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Saturn Sky Oxygen Sensor

Bad Saturn Sky Oxygen Sensor Signs and Symptoms

The oxygen sensor is basically in charge of monitoring the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases on your engine. This helps the vehicle computer adjust the right mixture of air and fuel to improve the performance of the car and make your driving experience a great one. However, it's also quite inevitable for this to get busted over time. So, it's good to know whether or not it's about to go south so that you can do corrective action as soon as possible. Here are some of the symptoms to know if the Saturn Sky oxygen sensor is defective.

Increased car emissions

Since the oxygen sensor adjusts the amount of air and fuel mixture, driving with a busted one can surely increase the emissions that your car does. It can result in bad fuel and air combination or rich or lean fuel-injection delivery. These cause inappropriate and inefficient engine combustion and will surely let out more emissions that are usual.

Engine hesitation

Whenever you step on the accelerator and you feel that there is engine hesitation, it can be due to an oxygen sensor that was misinterpreted. This results to the misreading of the engine's mixture of fuel and air or the right amount that is required, which can cause little or too much air and fuel to enter the cylinders of the engine. Hence, the car engine experiences hesitation or stumbling.

Low gas mileage

If your car has poor gas mileage, then this means that it is not getting the right mixture of air and fuel. Basically, the oxygen sensor adjusts the ratio of these two so that the engine would have enough of these to produce power. If the sensor becomes defective, too much fuel would be added to ratio that is needed, which then results to low gas mileage.

Irregular engine idle

If you start experiencing rough engine idles, it's an indication that there's something wrong with the oxygen sensor. A defective one can make the engine idle in a rough way. This usually happens when the engine combustion receives not-so-good firings, which lead to very poor engine performance.

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  • Keeping Your Saturn Sky Oxygen Sensor in Top Shape

    Some people wonder why the Saturn Sky oxygen sensor often causes performance problems. The fact is this component is responsible for monitoring the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust. The oxygen sensor's signal is used by your car's computer to fine-tune the fuel mixture. With this adjustment, the catalytic converter can do its job properly and clean the exhaust. On OBD II-equipped vehicles like the Saturn Sky, there is a second oxygen sensor installed that monitors the converter's efficiency. Which is why-as the master switch in the fuel control feedback loop-this sensor has its own power source. It produces a voltage signal that varies from 0.1 to 0.9 volts, depending on the oxygen needed by the catalytic converter. In order to keep your oxygen sensor efficient, take note of these tips.

    Checking the oxygen sensor

    Because your Saturn Sky is equipped with an OBD II, you can use a scan tool to check the oxygen sensor's performance. If the component is good, it should produce an oscillating waveform that flip-flops from near minimum (0.1 to 0.2 volts) to near maximum (0.8 to 0.9 volts).

    With the same tool, also check for high-frequency oscillations on the oxygen sensor's output signal. Little oscillations between 300 to 600 millivolts in amplitude are nothing to worry about. However, if the reading is higher than 600 millivolts and you notice your engine misfiring, then you will need to do some troubleshooting.

    The surefire preventive maintenance tip

    There is no other way to prevent performance problems than to replace the oxygen sensor every 100,000 miles, with regular checkups-at least two to three times-in between. Always be on the lookout for declining performance from the engine or the exhaust system as well. Lastly, accept the fact that even a crucial component like the oxygen sensor can't last forever.

    Consequences of oxygen sensor neglect

    Replacing the oxygen sensor every 100,000 miles shouldn't be a hassle, especially since neglecting to follow the schedule could result in costly consequences. Here are just some of the problems you will encounter if you don't replace your aging oxygen sensor:

    Your car will use up more gas than before, lowering your fuel economy;

    Your vehicle's engine will either hesitate or surge when you accelerate;

    The "Check Engine" light will stay on;

    Your car will fail the emissions testing; and,

    The catalytic converter will get damaged or fail.

    Avoid getting into these kinds of trouble by paying attention to your car's oxygen sensor.