work. No problem is too big or too small for our team. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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