What you can do to fix oxygen sensors
Oxygen sensors–also called o2 sensors–are used by your vehicle’s computer to monitor and adjust the air-to-fuel ratio being pumped into your engine. These sensors are designed to be ‘disposable;’ that is; you will never find an o2 sensor that will remain in operational condition over the lifetime of your car. A broken or faulty o2 sensor cannot be ‘fixed’ in the normal sense, because like many auto parts, it simply burns out through ordinary use over time. In short, you ‘fix’ a faulty o2 sensor by replacing it. Fortunately, it is neither difficult nor expensive to do so. Have a question? Get an answer from a mechanic now!
1 Begin by locating the o2 sensor you wish to replace. While older cars may only have a single o2 sensor, most new cars have two of them, placed immediately behind and just in front of the catalytic converter on your car’s exhaust manifold. If your car has a dual-exhaust system (Such as the 2004 Tundra trucks), there will be two o2 sensors on each exhaust manifold. Oxygen sensors resemble golden or brass pegs with wires coming out of the tip.
2 Disconnect the wires leading from your oxygen sensor from where they connect to your car’s electrical system. Be careful when doing this, as you do not wish to damage the electrical connector on the vehicle. You do not need to worry about damaging the o2 sensor in this process, as you will be discarding it.
3 Use your wrench or your ratchet and socket to loosen and unscrew the o2 sensor from it’s mounting. Because the extreme heat and presence of emissions can often cause the sensor to ‘freeze’ or stick in place, you may need to apply significant force to get it started. Once you’ve unscrewed the sensor, you may throw it away.
4 Take your new o2 sensor and coat the threads with WD-40 or similar lubricating oil, taking care not to get any in the body of the sensor. Do the same with the threads in the mounting hole where you just removed the old o2 sensor. This is to ensure the new o2 sensor goes in smooth without damaging the threads.
5 Screw in the new o2 sensor into the empty mounting and tighten it down snugly. Once this is done, connect the new o2 sensor’s wires to the empty electrical connector. Your o2 sensor will now be working properly.
Tips & Warnings
If you are having difficulty getting to the o2 sensor with a standard wrench or 22mm socket, you may need to invest in the oxygen sensor socket, as it has been specially designed to remove o2 sensors. This will be available at any of your local auto parts stores.
Except for these points, if your car had some problems in oxygen sensor, you can always buy vehicle diagnostic tools from our website, and then diagnose SRS malfunctions by yourself.