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Oxygen Sensor Opinions


Jim1957's Avatar
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04-13-18, 05:07 PM   #1  
Oxygen Sensor Opinions

OK. I know most folks on this site are hesitant to share opinions, but make an exception please I had an oxygen sensor go out on my truck and I'm about to replace it. I've read recommendations on a couple of other sites that O2 sensors should be replaced every 100k miles or so. It seems to me that if that were the case it would be listed in the owners manual on the maintenance schedule. Does anyone know of a reason to replace them like spark plugs? Has anyone seen any studies that supported this?

 
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04-13-18, 05:09 PM   #2  
Here's my opinion... how did you determine your O2 sensor "went out"?

 
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04-13-18, 05:19 PM   #3  
My opinion is.... when it goes bad you replace it.


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04-13-18, 05:19 PM   #4  
Well...That's a question not an opinion but I'll humor you. It set MIL code P0135, the fuse and wiring are good and that pretty much leaves sensor 1 on Bank 1 as the culprit.

Now, back to my question. Do you know of a reason to replace them like spark plugs?

Jim

 
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04-13-18, 05:23 PM   #5  
Nope, no reason what so ever. Change them when they go bad. I have vehicles with more than 140K on them and still have original sensors in them.

 
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04-13-18, 05:26 PM   #6  
Do you know of a reason to replace them like spark plugs?
No. When they go bad..... replace them. The computer tells you when they are bad.

You didn't post a make, model or age but many auto manufactures are obligated by the EPA to replace emission related parts for much longer than the base vehicle warranty.


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04-13-18, 05:40 PM   #7  
PJmax, It's a 2003 Chevy P/U with a 5.3L @ 95,000 miles. If GM would cover it, it would probably cost me more in time sitting in their shop than it would to just replace it.

Ron53, That's been my MO in the past. I had one go out on a 97 F150 @ 55K miles and I had another GM product I drove to 230K miles and never replaced one.

I was caught off guard when I read the recommendation to replace them regularly though. Probably someone trying to sell parts or service...

 
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04-13-18, 05:44 PM   #8  
Quite right, i was saving my opinion for your reply... my opinion is that most people do not know what to look for when an oxygen sensor "goes out" and so they replace them needlessly, as if it was a spark plug, hoping it will fix the problem.

Sure, you can replace it, but if you are replacing it without testing, then you really can't be sure the sensor is the real problem.

First thing I would do is hook up the OBDII diagnostic... view the live data, and take it for a test drive. Observe the data while the car is cold, at idle, it high rpm, while warm, at idle, at high rpm. You should also observe the state of the ECM... is it running open loop, closed loop, or is there a fault? You can visually observe the data from each individual O2 sensor... and see if it's working or not. If it's not working at idle, but is at high rpm, that tells you something. Vacuum leaks, manifold leaks, exhaust leaks... they are all known to cause an O2 "malfunction", but in reality, the O2 sensor could be fine. If it is transmitting alternating voltage... say between .1 V and .9 V... Back and forth like a sine wave... its probably fine.

Speaking from personal experience with a similar problem.

Do you have additional codes that might at first seem to be unrelated?

Nothing wrong with replacing it, but many people spend the $$$, replace them, then have the exact same code later. Meaning you will need to keep looking.

 
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04-14-18, 03:34 AM   #9  
Posted By: jim1957 ". . . I know most folks on this site are hesitant to share opinions . . ."
I think you have this Forum mixed up with something else !

My experience is that Oxygen Sensors are used only to determine how effective your Catalytic Converter is in cleaning up your exhaust gases BEFORE they're shared with the rest of us. They have little to do with the running of your engine, or the confidence you can have in being able to rely on the Truck. They only help to clean the air that other people breath . . . . and help you to pass your annual smog test.

The P0135 indicates that it is the Upstream Sensor (before the Converter) which is providing an unreliable reading (or no reading) to the vehicles computer, and therefore, it can't perform the calculation to determine whether the Catalytic Converter is effective.

Properly installed, O2 Sensors will fail in a variable amount of time, only because they contain a tiny spring which will ultimately fail after extended usage. On my current car, the Downstream O2 Sensor failed at about 120,000 miles while the Upstream Sensor didn't fatigue until I was at about 225,000 miles . . . . it wouldn't make sense to just replace them like you'd change the oil.

But that's just my opinion.

 
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04-14-18, 04:46 AM   #10  
Plenty of opinions here, no worries.

I change the one on my wrecker periodically because when one does go it can be pretty inconvenient. AND expensive - the mileage drops to the 6 mpg area. My operation/driving is way more severe than the average vehicle/driver.

I have NEVER changed one on any of our personal vehicles and we routinely run cars to over 150k before replacing them. Unless the check engine light comes on, leave them alone.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
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04-14-18, 05:06 AM   #11  
the heated oxygen sensors that about all cars use now seem to last a long time probably wouldn't be replacing them until a code popped up back when you had the single wire o2 sensors they would degrade more over time and reduce the voltage they could generate i can certainly see replacing them they was also inexpensive though.

 
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04-14-18, 12:51 PM   #12  
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will continue replacing them on as as needed basis!

 
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