Cleaning 02 Sensors..or not?

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  #1  
Old 01-08-06, 08:03 PM
GlassesRx
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Cleaning 02 Sensors..or not?

Hey everyone...I'm going to ask why do they not recommend cleaning an 02 sensor? They cost so darn much to replace. I have 4 of them on a '97 continental. Why can't I just take brake cleaner and spray off the carbon? Thanks for "learning" me some knowledge in advance.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 09:28 PM
ASEPartsman
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Yeah! A Parts Question!

Glasses,

An oxygen sensor is a very sensative device. It is a chemical generator not unlike a battery. The bigger difference between percent of oxgen coming into the engine and in the exhaust, the lower the voltage it creates. In a nut shell this voltage is used to adjust fuel trim accordingly.

If you clean this sensor tip with a chemical, it will soak this up and not give accurate readings. I have not seen any cleaner on the market that claims to be oxygen sensor safe. The only safe cleaning method for these is to use a propane torch to heat the tip for a few seconds. This will only work if you can evaporate the contaminants fully, and usually only lasts a week or so. I would not recommend doing this.

Another reason oxygen sensors fail is that their heating element goes out. For maximum efficiancy an oxygen sensor must be at 600 degrees F. For this reason, and OBD II vehicle (1996 or newer) usually has a sensor with a heating element in it to bring it up to temperature quicker. If this fails, there is no fix for it and the sensor should be replaced.

All four of these for your continental are about $55-65 a piece. (Make sure you get two downstream and two upstream.) And recommended replacement isn't until 100,000. (Unless of course they fail before that.)
 
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Old 01-08-06, 11:04 PM
GlassesRx
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Ok...from what you have told me and everything I have read...grrrrr......I guess it's time to bite the bullet! I've checked advanced auto parts and auto zone, those are the two closest to me and they are 60+ and 50+ each for upstream and downstream. Oh well, there goes about 250+ bucks.

Any good tips on removing them? It's been yrs since I've changed one. They say to run the car for a few minutes to heat them up for easier removal and soak them with plenty of penetrant to loosen them up more.

I'll just have to wait till the weather warms up a bit to crawl under the car again..and again.
 
  #4  
Old 01-09-06, 06:05 AM
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Posts: 194
Originally Posted by GlassesRx
Ok...from what you have told me and everything I have read...grrrrr......I guess it's time to bite the bullet! I've checked advanced auto parts and auto zone, those are the two closest to me and they are 60+ and 50+ each for upstream and downstream. Oh well, there goes about 250+ bucks.
On my Dad's Honda it's $300 for two sensors (yeah, just for the part). For my Escort it was $40 for one. Just be glad you don't have a Honda or other similiar car that has overpriced parts.



Originally Posted by GlassesRx
Any good tips on removing them? It's been yrs since I've changed one. They say to run the car for a few minutes to heat them up for easier removal and soak them with plenty of penetrant to loosen them up more.
Just get the Oxygen sensor socket and you should be OK. It worked for me.
 
  #5  
Old 01-09-06, 08:33 AM
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Location: Livonia, Michigan
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Agreed, O2 sensors are not cleanable (or DIY serviceable).

Check on-line for O2 sensors. There are a lot of places that sell them, prices vary. Many offer free shipping over $50.

You can bring the cost down by using universal O2 sensors. The business end of the sensor is exactly the same. The drawback is that you have to splice the pigtail from the old sensor onto the new one.
 
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