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Oxygen (O2) sensors play a vital role in maintaining peak engine performance. If you think your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning, there are a few factors to consider. Continuing to drive while your O2 sensor is not performing correctly can cause a 15% decrease in mileage. That can really add to your cost at the gas pump!

Earth Day 2015

What is the function of the O2 Sensor?
The O2 sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold to monitor how much unburned oxygen is in the exhaust, as the exhaust exits the engine. Monitoring oxygen levels in the exhaust is a way of gauging the fuel mixture. It tells the computer if the fuel mixture is burning rich (less oxygen) or lean (more oxygen).

How long does an O2 Sensor typically last?
An oxygen sensor can last anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 miles depending on type and vehicle. When the O2 Sensor malfunctions your “Service Engine Soon” light will come on and a diagnostic trouble code(s) will be stored.

There may be multiple codes stored for a sensor. A fuel delivery malfunction can be the reason for an oxygen sensor to fail. A fuel injector malfunction could be the root cause for the sensor failure. Just replacing the sensor may not be a long-term solution.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center can help!
Bring your vehicle by any of our 4 Full Service vehicle repair and tire stations around the Reno area. One of our technicians can check your engine codes to see if there are any issues and provide solutions to get you back on the road quick.

Don’t try smog your vehicle with a malfunctioning O2 Sensor
A malfunctioning O2 sensor will not pass a smog test.

Also, if your vehicle runs from a main computer and you have just replaced your O2 sensor, your computer codes have been reset. This means that now you need to drive 50 – 75 miles without turning your vehicle off, before your computer will log any new data. After the new data has been logged, then you should proceed with a smog check.

If you go to a smog check station, typically you will be charged a fee (sometimes smaller fee than a regular smog check fee) even if your vehicle does not pass the smog test.

So, save yourself the hassle and get your vehicle looked at if you suspect your O2 sensor is not functioning properly. Visit SierraCarCare.com for locations and more information.

Save Money at The Pump at Sierra CAr CAreThe summer heat is fast approaching and so are rising gas prices.

A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance steps can stretch your dollar at the pump and even help protect the environment. With 5 local, full service gas stations in the Reno and Sparks Nevada area, our advisement for gas savings may be worth reading.

What many motorists don’t realize is that fuel consumption is directly related to vehicle maintenance and can impact the amount of gasoline your vehicle uses. Gas prices can climb quickly, but the good news is that you have some control. By properly maintaining your vehicle, you can improve fuel economy while saving money.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would like to encourage motorists to be car care aware and perform regular vehicle maintenance to improve fuel economy.

  1. Gas Cap
    Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.
  2. Tune-Up
    Keep your vehicle running properly and improve gas mileage by an average of 4%.
  3. Motor Oil
    Improve gas mileage by 1 – 2% by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Air Filters
    Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
  5. Tire Pressure
    Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%.
  6. Fix It
    Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.

In addition to vehicle maintenance, modifying driving habits, such as observing the speed limit and avoiding quick stops and starts, can also increase fuel efficiency. Consolidating trips, avoiding excessive idling and removing unnecessary items from the trunk are also easy ways to lower fuel consumption.

Since 1975, Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center’s have proudly been providing fast, friendly and reliable service along with Quality Guaranteed Auto Repair. If you would like to find out more, please visit SierraCarCare.com for more information.

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