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!