One of the most important sensors on a vehicle is the oxygen sensor. Every car built after 1980 has one or even more oxygen sensors. One of reasons oxygen sensors were installed was to cut back on emissions. The ultimate reason for the oxygen sensor is to cut emissions and help the vehicle run as efficiently as possible. You can consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information on when you should replace your oxygen sensor, but general guidelines say:
1976 to early 1990s vehicles, every 30,000 – 50,000 miles
Mid-1980s to mid-1990s vehicles, every 60,000 miles
Mid-1990s and newer vehicles, every 100,000 miles
Since oxygen sensors are so important to gas mileage, they should be replaced when in doubt. Other things can cause an oxygen sensor to fail, such as leaded fuel, excessive oil consumption (the condition of your spark plugs can alert you to this), road salt, oil, and dirt.
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