catalytic converter and O2 sensors

Old 08-26-08, 08:35 PM
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catalytic converter and O2 sensors


I've got a check engine light on my 2000 Ford Taurus station wagon, and have been told that one of the oxygen sensors is bad (I've been told there are 4 total). I've also been told that my catalytic converter is burning up.

I've heard that if they go in to replace one O2 sensor they should replace all 4 while they are in there, so that's about $400. They also say that to replace the catalytic converter will cost about $1200-1500. (The car has 150,000 miles on it.)

I live in MD, so will have to have my emissions tested in December. If I only get the one O2 sensor replaced, will I pass the emissions inspection if the converter is on the way out? If so, I might do that and just drive the car until the converter burns up (and then get a new car), unless you all think it would be better to do otherwise.

Thoughts, suggestions?

Old 08-27-08, 04:18 AM
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There could be a problem with the converter, but it is not a certainty. Your Taurus does have 4 oxygen sensors, 2 regulate the fuel/air mixture, and the others monitor converter function. Any one could be bad and the converter still be fine. I would fix the sensor, have the emissions test, and see where it leads.
Old 08-27-08, 05:10 AM
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If you hooked up a diagnostic computer you should be able to tell which of the 4 sensors are bad, providing the check engine light is on. Replacing only one of the 4 o2 sensors is a lot cheaper than all 4. If that solves the problem, you may not have to replace the converter.
Old 09-04-08, 08:07 PM
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Changing the number of sensors happened with the implementation of the OBD II standards. This change allowed the onboard car computer to pinpoint most problems, including which bank and position sensor is thought to be bad. Although most o2's will eventually fail... changing all sensors seems like a "shot-gun" repair approach and would not be my first suggestion.

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Old 09-09-08, 07:16 PM
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Replacing something that is not bad is not only stupid, it is a complete and utter waste of your hard earned money. Some manufacturers recommend replacing the Oxygen sensors as a maintenance item. Also not a good idea, If it aint broke dont try to fix it.
For your problem, I would replace the sensor that is suspect providing there has been diagnostic proof that it is in fact bad. If you post the code here then we can help you decide the next beast course of action.
I wouldnt throw away a car just because it has 150k on it. These days thats not really alot of miles for an 8 year old car. Thats still less than 20k per year average.
Hope this helps ya,

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