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Can O2 sensor failure cause the Engine Electronics light to come on?

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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] Can O2 sensor failure cause the Engine Electronics light to come on?

    Hi all

    Some history forst (sorry)

    Corsa C (1.0 litre 12V) 2003

    A month ago crawling along in a traffic jam the Engine Electronics light came on. Mechanic suggested oil in the wiring caused by faulty oil pressure switch. He checked the wiring and found no trace of oil the light hasn't come back on. (Mechanic used some brake cleaner to spray out the connectors). However the Exhaust Emission light did come on a few miles down the road. The error code that suggested the upstream O2 sensor was having an issue. A day later the Exhaust Emission light goes off. 600km of more driving and no issues. Fuel economy seems normal.

    Yesterday the
    Engine Electronics light came on once more. Again i was in a traffic jam. I pulled over, waited for a 15 minutes and checked some of the wiring connectors for signs of oil. No apparent signs. I sprayed connectors with brake cleaner just in case.

    Turing the car back on and giving it a little rev, the
    Engine Electronics light goes off. Error code was 0130, which i believe (from before) is the O2 sensor. However this could also be a precious uncleared code. I don't have a code reader. I used the brake/throttle peddle technique to find the code. No other codes were present. Had to continue my trip of another 400km to get home. No further issues.

    Here's the question

    • Can a faulty O2 sensor cause the Engine Electronics light to come on? The Exhaust Emission light is not coming on

    Thanks in advance
    PS sorry for the long story


  • #2
    A faulty O2 sensor will trigger a fault code and cause the EML to come on. You are right to query if it was an old code - one reason why they need to be cleared because otherwise there is no way of telling old codes from current problems.

    The snag with O2 codes is that it is a feedback system so you can't tell immediately if it is a fault sensor / wiring - or a problem elsewhere that is throwing the exhaust gases out of parameter. That can be anything from an air leak in the intake, a leak in the exhaust, old plugs, blocked filters, gummed injectors - it's a long list.

    If it is intermittent and not affecting the car I wouldn't worry too much at this stage. Sometimes intermittent faults get worse and then you have a chance to identify and fix, sometimes they don't and you just leave well alone.

    If it's happening in traffic check the cooling system is in good condition - make sure you aren't losing coolant, if it gets into the exhaust gases and fouls the O2 sensor that will throw a fault code.
    1972 Viva restoration thread -


    • #3
      Thanks for the answer.

      No coolant leaks found. Haven't noticed and performance issues, but, and this could be my imagination coupled with some older roads, it does, very occasionally feel like the engine misses lightly. But its barely perceptible.

      I guess its not entirely clear if the O2 sensor is fault causing the EML light to come on. I think i will change the upstream sensor, clear the fault and see what happens next.



      • #4
        Hi Guys,

        I have changed both my O2 sensors twice and still have problems. Loss of power, EML light on. When i clear the codes the car with a spanner comes on. I have replaced EGR, Fuel Vent Valve, Cam/crank sensor, both lambda sensors twice. Cleaned my throttle body, MAF. Still had problems, took it to a garage and they replaced my ECU, This was the first time i changed my lambda sensors. The garage said the only problem i have is with the lambda sensors and they need replacing, so this weekend i replaced them again, took the car for a drive and wow it worked fine. Got up this morning after clearing the codes and boom no power again and the car/spanner light was on. Put some petrol in the car and the spanner/car light went out and yes you guessed it my EML light came on and the car was ok again, bit chuggy but got power again. Do you know what is going on with my car, its a Corsa SXI 1.2, 2001