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Symptoms of a failing Rear Oxygen Sensor
Check engine light
If your car’s rear oxygen sensor isn’t doing its job, chances are, the computer will notice and turn on the check engine light. The device will also store corresponding diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) in its brain. Your mechanic can retrieve said codes using an electronic device, called a scan tool.
Failed emissions test
Is it time for your routine emissions test? Well, guess what – you’re not going to pass if the check engine light is on from a bad rear oxygen sensor. You also won’t pass if the rear oxygen sensor is out to lunch and it’s preventing your car’s computer from running its system self-tests.
How urgent is a Rear Oxygen Sensor Replacement?
The rear oxygen sensor is less of a troublemaker than the front oxygen sensor. For the most part, the rear oxygen sensor just polices the catalytic converter. So, it’s unlikely to leave you stranded and it shouldn’t cause any additional harm to your vehicle.
But it will keep that annoying check engine light illuminated and, really, do you want to look at that thing every day? Plus, a bad rear oxygen sensor can cause you to fail a state emissions test – and nobody wants that.