If you found a minute component in the exhaust system of your Nissan, what do you think can that component do? Little, right? That's because we expect small things to do equally small functions. This perception, however, may be wrong, just as in the case of that small component you found on the Nissan exhaust system. That component might just be the Nissan oxygen sensor, and well-read automotive enthusiasts surely know of the big role it has in the vehicle's exhaust system.
An automotive oxygen sensor is a small electronic sensor inserted into the exhaust system of gasoline engine powered vehicles. The main function of the oxygen sensor is to measure the amount or volume of oxygen remaining in the exhaust. The main sensor element, which is usually a zirconia ceramic element, generates voltage whenever the air and fuel mixture fed to the engine is lean (an air to fuel ratio less than 14.7:1). After voltage is generated, it is then transmitted to the engine management ECU (electronic control unit) computer.
But how can the function of the Nissan oxygen sensor be so big if the only thing it does is generate voltage signals? The data gathered by the oxygen sensor, which is being relayed to the ECU computer through voltage signals, is used by the computer to adjust the amount of fuel it will feed to the engine. By maintaining the air-to-fuel ratio at a constant of 14.7:1, the engine management computer helps the engine achieve better gas mileage, lower exhaust emissions and optimum power production. Without the oxygen sensor, the engine management computer simply can't achieve all of these things.
So if the oxygen sensor of your Nissan is already damaged or its life is already approaching its end, it is important that you replace it at once with the appropriate type of replacement Nissan oxygen sensor. Unluckily though, there's no way for Nissan owners to easily determine the condition of the sensor. This is the reason why many automotive experts would recommend that the oxygen sensor be replaced at regular intervals based on the vehicle's total mileage. For more details about this periodic replacement, you can check with your vehicle manual or contact your Nissan dealer.