How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor

Once you have determined that your Oxygen Sensor is bad, follow the steps below to replace it:

What you will need:

  • A Flat tip Screw Driver.
  • An adjustable Crescent Wrench.
  • A New Oxygen Sensor.

BMW Repair Orange County presents in this article the general procedure of replacing an oxygen sensor, keep in mind, that every vehicle is different and could have other things that need to be removed or replaced along the way.

Step One: Locate your Oxygen Sensor On most vehicles, you will find your Oxygen Sensor located on your exhaust somewhere. On front wheel drive vehicle, you will often find it on the front side of the engine when you open the hood. On rear wheel drive engines, you will most likely find it located under the car right below the donut gasket.  There are often 2 Oxygen Sensors on rear wheel drive engines on either side of the exhaust piping.

Step Two: Remove the Oxygen Sensor First, you will need to see if your oxygen sensor has a wiring harness that can be removed from the tip of the sensor, or if it will need to be pulled off somewhere on the engine. Remove the harness to make removing the oxygen sensor easier.  At that point take your movable sickle torque, modify it to the fitting size and unscrew the sensor from the fumes. Note: It is very useful to have some Penetrating Lubricant around to help you loosen the seal on the Sensor.

Step Three: Put in Your New Sensor This step will seem a little weird because the best way to put in the new sensor is to have the wiring already connected, then turn the sensor a bunch until the wiring is bound up a bit and then start it into the hole where it needs to go. Then just tighten it into place. It might take a couple of tries, but just remember that you can do it! Some things to remember before starting this project:

*Make sure you have all tools necessary for oxygen sensor replacement.

*Make sure your engine is cold. You will be working around the exhaust and it gets HOT, so make sure your car has had lots of time to sit and cool down.

*Have some gloves and goggles with you. They will protect your fingers and eyes in small spaces. There is usually lots of rust and debris around exhaust that does not feel good in your eyes.

*Don’t force it! There is one rule of mechanics that I find most people will ignore which gets them into trouble. If you are forcing it, you are doing it wrong. Your parts only fit in one way, furthermore, despite the fact that it some of the time takes some elbow oil, constraining something into place will just purpose you more inconvenience!