Sep 20

How to Replace a Downstream Oxygen Sensor (o2)

Plagued by the check engine light? Don’t know what to do next? Fear not, for you have come to the right place!

Commonly, a check engine light will signify a sensor that needs to be replaced. In this case, it was the downstream (after the catalytic converter) o2 sensor. This sensor is easy to locate, easy to get to (in most cases) and easy to replace.

Oxygen sensors let the engine computer know if the air to fuel mixture is just right in the combustion chamber, and the post catalytic converter tells the computer that the catalytic converter is working properly as well. If it fails, the engine may seem fine, but the computer is forced to guess on the fuel mixture, and to be safe will always overcompensate with fuel. This leads to bad gas mileage.

Oxygen sensors range from $30 to $150 depending on how complex it is. You can rent the tools from a parts store to complete the replacement, which means more money in your pocket, and not the mechanics.

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