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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
anyone think its possible? do i have to take the exhaust apart? i've never tried and have little experience, but am a fast learner.

my father in law claims its dangerous to try as it might break something that would need to then be welded...i think he just doesn't want to do it, so im thinking of trying it myself.

autozone told me its an 02 sensor downstream. i've pulled the power to reset the computer a couple times to make sure something is wrong and its not a glitch and the check engine keeps coming back.

can i see the area to work on just by looking under the car? any answers are appreciated. thanks.

forgot to mention this started after i took it for inspection and it passed my inspection, but that VERY night check engine came on. i think i got swindled.

is this the 02 sensor?


http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/02sensor.jpg/
 

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Picture is kind of blury. I had to take my cousin's out in order to replace the oil pan and it was very easy, and his whole car is a rust bucket. Just use a decent sensor socket or since you are replacing anyway just cut the wires and use a good 6 point socket and 1/2" ratchet. I think you can use PB blaster or similer on the sensor without any harm but hopefully someone else will confirm this. Should be easy for you to do.
 

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As said, spray some PBlaster on it, get a o2 sensor socket(or a big adjustable) and have at it. Replace with a Denso or Motorcraft O2 sensor and make sure you use the anti-seize supplied with the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sweet thanks for the quick responses. gonna have a better look at on the weekend. and yeah the pic is fuzzy had to take it blind.
 

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When i had to take out one of the downstream sensors on my 97, i got a special
O2 wrench. it had a swivel head and a bent offset handle. made working in tight
areas a lot easier. Think i got it at Autozone or such. getting a normal wrench on
the one between the trannie hump and top of exhaust pipe was nearly impossible
with a regular wrench.

What i would do is find a LIVE OBD2 scan tool and see what the sensor is doing
real time. The one i got from harbor freight will plot a chart real time of what the
sensor is doing

the chart will show voltage and activity

the one under car has a connector right by the steering rack.
make sure the wire did not get pinched, or that the connector is not fully snapped
together
 

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O2 activity

Are you sure the sensor is bad? The reading could be because the sensor has detected something amiss in the exhaust gases, and is alerting you to a problem. Many O2 sensors have been needlessly replaced because people reading the codes (like at parts stores) don't understand what the code actually means...it's pointing you in the direction to look, not necessarily that the sensor is bad.
Agree on O2 sensor.
So, kill the messenger.

Attached is a pic of good activity as recorded by my CarChip.
Just an example.
I recorded all of my 3 cars. If I suspect anything in the future, I can compare and see if one is slow. Usual failure is slow response.

Have a good car day.

-chart-
 

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As 97 LX said, why do you think the sensor is bad? CEL on? If so, and you have a P0420 or P0430 code (note you have TWO downstream sensors), the problem is NOT the sensor!!!! Either the cat itself is bad, or the upstream sensor is failing.

NEVER NEVER NEVER let the sales people at AZ (they are NOT mechanics!!!) or any other parts store attempt to diagnose a problem for you. 99% of the sales people no NOTHING about cars other than how to look up parts in the computer, and half the time they cant do that right.
 

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So for clarification -

according to the previous post - If you are getting codes from the downstream sensors - they are not the problem - could be 1)indicating catalytic converter failure or 2) being led to indicate cat failure by the comparison at the computer with failing upstream sensors?

And if you have a decent exhaust pressure at the tailpipe, no sulfer/rotten egg smell there, and the cat isn't getting red hot - then it would be likely? that you need to check/replace the upstream 02 sensors?

Correct?
 
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