I had the SES light pop on last week, and I went to Autozone today to have them read the code. They said that it was the oxygen sensor, a $65 dollar part. My question is how difficult is this to replace on my own? Its a 98' Taurus.
It's not too hard but realize there are 4 Oxygen sensors on the car. There are 2 on each exhaust pipe. One in front of the cat and one just behind it.
I think the code that Autozone pulled for you ID's the correct Sensor that's not working correctly. Also, Autozone will lend you a tool that makes it easier to remove the sensor. It's just a a socket that has a slot in the side so the wire on the end of the sensor can be accomadated. Otherwise, it's like removing a spark plug.
I had a trouble code show up on my previous Taurus ('96). Went to Autozone and ID'ed the correct sensor. I drove the car up on my ramps and pulled the sensor with an open end wrench, cleaned it with a steel brush liked you clean a spark plug with, put it back in and never had the code return again. I'd intended to buy the new sensor but wanted to make sure I could remove the old on first.... but ended up never replacing it at all.
And, BTW, to reset you trouble code and turn off the dash light, just pull the negative wire off your batterry for about 10 minutes.
Also, there's a website that sells O2Sensors fairly cheap. I'll see if I can find it for you.
LOL Autozone?? They probably used a Actron Scanner eh? Hmm.. effective, but may not work to well. Eh anyhow. I used to work for Autozone... I hate it, they hire the worst people there. It's not even funny.
But anyhow, I work for Pep Boys now. I get to use the service equipment out there. That means Proffesional "Snap-On" Scan tools!!! Woo hoo! I got the O2 Code too... I got the O2 Sensors for my car. So... on my next day off. They are going on! He he he
Chilton's suggests warming engine up for 1 to 2 minutes. The exhaust pipes contracts when they are cold. Did mine two days ago and it worked well. Also try sparying (on cold pipes) some PB or WD40 on sensor where it joins pipe and allow to penetrate. It's a lot cheaper if you can do it yourself. Dealer charged me 71.00 for part and 249.00 for labor when I had one of mine done two years ago. Good luck!
Also keep in mind that it's not necessarily wise to let the parts store guy diagnose your car. Not that they're all morons, but they're not mechanics either. What we need is the code to help you further.
A lot of times, it's not the sensor that's gone, but an underlying issue causing it to read out of range and set off the check engine light.