Is it bad to run car on a bad oxygen sensor?

Asked by May 17, 2013 at 03:55 PM

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse and the oxygen sensor just went.  I can't get it fixed for another week.  Is it bad to run the car on a bad oxygen sensor?

4 Answers


Nope, just reduced MPG.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It certainly can be a bad idea. Depending on how Mitsubishi set things up, the computer can command the system to go rich and burn out your catalytic converter with a constantly lean signal from the failed sensor. Is the O2 really bad? Oftentimes, someone will read a code without really diagnosing the concern.

The engine is not burning too hot or too cold. But I can defiantly tell that it is burning fuel at an inconsistant rate.


There really isn't a way to tell if it's going to harm anything. Save your money and change the sensor ASAP if it's bad. Be sure to check for vacuum leaks or un-metered air from the intake tubing - that'll cause a constantly lean condition, a "Check Engine" light and an" O2 always lean" code. A technician would hook up a scan too and check your Mass Air Flow, Long and Short Term Fuel Trim and O2 readings. Those readings help to determine which part of the fuel regulation system is faulty.

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