Oxygen sensors eventually need to be replaced in all vehicles. If your vehicle’s O2 sensor is faulty, chances are there will be signs! Check this list to see if it’s time to replace YOUR vehicle’s oxygen sensors:

  1. Sudden decrease in fuel mileage. A defective O2 sensor will likely cause your air-fuel mixture to be too rich and directly affect your fuel economy.
  2. Flashing check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp in the vehicle?s dash board. Of course this can happen for other reasons as well (and a defective oxygen sensor is one of them!)
  3. Failure to pass smog. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARP (California Air Resource Board) 50 to 60% of all smog test / emission test related failures are attributed to defective oxygen sensors, causing either low or high CO emissions.
  4. Overall poor vehicle performance; rough idling, stalling, hesitation on acceleration, etc.
  5. And the most accurate diagnosis is achieved using an OBDII code checker. All cars made in 1996 and after are equipped with an OBDII interface. An OBDII code checker identifies defects in the exhaust system of the car. If your oxygen sensor has failed, the code checker will generate a diagnostic trouble code that specifically indicates your oxygen sensor is bad.

Guidelines for replacing the oxygen sensors in your car, courtesy Bosch.com:

  • The unheated 1 or 2 wire O2 sensors, used in vehicles from mid-1970s through early 1990s, replace every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
  • Heated 3 and 4 wire O2 sensors, used in the vehicles from mid-1980s through mid-1990s, replace every 60,000 to 70,000 miles.
  • Newer vehicles made in mid-1990s and later, replace the oxygen sensors every 100,000 miles.

Conclusion, properly functioning O2 sensors are critical for optimal fuel consumption and good car performance. When in doubt, it is best to replace your faulty oxygen sensor at most, every 100,000 miles.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6C3WGWXISBYXTPG7NR6LVQ6PDQ Margaret Miller

    A very informative post on oxygen sensor. My car’s oxygen sensor was replaced several times. With these signs, I can now assess whether my car is really having oxygen sensor problems. Thanks!

  • http://www.bes.co.uk plumbing

    These are very helpful notes to remember. I will surely apply this at home.

  • chris

    i recently changed my af sensor and the cel came on again reading the same code prior what do i do now

  • Klhoepsin

    Heated O2 sensors are recyclable…they have a little bit of platinum in them which makes them more valuable than most scrap metal. (they are only worth 50 cents or so) Bring yours to your local repair shop so they can add it to their collection bin – both the technician and the environment will thank you.

  • N00b334

    Have you tried restarting your ecu by disconnecting the positive battery terminal? Then restarting the car and allowing it to idle for ten minutes? I’m not a

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OXMIE4DITSQWIG2VRI5PPDXQEE John w.

    My 1995 Bonneville stalled and also died when I made left turns. Took it in they said it was the oxygen sensors. It ended up costing me a thousand dollars to get them replaced because they were not accessible. If I had a 1996 Bonneville it would of cost around two hundred.
    Car ran fine afterwards.

  • tamara

    i can be going down hwy and lose power will die and pull over and starts back up sometimes it will shake and not have enough power to accelerat but after a couple of times will start up and run just fine what could be wrong

  • Ashley

    when trying to accelerate the car seems like its not accelerating, was told either the O2 sensor or the wiring to it needs replaced. What will happen if the cars o2 sensor is out? Will it have issues accelerating? like i can accelerate but its not going above 25 to 30 without making it seem like the car is in park and pressing the gas pedal. So I guess what im asking is since the O2 sensor is bad could this be the reason were having acceleration issues…other than that the car runs and drives fine

  • Josh M.

    You got ripped off. I have the same car. The one O2 sensor is behind the engine on the exhaust manifold, not hard to get to at all. I always tell people to ask on forums first and friends/family after.

  • Steve ram

    I replaced my oxygen sensor and my CEL went off but when I used my scan tool it reads yellow an will not pass an emission test, help!

  • Dyler_Turden

    I know this is an old post, but did you resolve it? I believe you have to complete a certain number of drive cycles before the “warning” is removed from the OBC memory…

  • Kathleen

    My kia stalls out when I’m getting gas and them won’t turn over at first. It takes a couple of tries and giving it a little gas to get itto keep from stalling. Could this be my o2 sensor?

  • Chris Smith

    Hi, it could be as easy as a gas cap. Others would be injectors, fuel pump is weak, dirty fuel filter. Did u get a C.E.L.

  • Austyn

    Does not sound like the 02 sensor

  • Austyn

    Does not sound like the 02 sensor

  • Mack

    My truck stalls out and after 5 minutes are so she starts up and then stalls again after a few minutes. I thought I got some bad gas and add some sea foam and it ran good for a short time and then started stalling again. Auto zone tested to see if a code would come up and it did not show any. Can the oxygen sensor be going bad and not show a code? Thanks

  • nathan

    i aint sure its my o2 sensor or not but my 1999 gmc serria runs fine except upon heavy acceleration or when its under a load like going up steep hills ive been told its some type of sensor or its not getting enough gas any ideas

  • david

    I had oil getting through my intake so I had engine rebuilt but it was smoking like crazy before the rebuild and engine light is on it says cat is below efficiency any idea what it is?

  • Heavyweight

    Hi Everyone,

    I own a 2002 Honda Civic LX 1.7L Manual. I suspect the problem with my car is the 02 sensor. I got a OBD reading of P0132 02 Senso Circuit High Voltage, Bank 1 Sensor 1. This is the obvious diagnosis given the error code but I was wondering if the problem could be something else. The car stutters and bucks when I accelerate in 1,2, and 3rd gear up to about 3k RPM. Also, when I idle, the car jerks and feels as though it will stall. Is there a good chance it is the 02 sensor or could it be something else or in addition to the sensor?

  • Pete Brooks

    this sensor is crazy, and it does a lot of things for the car and transmission. my mechanic thought it was the tranny so he changed out the torque convertor kit. that fixed about 80% of the problem. but it’s still acting jumpy. it will shift when it shouldn’t and it idles high when i start it. he hooked the computer up to it today. there is no check engine light although the check engine system is working properly. it reads zero on the oxygen sensor, even when he revved it to 3,500 rpm. I’m sure when he replaces the sensor in two days my problem will be fixed!

  • Ragofmuffin

    I have a 93 chevy Cheyenne that has a fluctuating rpm at idle. & usually it happens with engine gets up to operating temp. O2 sensor or what ?

  • Snowman

    IF your car was burning lots of oil then that burnt oil clogged your catalytic converter. New cat needed.

  • Tim

    Would a bad 02 sensor cause the mustang to run sluggish stall out and not stay at a steady idle

  • Tim

    Would a bad 02 sensor cause the mustang to run sluggish stall out and not stay at a steady idle

  • blown 406

    Did you reset the computer…after replacing any electrical senors you always go back and reset the computer with a scan tool and drive it for at 3 days before going back to test it.

  • reid newton

    screew yall

  • reid newton

    pussy? 940-631-3559

  • Freddie

    Sounds like a bad EGR.

  • Dianne

    What is an EGR?

  • Brad Nimbus

    I have a 96 F-250 and it IS in fact OBD l

  • http://www.fuckyou.com/upyours The anti-everything guy

    Hey mabey you guys can help me …. bare with me … I just recently cleaned the CARB ON MY DODGE RAM 91 3.9l v6 and it was running like a champ … so I was feeling good and decided to get a new oxigen sensor since my carb was clean and to get a good reading … went to the car parts store and the guy sold me a generic one , well thats when things started , at idle it almost chokes out and then it revs up and starts the loop again , changed the throtle posision sensor for a new one , also took a look at the map sensor and it seems to work and also gave a clean up on the idle posision sensor ( it looks like a solenoid with a bolt head coming out )now after all that when my throtle positionsensor is conected and I disconect the map sensor vacuum hose the problem is mitigated a little and runs a bit smoother but if I disconect the throtle position sensor and re conect the map sensor vacuum hose it runs good agian . So to summarize, is this because the oxigen sensor is not the right one ( I connected the cables identical to all the instalation guides i could find on the net) or is this some other problem ? I would hate to go get a original part ( generic cost 250 pesos ( I live in mexico) but the original is something like 800 pesos) please if any body has an idea please share .

  • boki

    I am a technician on 00 till 2006 on hondas oxygen sensor go out alot I got a 2000 accord the car would shake really bad going 65 70 mph I changed both of the oxygen swnsors Is driving smooth and my gas mileage improved easy fix

  • boki

    Replace both oxygen sensors you always wanna go with the original parts

  • teri

    I have a question. I have a 2002 Lincoln ls. Was told that my O2 sensors were bad, so I replaced 2 of them and when I had the money to get the other 2 I bought them. But I still drove my car. So when the other finally got put on, well my car still acts the same as it did before I replaced the bad ones. So my question is: did I ruin the first 2 I had put on by driving it before I could get them all on. I have uncooked the battery.with no success! Please help! Thanks Teri

  • Thomas Lavrenz

    2004 chevy tahoe misses very badly when sitting at a stop light. Normally idles at 1000 but cuts out down to 500 and sometimes dies all together. When it misses like this the lights dim as well. The weird thing is it does not do it during the summer or when it is first started in the cold winter mornings. The minute the vehicle warms up though (only in the winter) it starts missing badly. Does not act up when driving down the highway. Anyone have any ideas. Had a diagnostic done at local auto parts company and all they can show me is that they say the code reads omission problems. Check engine light is on. To me if it were an O2 sensor I would think it would happen all the time. Any suggestions…

  • kelly

    well i was really not aware of these 5 signs. thanks for the information.


  • tschay

    hi everyone i have a 2002 taurus. the DTC’s say all 4 heater circuits are bad and the evr circuit are bed any ideas or what to cheak. help please i never seen this before or do u think the computer is bad?????????

  • Traci Price

    Stopped and got gas at a place outside of my town.. My car was running fine until I got gas the price was cheaper so I got that gas.. My car started running badly.. Like when I pushed on the gas it was bogging down.. Felt like it was plugged.. I put fuel injector cleaner in my gas tank and a good mid premium gas.. It ran worse and now engine lite is on all the time. Help!! Lol oh yeah it’s a 2002 sonata

  • russell

    I have a 2003 Lincoln LS and the wrench light comes on when I turn the car on as I go to drive it lacks power but if I turn it off an restart it runs fine

  • Melinda

    My 03 Nissan Xterra started completely losing power to where it would shake and die. It would take some time to start back up and would run fine for a while, and then it would do it again. Replaced the fuel filter, pump, and sending unit. It is now throwing a P430 code. It is running pretty good, but now I noticed I am losing about 15 mph going up hills that I used to only lose about 5 mph. Think it could be the O2 Sensor?

  • Rick Herman

    Have a 97 chevey blazer changed fuel pump fuel filt. And fuel presser reg new coil pack and throttle pos sen and still when i get up to 55 mph it bogs and when i let up and ease into it it will go but if i push down agin it will do it agin any ideas

  • Rick Herman

    Just got plugs wires rotor and rotor plug

  • Magnus Soevgaard

    Cars always cause problems when you least need them.

  • kenny kirouac

    hi I have 2001 chevy cavalier I replaced the spark plugs yesterday my mechanic told me about 5 months ago mt 02 oxgen sencer was going after I replace the plugs the car ran bad so doy think I should replace my 02 sencer?

  • Ben Russell

    Ben I have a 1995 cheverlet 350 5.7 silverado 1500 it runs ruff and stall out at red lights and slow traffic do you think it the 02 sensors.

  • yolanda

    my car is doing exact same thing its a 2002 manual transmission 2 door … what do I do? yolandarosetta@gmail.com please help

  • April

    I have a 2000 Chevy astro after 3 days of purchase it started to loose power w hi ile driving and then completely stall…but pull over and it would start back up would be fine for a while then do again…then started happening more and taking longer to start well yesterday it stalled and wouldn’t start back at all..would turn over.. I have no lights coming on the dash at all all gages look fine..we have changed fuel filter puut sea foam in gas checked for loose wires my husband took one of the o2 sensors off thought that was the problem car started and drove good well today it started and then stalledvtwo Ty times took a while to start but made it home please help

  • April

    Also he checked the distributor cap and that was good

  • larry

    Have the ignition module tested it could be bad as that can cause it to stall and restart and then quit altogether. Hope this helps.

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