Diagnostic, Removal and Replacement
If your vehicle has illuminated a check engine light, CEL or service engine soon SES light, you can find the problem code with a hand held device. Many auto parts stores will read the code for free if you ask.
The hand held device will give a brief description of the symptoms, but an internet search will give a more complete picture of the possible causes. This page will help you diagnose oxygen sensor damage: Common Oxygen Sensor Conditions
If you have determined that you need to replace the oxygen sensor, immobilize a wheel on your vehicle before raising it.
A guide to common oxygen sensor locations is found here: Where is my oxygen sensor located?
Almost all connectors for oxygen sensors have a plastic locking tab. A small flat blade screwdriver is a handy tool for depressing the tab so the connector can be unplugged.
The oxygen sensor is removed with a counter clockwise rotation. Sometimes, the sensor is difficult to remove because of corrosion. See this page to learn about different types of oxygen sensor damage: Common Oxygen Sensor Conditions
Anti-seize is provided and should be applied only on the threads of the sensor. The anti-seize eases the removal of the sensor during a future repair.
The sensor is installed with about 35 ft-lbs of torque. Excess torque will distort the shell of the sensor and cause immediate sensor failure. Apply just enough torque to squeeze the crush washer on the sensor.
When the sensor connector is fully plugged into the vehicle harness, you might hear or feel a click. This is the locking tab, holding the connectors together.
After the sensor installation, the problem code is still stored in the computer. Use the handheld tool to clear the code. If the oxygen sensor was the correct solution to the problem, the code will not re-appear.
Lower the vehicle, and remove the wheel blocks. Happy and safe driving to you!.