The main types and causes of oxygen sensor poisoning

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Oxygen sensor poisoning is a fault that often occurs and is difficult to prevent.So what exactly is oxygen sensor poisoning? It is the phenomenon that the sensing element of the oxygen sensor becomes contaminated. And it causes failure of O2 sensors.
How to judge whether the oxygen sensor is poisoned?We can judge by checking the appearance color of the oxygen sensor.The normal color of the top of the oxygen sensor is light gray, but if the following three abnormal colors appear, it can be determined that the oxygen sensor is poisoned.

1. The top of the oxygen sensor is black: caused by Excessive carbon deposits on the oxygen sensor

Black
Excessive carbon deposits

Due to the poor combustion of the engine and insufficient combustion of the engine mixture, a large amount of carbon deposits will be generated.Part of deposits will be discharged with the exhaust gas, but also some deposits will adhere to the surface of the car’s front oxygen sensor.Over time, the sensitivity of the oxygen sensor will decrease due to the a large amount of the carbon deposits.Also,  deposits such as oil or dust enter the oxygen sensor, which will hinder or block the outside air from entering the oxygen sensor, can also cause the signal output by the oxygen sensor to be inaccurate.These failures will cause the ECU to fail to correctly sense the oxygen concentration in the exhaust gas, thereby fail to correct the air-fuel ratio in time and accurately control the fuel injection volume.Usually, the deposits can be removed and the Oxygen sensors can be cleaned together with the three-way catalytic converter.

2. The top of the oxygen sensor is white: caused by Silicon pollution.

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Silicon Pollution

The oxygen sensor must be replaced if this occurs.Silicon dioxide generated by the combustion of silicon compounds contained in gasoline and lubricating oil, and organic silicon gas emitted from improper use of silicone rubber gaskets will cause the oxygen sensor to fail.Therefore, use good quality fuel and lubricating oil.Especially when repairing the engine, rubber gaskets should be selected and installed correctly, and the sensor should be coated with solvents and anti-sticking agents specified by the manufacturer.


The oxygen sensor must be replaced if this occurs.Silicon dioxide generated by the combustion of silicon compounds contained in gasoline and lubricating oil, and organic silicon gas emitted from improper use of silicone rubber gaskets will cause the oxygen sensor to fail.Therefore, use good quality fuel and lubricating oil.Especially when repairing the engine, rubber gaskets should be selected and installed correctly, and the sensor should be coated with solvents and anti-sticking agents specified by the manufacturer.

3. The top of the oxygen sensor is brown: caused by Lead pollution.

Brown
Lead Polluiton


The oxygen sensor must also be replaced if lead pollution is serious.Even a new oxygen sensor, can only work for a few hundred kilometers in lead contained gasoline.If it is only a slight lead poisoning, then using a box of unleaded gasoline can eliminate the lead on the surface of the oxygen sensor and restore it to normal operation.But often due to the excessively high exhaust temperature, lead invades sensor interior and hinders the diffusion of oxygen ions hence makes the oxygen sensor ineffective. In this case, sensor have to be replaced.

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