Your BMW’s oxygen sensor is a vital component of the vehicle. Its basic function is to determine the levels and ratio of gasoline and oxygen in your engine. It then tells your BMW to adjust these levels to optimize the vehicle’s performance.
If there is something wrong with your oxygen sensor, it isn’t an expensive component to have replaced or repaired. Don’t ignore it though, because if you put off fixing this problem and experience a sensor failure, it could lead to a more costly repair down the road, and a bigger problem with your vehicle as well.
Here’s a list of red flags that can indicate if your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning. If you see or feel any of these symptoms happening in your BMW, you should bring your vehicle to a mechanic to be looked at.
Your oxygen sensor can begin to fail when it starts becoming caked in some of the byproducts caused by your engine’s combustion. This happens naturally over time as you drive. Keep this in mind if you’ve been driving your vehicle for a while, as it may be time to have your oxygen sensor checked up on.
A faulty oxygen sensor can also be caused by contaminants such as leaking engine coolant or phosphorus from excessive consumption of oil. This does not happen naturally and would mean there are further problems with your BMW that need fixing. This would be a more expensive repair, but it is also far more crucial, as these other issues can cause more problems within your BMW’s engine and throughout the vehicle as well.
If your BMW’s gas mileage is lower than it normally is, it might be because of a faulty oxygen sensor. This is because engines lose efficiency when the ratio of gasoline to oxygen in the vehicle’s engine is not correct. If you find yourself pumping gas one too many times this week, you could have a problem with your oxygen sensor. Go to a mechanic and have your BMW inspected.
If your engine feels like it is sputtering, making noise, or running irregularly, it could be the case that your oxygen sensor is faulty. This is because the rate at which your engine is combusting has become inconsistent, causing it to make unusual noises and run improperly.
This issue could also manifest as your BMW stalling or failing to accelerate normally. This can be a symptom of many other automotive issues, so you can’t be totally sure that your oxygen sensor is on the fritz. However, it is serious trouble in any event and could be a danger to you, so the issue should be diagnosed by a professional mechanic. Whatever problems your BMW has with stalling should be handled as soon as possible. Do not put this off, as engine trouble is a serious problem for your vehicle.
If you have a faulty oxygen sensor, you may notice the smell similar to rotten eggs permeating throughout your vehicle’s cabin while you are driving it. As your vehicle’s gas mileage is reduced because of an improper ratio of oxygen to gasoline, the unused fuel will begin to smell like rotten eggs as it sits unused. You will notice this before long, as it is pretty hard to miss.
This smell could also be accompanied by a dark black exhaust coming from your tailpipe as well, so check your rearview mirror for dark exhaust after starting your car and periodically while you drive.
If you are noticing any of the above symptoms or simply know it’s been a long time since you’ve had it checked out, it is probably a good idea to take your BMW to a mechanic and have your oxygen sensor inspected.
If you live in or around Phoenix, AZ, bring your BMW to us at Tanner Motors. We’ll check out your oxygen sensor and share the details of the diagnosis with you. If your oxygen sensor needs replacement or repair, we’ll get it done as soon as possible, and you’ll be back on the road quickly with confidence in your BMW again.