The Usual Problems of a Busted Toyota Tercel Oxygen Sensor:
As an important part of the car's emissions control system, your Toyota Tercel oxygen sensor is designed to measure the fuel-to-air ratio and to send the data to the engine management computer. Through constant use, the oxygen sensor may eventually wear down; and since the oxygen sensor is located in the exhaust pipe, the toxic chemicals may also contribute to the sensor's early malfunction. When you notice signs like bad engine timing and increased fuel consumption, you have to do some troubleshooting immediately. Read on to know some of the problems you might encounter.
Poor engine timing
When your Toyota Tercel oxygen sensor starts to malfunction, it has a tendency to incorrectly determine the fuel-to-air ratio, and it will cause the engine to run irregularly. Aside from this, the faulty sensor will also have an effect on the normal fuel delivery within the engine, therefore causing the engine to miss continuously.
Pinging noise inside the engine
When you hear your car's engine pinging, this can be an effect of a faulty oxygen sensor. The pinging noise is similar to the sound of a shaking can of stones when you step on the gas pedal. What actually happens is the engine ignition timing abruptly slows down or advances because the combustion gases are ignited at the wrong time.
Increase in the emission of toxic gases
Since the oxygen sensor is the one responsible for the correct fuel-to-air ratio, it can also be the culprit when the emission of your vehicle increases. This can occur because the sensor could have inaccurately measured too much fuel in the ratio. As a result, unburned fuel will clog the exhaust system and will later become toxic gases. This problem is critical to your engine's performance and is very crucial if your car needs to undergo an emission test.
Overheating catalytic converter
If your catalytic converter overheats, you may blame the faulty oxygen sensor. This scenario is similar to the other problems because of the faulty oxygen sensor's misreading that sent too much fuel to the engine. The excess fuel becomes soot that may clog the catalytic converter and cause it to malfunction. When the converter is filled up with the excess fuel, it will turn red and soon overheat.