Mitsubishi Eclipse Oxygen Sensor: The Usual Issues that Cause Malfunction
The oxygen sensor of your Mitsubishi Eclipse determines the proportion of fuel and air and relays this information to the fuel control computer. When the sensor starts to malfunction, symptoms like poor gas mileage, increase in emissions, and rough engine idling will begin to show. If you notice that your vehicle is acting weird, you'd better do some troubleshooting to determine if a faulty oxygen sensor is causing the problem. Here are some of the common issues you might encounter:
Increased vehicle emissions
If the Mitsubishi Eclipse oxygen sensor fails to determine the correct fuel-to-air ratio, it can contribute to the increase in the vehicle's smoke emissions. The unnecessary amount of fuel sent to the engine will leave excess fuel that will later turn into toxic gases. This can also contribute to low engine performance because the flow of the exhaust gases is blocked. A good way to prevent this from occurring is by replacing the oxygen sensor every 100,000 miles. This will also make sure that your vehicle passes the required emission test and other regulations.
Sudden increase in fuel consumption
Another symptom of a malfunctioning oxygen sensor is the increase in fuel consumption. This happens when the oxygen sensor determines a higher proportion of fuel and a lesser proportion of air which is also called a "rich mixture." A rich mixture is bad because it will only result to unburned fuel that can clog the flow of the exhaust fumes. On the other hand, a higher proportion of air with a lesser proportion of fuel which is called a "lean mixture" is not as critical as the rich mixture, but it is still considered a malfunction. You have to check the oxygen sensor immediately before you spend a lot of money on wasted fuel.
Rough engine idling
A faulty oxygen sensor can cause rough engine idling because it disrupts the correct engine timing and engine combustion intervals with the wrong fuel-to-air ratio. Although there can be other reasons of rough engine idling, you should include the oxygen sensor on the list of parts to check. The sensor may be clogged with contaminants like lead and carbon that's why it can't function properly.