Removing Your Vehicle’s Oxygen Sensor
Every automobile owner fears the occasion when the check engine light makes an appearance on the dashboard. The check engine light can mean several things, one of which being a problem with the oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor is the primary measurement device for the fuel control computer in your car to know if the engine is running too rich or too lean. An oxygen sensor typically lasts around 50,000 miles or more, but occasionally they have issues or need to be replaced. The best way to figure out if there is a problem with the oxygen sensor is to remove it with a special oxygen sensor removal tool and take it in to an auto parts store for evaluation. Here is a step-by-step list for removing your oxygen sensor.
Check Your Check Engine Light
Sometimes the check engine light will come on when there is not really a problem. This is a rare case, but it is worth turning the car completely off and turning it back on. Drive for a little while and if the check engine light comes back on and does not go away, there is a problem.
Learn Your Tools
In order to remove the oxygen sensor, you need the right tools. A special oxygen sensor removal tool is called an oxygen sensor socket. You use it with a standard ratchet or wrench.
Learn Where to Get Your Tools
An oxygen sensor removal tool, called an oxygen sensor socket, can be purchased at any auto parts store. You can also find them at department stores and home supply stores that have an inventory selection of automobile parts and tools. It is always advised to call ahead and make sure that a store carries the oxygen sensor socket tool before making the trip.
Loosen the Joint
Once you have the appropriate oxygen sensor removal tools handy, begin by applying a liberal spray of penetrating oil to the threads of the oxygen sensor. This will loosen the joint, because the sensor may be welded to the exhaust.
Unplug the Sensor
Make sure your car is off while you are working. Disconnect the electrical plug. Unplug the oxygen sensor from the wiring harness.
Attach the Oxygen Sensor Socket
Hook your oxygen sensor removal tool, the oxygen sensor socket, to a ratchet or wrench. Insert the socket over the oxygen sensor.
Remove the Old Sensor
Turn the oxygen sensor socket counter clockwise to remove the oxygen sensor from the exhaust bung. Be careful not to damage any wires.
Troubleshoot Any Problems
If the oxygen sensor will not budge, try adding more penetrating oil to get it to loosen up further. If that does not work, you can try to remove it while the engine is still warm, but be careful that you do not burn yourself.
Get It Tested
It is best to take your oxygen sensor to a mechanic or auto parts store in order to get it tested before buying a completely new one. You can test your oxygen sensor with it still attached to the car, but removing it allows the sensor to be visually inspected as well.
Replace It If Necessary
If your oxygen sensor fails the test, you will have to get a replacement. You can buy a replacement oxygen sensor at an auto parts store.
The check engine light can mean just about anything, but one potential issue involves the oxygen sensor on your vehicle. It is best to have it tested, and the most effective way to inspect and test the sensor is to remove it from the car. In order to remove the sensor, you need the right tools. The right oxygen sensor removal tool is called an oxygen sensor socket. It can be used with a standard ratchet or wrench. You can find this oxygen sensor removal tool at an auto parts store or a department or home store that carries auto parts. Acquire this tool and follow the steps above to remove your oxygen sensor from your vehicle.