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Cleaning Your O2 Sensor


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Ok so I gotta stay up so I thought I'd catch up on a a couple of DIYs.

This one is basically on extending the life of your oxygen sensor. If you are pulling up codes related to the O2 sensor or you are experiencing misfires, it's really worth looking into cleaning them. Also cleaning them every year or so does help extend the life.

Sorry I've only got a pic of the sensor.

It's pretty straight forward so you wouldn't need many pics anyway.


Here's what you need

1. 22mm open end wrench

On some applications you would need a 22mm O2 sensor socket that has a cut on it to let the wire pass through it. I did have to use one for mine as it was impossible without one.

There are two types, one that resembles a deep socket and another that resembles a crows foot wrench. Not sure where you can buy one locally, I checked around and didn't have much luck.

2. Carb cleaner

3. WD-40 or similar

4. enough petrol in a container to soak all your o2 sensors up.

Here's what you need to do.

1. Spray some wd40 and let it sit until the oil penetrates the threads and then take the sensors out (how many sensors you have depends on the car. You will need to unplug them if you have connectors on em or cut the wire is you don't. If you are cutting the wire just make sure you mark both ends of the cut to make it easier to figure out which one is which when reinstalling them. You will need a lot of elbow grease to take the sensors off as they are effectively welded onto the cats.

2. Place the sensors in the container of petrol, and agitate it. Don't drop the wires into the petrol.

3. Leave it in the petrol over night.

4. Go back the next day and agitate it again until all the loose particles fall off. Then take it out and shake them dry.

5. Blast all the holes of the sensor with carb cleaner and shake the excess fluid off.

6. Reinstall them and give it a day or two till it runs as normal.

Ah forgot to add this at the start. If you notice any damage on the sensor, cleaning it will not help. You would need a new sensor.

Edited by jdnet
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Also if you have access to anti-seize paste - you need to put a bit of the grey stuff on the threads. Otherwise its going to be painful the next time you want to remove them.

On the wiring - the o2's generally have two parts - one is the sensor itself and the 2nd part is the inbuilt heater that turns on during cold start to ensure you're getting proper readings - generally find that the heater element part of the o2 is the first to fail but doesn't mean that its a total failure - only that you will get crappy burn till the sensors warm up.

Edited by MadMMX
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