Indications That A Vehicle Needs To Clean The Oxygen Sensor

Cleaning a vehicle is one of the challenging tasks that vehicle owners shouldn’t take it lightly. Whenever the concern is about car cleaning, it’s not just about maintaining the outer surface of the vehicle. It is important to clean parts like coolants and oil that feature in the oxygen sensor of the vehicle. It is of utmost importance to ensure cleaning o2 sensor is executed routinely. This is because when the oxygen sensor of a vehicle is not maintained and cleaned regularly, there is combustion inefficiency that impacts the performance of the automobile.

What are Oxygen Sensors?

Also known as an emissions sensor, the O2 sensor is one of the vital sensors located in the engine system of a vehicle. The primary function of the oxygen sensor is to aid in measuring the residual concentration of oxygen present in the exhaust gas of the vehicle. The data collected here is sent to the ECU of the vehicle. This is done so that the vehicle’s engine can adjust the level of the fuel filler as per the requirements. Thus, helping the top-notch performance of the vehicle, while complying with the emissions rules and regulations for automobiles in the USA.

Symptoms of Failed Oxygen Sensors

There are certain signs and symptoms a car owner can notice when there is something wrong with oxygen sensors.

More Fuel Consumption

When there is more fuel consumption than the monthly or daily average usage, it is an indication that there is something wrong with the oxygen sensors. Often data transmitted to a vehicle’s ECU is incorrect or faulty. This means ECU is enabled to only calculate the fuel consumption based on the sensor’s airflow. Thus, the analysis is not accurate, as ECU fails to assess the oxygen amount after combustion.

Since there is less oxygen in the exhaust gas chamber, it causes the vehicle to consume more fuel than usual. Sometimes, a simple reason like not cleaning o2 sensor regularly can cause the problem. It is recommended to address the problem or else fuel consumption will keep on increasing.

Gasoline-Like Smell From the Exhaust

When the vehicle starts smelling like gasoline, it’s an indication that the oxygen sensor in the vehicle is not functioning properly. This is because more than necessary gasoline is injected into the combustion chamber of the vehicle. Moreover, the entire gasoline isn’t utilized. The gasoline gets discharged via the exhaust pipe of the car, which is responsible for creating an unpleasant gasoline-like smell.

Switched ‘On’ Light of Check Engine

The check engine light on a vehicle notifies the user when the engine or any other components of a vehicle is experiencing any malfunction or error. Thus, when a car owner notices that the check engine light is on, it is a high possibility that the oxygen sensor present in the vehicle’s engine is not functioning well.  In the majority of cases, a simple reason like not cleaning the oxygen sensor causes the malfunction.


From the above discussion it is clear that cleaning o2 sensor of a vehicle is a vital responsibility of every car owner. When the cleaning routine is not maintained properly, the performance of the automobile begins to diminish, and also start showing other problems. The steps of cleaning the sensors are easy and can be executed DIY.