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excessive gas usage on 1998 Ford Explorer

Just recently my gas consumption has skyrocketed, at first I thought someone had been ciphening my tank. Could it be the 02 sensors? It's a V8.

Asked by for the 1998 Ford Explorer
Do you have a check engine light on? I've had this problem, but it came with a check engine light and ended up being the thermostat.
Five will get you 10 that the problems are related. You got horrible advice at the dealership . . . if you've got that documented, maybe use it against them. Take the truck to a shop for a full diagnosis. I'm worried that letting it go could damage expensive components, like the catalytic converter. http://repairpal.com/check-engine-light
Yes the check engine has been on since I bought it a year ago, it was checked at the dealership but they told me it wasn't a big deal, that it was a sensor or something, it has run great but just recently the gas consumption issue.