When trying to speed up or travel up an incline, you may have found that your truck's engine steadily loses power. While this loss of power and performance can be caused by several problems, one of the most likely candidates is that the oxygen sensor is bad.
If the sensor is failing, not enough oxygen is reaching the engine, causing incomplete combustion of the fuel and making it harder for the motor to operate efficiently. Below are a couple of signs that the oxygen sensor for your truck's engine is failing and affecting the engine's performance, making it necessary to have a professional replace the bad part.
1. Engine Sounds Rough When Idling and Has a Dramatic Decrease in Fuel Efficiency
One sign that your truck's oxygen sensor is failing and adversely affecting the engine's performance is when the engine roughly idles. It will sputter while you are sitting at a stoplight or in your driveway because it is not getting enough fuel.
Even if the same amount of gas is being delivered to the combustion chamber, the lack of oxygen will cause most of it to not be ignited. You will notice a dramatic decrease in fuel efficiency that will continue unless the sensor is replaced by a professional.
2. Black Exhaust Frequently Comes Out of the Truck's Tailpipe and Smells Like Gas
Another sign that the oxygen sensor is going bad and resulting in a loss of engine power in your truck is when you see black exhaust frequently coming out of the tailpipe. When incomplete combustion of the gas occurs, the excess that is not burnt off will cause smoke to mix in with the exhaust.
When you see black exhaust, this issue could also be a problem with the engine burning oil. However, the telltale difference is that you will smell strong gas odors coming from the tailpipe, which usually indicates a problem with the oxygen sensor. A problem with the sensor can be verified by an automotive technician when they inspect your truck at the shop.
When the oxygen sensor malfunctions and doesn't deliver enough air to your truck engine's combustion chamber, it will idle rough because the fuel is not fully igniting, causing a dramatic decrease in fuel efficiency. The excess in fuel will also cause black exhaust that smells like gas to frequently come out of the tailpipe. If your truck is exhibiting these signs, take it to a shop that offers truck engine performance repairs to have a technician determine whether the sensor needs to be replaced.
For more information on truck engine performance repairs, contact a professional near you.