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Sensor Cleaning


Niranjan de Silva
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I recently bought an AK-12, Nissan March Beetle and at the time of purchase there was no issue. Still one day when I accelerated quite a bit to overtake the check engine warning light came on, and it is still so. Thereafter went to my first visit to A*W Rajagiriya and a scanner was fixed to my car (Nissan Consult II) and the problem was zoned in as the malfunctioning of Oxygen Sensor B1. They recommend a replacement which is quite costly. I would like to know;

1) What is the role of the Oxygen sensor and whether it is very important to the day to day running of the car?

2) Whether cleaning the Oxygen sensor is a viable option?

3)If so what are places which specialize in cleaning sensors?, and

4) Whether there is a risk of corrupting the main software in charge of running the vehicle by plugging in scanners which are not original Nissan scanners?

Edited by Niranjan de Silva
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1. The O2 sensors role is to determine the optimal air-fuel ratio so that the engine can run as efficiently as possible redusing emission levels aswel. The sensor can detect lean and rich air-fuel mixtures and inform the onboard computer to adjust the fuel entering the engine. If the O2 sensor is faulty the computer has no way of determining the correct ratio so your fuel figuers will become bad too.

2. I don’t think you can clean O2 sensors, the best thing is to replace it.

4. Don’t think any OBD scanner can actually damage the ECU. As most of the time, they only reads data from the ECU EEPROM not write. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Edited by Reckless
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2. I don’t think you can clean O2 sensors, the best thing is to replace it.

You actually can. You have to remove it when the engine cold, clean with petrol and put it back. But, there is no guarantee that it work if the unit is actually burnt. But there is no loss in doing so. I have done so on my Subie and on the Primera I had with no issues. Never had to replace.

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You actually can. You have to remove it when the engine cold, clean with petrol and put it back. But, there is no guarantee that it work if the unit is actually burnt. But there is no loss in doing so. I have done so on my Subie and on the Primera I had with no issues. Never had to replace.

Thank you for the advice.The unit at the current stage is not burnt, according to A*W people, but they said that it is heading that way. Did you do the cleaning as a precautionary measure? Or was there a problem and the cleaning fixed it?

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You actually can. You have to remove it when the engine cold, clean with petrol and put it back. But, there is no guarantee that it work if the unit is actually burnt. But there is no loss in doing so. I have done so on my Subie and on the Primera I had with no issues. Never had to replace.

Yes. That is right. Also it is a good idea to first take a good look at the existing O2 sensor before deciding to change. If you have excessive deposits particularly oily deposits that may indicate the onset of other issues like engine compression going low, MAF sensor not responding etc. Since this sensor has a built-in heater element if it is burnt there is nothing you can do. However, it is a good idea to clean it first as VVTi said even if it fails again.

If possible once you remove it take a pic and post here..

Edited by Rumesh88
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Yes. That is right. Also it is a good idea to first take a good look at the existing O2 sensor before deciding change. If you have excessive deposits particularly oily deposits that may indicate the onset of other issues like engine compression going low, MAF sensor not responding etc. Since this sensor has a built-in heater element if it is burnt there is nothing you can do. However, it is a good idea to clean it first as VVTi said even if it fails again.

Can any member recommend a good place to get the sensor cleaning done professionally?

Also the procedure that I am thinking of adopting is to clean the sensor and clear the previous data in relation to the O2 sensor so that the check engine light will go away. Run the vehicle thereafter to see if the check engine light comes back. Any advice?

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Thank you for the advice.The unit at the current stage is not burnt, according to A*W people, but they said that it is heading that way. Did you do the cleaning as a precautionary measure? Or was there a problem and the cleaning fixed it?

During a complete fuel system clean up with an injector clean, new plugs, filter, etc, I removed all, including the O2 sensor and cleaned and put it back. There is nothing to it. Its just like cleaning a spark plug. If you see a lot of soot and oily reside like Rumesh said, a clean up just might work. Its a no cost fix. Nothing to lose. Only thing is you need to be careful when you remove it. As it is on the manifold, it needs to be done once teh car has sat overnight. Also if its tight, you need to be patience with it and slowly remove it. Dont go all Hulk on it.

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Can any member recommend a good place to get the sensor cleaning done professionally?

Also the procedure that I am thinking of adopting is to clean the sensor and clear the previous data in relation to the O2 sensor so that the check engine light will go away. Run the vehicle thereafter to see if the check engine light comes back. Any advice?

You can do it at home. Remove the battery, unplug the sensor, remove it, clean it well. Put it back and start... most likely the CEL might go off.

But word of caution though, the Nissan engines that came on most FB15s and N16 had an issue where the error was always pointed at the )2 sensor, but it never was. I had a friend who changed his O2 sensor despite us telling him not to do so to find out the error was with the MAF. Did you check your MAF?

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During a complete fuel system clean up with an injector clean, new plugs, filter, etc, I removed all, including the O2 sensor and cleaned and put it back. There is nothing to it. Its just like cleaning a spark plug. If you see a lot of soot and oily reside like Rumesh said, a clean up just might work. Its a no cost fix. Nothing to lose. Only thing is you need to be careful when you remove it. As it is on the manifold, it needs to be done once teh car has sat overnight. Also if its tight, you need to be patience with it and slowly remove it. Dont go all Hulk on it.

The problem is that I already did an engine tune up at AS*ULanka. The fuel injectors were cleaned with their ultrasonic bath. Inserted a brand new VIC filter. They checked the spark plugs and said that they are in good order and that I can run at least another 20,000 Km with them. I asked the person in charge of the place subsequently whether an engine tune up also includes the cleaning of the O2 sensor. He said it does not.

Also I have not checked the Mass Air Flow sensor. will do that too.

Edited by Niranjan de Silva
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Mr Komi, Mr Sylvi any comments ?

Mr. C Perera,

I saw this posts just now. It is true all technically qualified had given their experiences. I too endorse same.

I clean with I P A they work fine I never use any fuel system cleaner most of them contain Acetone.

I use every tank second full up, the said cleaner 500 ML for last 29000 miles.

Above in my cheap Maruti Omni Indian vehicle engine.So far no problems.

Do every 15000 Km full throttle body clean,clean plugs.

Every oil change 5000 Km change the oil filter.

Clean the air filter 2500 Km new filter at 15000 Km.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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You can do it at home. Remove the battery, unplug the sensor, remove it, clean it well. Put it back and start... most likely the CEL might go off.

But word of caution though, the Nissan engines that came on most FB15s and N16 had an issue where the error was always pointed at the )2 sensor, but it never was. I had a friend who changed his O2 sensor despite us telling him not to do so to find out the error was with the MAF. Did you check your MAF?

I had this experience. In my case low pulling power but MAF was OK with scan but when my mech checked voltage change when air blow through it there was a fault and my issue was solved after replace MAF.

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  • 8 years later...
On 12/2/2013 at 12:03 PM, Niranjan de Silva said:

I recently bought an AK-12, Nissan March Beetle and at the time of purchase there was no issue. Still one day when I accelerated quite a bit to overtake the check engine warning light came on, and it is still so. Thereafter went to my first visit to A*W Rajagiriya and a scanner was fixed to my car (Nissan Consult II) and the problem was zoned in as the malfunctioning of Oxygen Sensor B1. They recommend a replacement which is quite costly. I would like to know;

1) What is the role of the Oxygen sensor and whether it is very important to the day to day running of the car?

2) Whether cleaning the Oxygen sensor is a viable option?

3)If so what are places which specialize in cleaning sensors?, and

4) Whether there is a risk of corrupting the main software in charge of running the vehicle by plugging in scanners which are not original Nissan scanners?

 

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