Take the 2-minute tour ×
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I took my 2003 Toyota Matrix in to the dealership for service. It has 105,000 miles - the oxygen sensor needed replacing, but no other issues found. Now I feel as though I need to shift to a higher gear from 5th gear and that's the highest gear I have. The tachometer is at 3,000 at 70 mph, which seems normal, but I can feel the engine under my foot and I can hear it as well. It also feels somewhat sluggish at that speed, as though the car needs 6th gear. Any ideas?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

the oxygen sensor needed replacing

You may have identified the root of all of your issues. Depending on exactly what is happening with your faulty O2 sensor, it could affect any aspect of the intake-combustion-exhaust cycle. I would expect exactly the sort of symptoms that you cite; specifically, rough idle and reduced performance are to be expected.

share|improve this answer
    
On the plus side, replacing the O2 sensor should be really easy, a 5-minute job most likely. Make sure you pick up a special O2 sensor socket for removing the old one and tightening the new one -- it'll make it a lot easier than trying to get it off any other way. –  R.. Feb 5 '13 at 2:14
    
@R.., I agree that the job is technically easy if you already know the procedure and have the tools. If you don't, there's no shame in paying a professional to take care of it. Mechanics gotta eat, too, you know. –  Bob Cross Feb 5 '13 at 2:39
    
Actually I made the comment because this is a job that's easy even if you have no experience. The only tools you need are a socket wrench and an O2 sensor socket, and perhaps a breaker bar on the wrench if you're not super-strong. It's a good way for someone who's never fixed anything on a car before to get a first experience doing it and feel good about it. :-) –  R.. Feb 5 '13 at 3:07
add comment

The oxygen sensor gives feedback to the control unit about how "appropriate" the amount of injected fuel for a given air amount sucked into the cylinders was. If it's faulty, the control unit typically applies some sort of heuristics ("guessing"), so two situations are likely to occur:

  • less fuel than optimal ("lean" mixture) - this means poor performance

  • more fuel than optimal ("rich" mixture) - means some fuel left over after combustion and reduced mileage

What's also important, leftover fuel in the exhaust gases can destroy the catalytic converter over time.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.