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Volkswagen Oxygen Sensor

Common Problems in Volkswagen Oxygen Sensors

Post on August 30, 2019 by

Volkswagens come in a wide range of forms designed to perfectly suit your lifestyle no matter how unique and wild or functional and businesslike. With something for everyone, Volkswagen has worked hard as a brand to ensure that their vehicles perform across multiple uses and requirements.

However, even the most tailor-made designs can let drivers down if not given the correct maintenance and servicing, making them function poorly and become unreliable. With this in mind, we will look at one of the key parts you should maintain to ensure performance stays high: the oxygen sensor.

What is the Oxygen Sensor?

Commonly referred to as the O2 sensor, your Volkswagens oxygen sensor measures the levels of oxygen found within exhaust emissions as they exit your engine. It gives this information to the Power Control Module (PCM), which uses the data to determine the perfect air-to-fuel ratio required for optimal engine performance.

The oxygen sensor is located inside the exhaust system. It helps both the fuel injectors and the engine timing to work correctly, which helps emissions control. So, if your oxygen sensor begins to fail, it will impact negatively upon the environment, as well as your Volkswagens overall performance.

Why do oxygen sensors fail?

There are many reasons why your Volkswagens oxygen sensor might fail such as:

  • Age (they simply wear out)
  • Poor maintenance
  • Poor driving habits
  • Failure of the heating element (the heating element erodes over time)
  • Using the wrong type of fuel
  • Overheating
  • Dirty injectors
  • Contaminated fuel
  • Use of certain chemicals/sprays in or around the engine
  • Other issues within the exhaust system (a compounded effect)

Symptoms of Failure

Any type of noticeable deterioration in overall vehicle performance, both gradual and sudden, indicates a part issue or failure. Any savvy driver knows that when performance issues strike, diagnostic work should be undertaken as soon as possible. However, with so many parts and systems making up your Volkswagen, it can be hard to tell specifically what has failed.

Learning the signs and symptoms of failure of key vehicle parts is important. When it comes to oxygen sensor failure, you should look for the following symptoms:

Check Engine Light

Whenever your Volkswagen’s onboard computer senses an issue with the engine’s overall performance, it will illuminate the check engine light on the dashboard to signal to the driver that investigation is needed. As your oxygen sensor can impact on the operation of your engine, if it fails, it may trigger this warning light.

However, this warning can signal a whole host of other issues, so should not be used in isolation to diagnose a faulty oxygen sensor, as anything from a loose gas cap to critical engine failure can cause this light to illuminate.

Rough Sounding Engine

When your engine sounds like it’s struggling or running roughly, it is likely the oxygen sensor is underperforming. Sounds from the engine are typically caused by poor fuel conditions, such as low fuel-to-air ratio (running lean) or high fuel-to-air ratio (running rich), which causes the engine to struggle and run less efficiently.

Poor Fuel Economy

If your overall engine performance is affected in anyway, then you will almost certainly experience lowered fuel economy. This is because, to run at its best, your engine needs all its associated parts and systems to be running perfectly. Any type of failure will cause the engine to work harder, and therefore, burn through fuel more quickly.

Other Symptoms of Failure

Other symptoms of oxygen sensor failure include failure of your Volkswagen’s emissions test, a smell of rotten eggs (sulfur) coming from the vehicle, and most dangerously, exposure to harmful carbon monoxide, the first symptom of which is usually a headache.

Ultimate European Repair

If you live in or around Goodyear, Buckeye, Volkswagen Oxygen Sensor Issue Fix Avondale, Phoenix, or Peoria, AZ, and need repairs for your European car, you should make Ultimate European Repair your first port of call. We service BMW, Mini, VW, and Audi. At Ultimate European Repair, we offer a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. We also honor our military members and first responders with a 10% discount. We have a 5-star rating over 115 reviews. Let us become your trusted Volkswagen maintenance and repair shop.

Posted in Volkswagen Repair

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