Author Topic: Car repair success  (Read 1663 times)

mic575

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Car repair success
« on: December 02, 2012, 09:20:55 PM »
A small success;

About 10 days ago the check engine light came on in my car, uh oh.  I thought wait, I can work through this.  I checked the codes with a scangauge, took the codes and found online that they were pointing to the oxygen sensor(s).  Looked at some discussions on the topic and thought I can do this myself.

Bought the part on amazon for $97 and a special socket for $8 to aid replacement, which made a big difference.  After it was all said and done it took me about an hour, cleared the codes and car is running like a top.
Total cost = $105!

Now what would it have cost me before MMM?
Cost for repair at dealer = $498 or worse yet me thinking that things are starting to go wrong with my car so I better look for a different one = $15000 plus.

This success feel pretty good.

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 09:17:30 AM »
Friend of mine at the office was talking about going to the stealership to get a new headlight on his Nissan.  Changing lightbulbs/headlights isn't as easy as it used to be, but my response was "fuck that!"  He was complaining that he'd have to take his bumper off to do the job, and that even though he had the tools, it was just too much work.  Hell, the stealership is going to charge him at least $80 for an hour of labor and a new bulb, at a minimum.  I don't get it, but then again I like working on my own cars.

Matte

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 10:20:37 PM »
Nice work, il bet your mpg should be way better then it has been in a long time. 

thurston howell iv

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 12:32:54 PM »
Good work! This is how it starts. Once you are empowered, you will always think twice and maybe try and tackle the next issue that arises... That's how I got started and now work on all my own stuff - for fun! LOL

mic575

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 12:53:49 PM »

I am getting about 14-15% better mpg after the repair, so that's a success too.  After reading in some other forums, I suspect the oxygen sensor probably was not heating up properly for some time and thus not adjusting the fuel/air ratio as it should.  So yes, it probably was reducing my mileage for a while before it went out and triggered the code.

chopperdave

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 11:15:47 PM »
$97 sounds pretty steep for an O2 sensor.

I used to have a Saturn that would ruin its oxygen sensor every couple of years, and the auto parts store would show me a sensor for about $75, so I'd ask them if there was a cheaper option.  Then they'd get another one that is identical, but without a connector, for $16.99.  I bought a crimp tool/stripper for three or four dollars so I could cut the connector from the dead sensor and attach it to the new one.

Lots of dollars saved, and it gave me an excuse to add a tool to the collection.

I second the sentiment about the special tool.  Luckily the Saturn has the sensor sticking out where you can get a regular box wrench on it, but on other cars it can be just about impossible to remove the O2 sensor without that weird slotted socket.

Nate R

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 10:47:21 AM »
$97 sounds pretty steep for an O2 sensor.


Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the type.

The wideband O2 sensor for my car runs $142 from Amazon sold by NGK. Cheapest I've found it.

mic575

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 12:37:16 PM »
$97 sounds pretty steep for an O2 sensor.


I agree its fairly high and this was about the midpoint price of the ones I found easily available to me.  I went with one that others had confirmed the supplied unit functioned appropriately after install.  With some of the less expensive suppliers there were reports of non working units and there also were units that I had to splice the wires onto the plug.  I placed some personal value on those two things, but you can definitely do it cheaper. 

Still working fine.  Now I have a brake caliper sticking :)

swick

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 08:50:07 AM »
Hi All,

Hoping for some oxygen sensor advice...had the check engine light come on on our 2005 camry and was able to borrow a code reader (saving us a two week wait and at least 200.00)

Now neither of us are very car handy, so I was wondering if you could tell us how hard it would be to replace the sensor ourselves and what tools would we need? We don't have a covered garage space and it is currently -15 C with windchill....is this a fix we can do outside ok in these temps?

Thanks!

Jack

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 09:11:01 AM »
Hoping for some oxygen sensor advice...had the check engine light come on on our 2005 camry and was able to borrow a code reader (saving us a two week wait and at least 200.00)

Now neither of us are very car handy, so I was wondering if you could tell us how hard it would be to replace the sensor ourselves and what tools would we need? We don't have a covered garage space and it is currently -15 C with windchill....is this a fix we can do outside ok in these temps?

First of all, most(?) chain auto parts stores will read codes for you for free.

Second, a disclaimer: I don't know anything about Camrys, but I replaced an O2 sensor on my Ford Ranger (in my driveway -- I don't have a garage either) a few months ago.

Third, you probably have more than one O2 sensor; the first thing you should do is figure out which one is bad, and where exactly it is (because that will determine which tools and procedure are needed). You'll probably need at least the following:

  • Ramps or a jack and jack stands
  • A crescent wrench or vice-grips (although the correct-size non-adjustable wrench might be better)
  • Penetrating lubricant (Liquid Wrench, WD-40, etc.)
  • [optional] Gloves
  • [optional] Creeper

The job involves crawling under the vehicle and reaching up into the engine area to disconnect the 02 sensor wire, unscrew the sensor from the exhaust pipe, screw in the new one, and reconnect the sensor wire. If it's easy to reach and the underside of your car is clean, it's easy; if it's hard to reach (on my truck, I had to reach around the transmission and couldn't see what I was doing) and the sensor and pipe are rusted together, it's hard.

Can you do it in -15 C with windchill? That depends on how badass you are!

adam

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 09:23:37 AM »
I can't believe manufacturers these days are making it so much more difficult to work on your own car.  The headlight bulb is the perfect example.  I've worked on a few Trucks/SUVs recently where you had to remove the whole bumper to get the headlight out, when in previous year models all it took was pulling a pin and lifting the light out.

I'd still rather pull the bumper and do it myself though because next time, if I need to pull the bumper for any reason, I already know how.

swick

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 10:22:08 AM »
Thanks for all the great info Jack,

We don't have any car part places in town,  and only one garage. It's a minimum 200.00 Appt. fee and they book at least two weeks in advance, can be upto three months.

We'd like to fix it ourselves, hoping to barter some work space and tools, might need to thaw the car before we can access the underside.

Jack

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 10:31:01 AM »
Thanks for all the great info Jack,

We don't have any car part places in town,  and only one garage. It's a minimum 200.00 Appt. fee and they book at least two weeks in advance, can be upto three months.

We'd like to fix it ourselves, hoping to barter some work space and tools, might need to thaw the car before we can access the underside.

Be sure to check a Toyota enthusiast web forum, service manual, or Auto Zone vehicle repair guide before you get started, so you know exactly which sensor it is -- some sensors (such as the MAF sensor or MAP sensor) are much more easily accessible, and for all I know you might not actually know which one you're talking about.

mic575

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 12:29:52 PM »


I will second what Jack said and add to it a bit having just done this job a few weeks ago - my first time.

You won't necessarily need a creeper but it helps to have some cardboard to lay on so you are not on the cold ground.

Do check some Camry owners online groups - that is where I got all my information for my Honda.  That group should be able to tell you given the code (s) you have which sensor it is and how likely it is that one sensor will fix it, rather than 2.  In my case I had 2 codes and the front (upstream) sensor fixed both. 

Spray some penetrating oil on it ahead of time, then go in and have a cup of coffee, you can even do this more than once :)

If your sensor is one that it helps to buy the extra oxygen sensor socket - which has a slot in the side for the wires - definitely do it, its worth the 5-10 dollars.  I bought my parts from amazon and rockauto is another good source.

Once you install the new one you will need to clear the codes with the scanner and see if they come back, they won't go away on their own in most cases.

Finally, try to block the wind and wear layers.  My guess is that if you have a pretty educated idea from the users group of the problem and you get the part - if you fail it will be because you can't get the old one out.  In that case, you just have to take it to some one who can and have them put your new part in.


Jack

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Re: Car repair success
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 12:54:46 PM »
Once you install the new one you will need to clear the codes with the scanner and see if they come back, they won't go away on their own in most cases.

Oh yeah, and for anyone doing this repair because they need to have their emissions checked soon: be aware that the OBD won't report "ready" until after you've done about a week's worth of driving (or longer, for mustachians).