As a car owner, you would not want to see your check engine light turned on. After all, it is a warning that is meant to tell you that your prized car needs repairs or services. The check engine light usually comes up to indicate that there is something wrong with the emission system of your vehicle. The light usually goes on when the oxygen sensors of your car start malfunctioning.
How does oxygen sensors help in fuel economy?
Oxygen sensors are the part of your car’s emission system. A car might have one, two, or even four oxygen sensors, depending on the engine model and type. Generally it is fitted with two oxygen sensors one is before catalytic convertor (exhaust system) and one is after. It is an oxygen concentration sensor which measures the residual oxygen content of the exhaust gas and then transmits a signal to the engine control unit in the form of an electric voltage. The oxygen sensor voltage allows the control unit (ECU) to detect whether the mixture is too lean or rich. If the mixture is too rich, the control unit reduces the quantity of fuel in the A/F ratio and increases it if the mixture is too lean.
One thing all of the oxygen sensors have in common is that they age and eventually become contaminated. An aging oxygen sensor is slower to respond to changes in the air/fuel mixture, which hurts fuel economy, performance and emissions of your engine.
The engine basically runs lean when fuel ratio is less in air fuel mixture. And, on the other hand, the engine runs rich when fuel ratio is high in air fuel mixture. Both of these conditions are bad for the car because it leads to engine damage and reduces fuel economy. The oxygen sensor helps in keeping the emissions in check, and thus, saves your fuel.