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I have a 2001 Toyota Camry and the O2 sensor near the front of the car is bad (this is confirmed by the code that the computer has returned).

Though I'm not particularly knowledgable about cars (though I'm learning as I go), I'm comfortable working on them given enough information on what exactly I need to do . In this case, I'd like to know the proper hardware and procedures for replacing the O2 sensor.

Specifically...

  • What O2 sensor do you recommend for replacing the bad unit?
  • It's my understanding that some sensors can be easily replaced; others may require a bit of soldering. I'd prefer the former, but I'm also open to the best suggestions you guys have.
  • I also understand that, after replacing the sensor, I should disconnect the battery to clear the computer, correct?

I'm looking to do this as cost effectively as possible.

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Welcome to the site! –  FossilizedCarlos Feb 21 '12 at 0:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I doubt your sensor requires soldering. I would recommend always going with OEM parts, as they ensure the values the sensor sends are accurate. Next, verify which sensor it is as some cars have 4 and are divided into banks (sides). The code should say which side you are looking at. The sensor itself might need a special socket, but that is not necessarily the case for all cars. If you can do it properly with a wrench, then use that. I would recommend you allow the motor to cool, as they are usually located in the hottest part of the engine, and you will get burned. They have a connector, and plug into the exhaust or header. Ensure to use the anti-seize that will likely be packaged with your replacement part, and torque as instructed. A Haynes or Chilton manual should walk you through this easily, and many other easy to do procedures.

On a side note, it is not always the sensor that goes bad. Sensors read the mixture and efficiency of your combustion, and can trigger a code if you are running rich/lean.

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Going with OEM is the best way. If you go aftermarket, that's when you may end up soldering. I do recommend the O2 sensor socket as it's easier/safer for the sensor than using a wrench. You may not care about the old sensor, but it'll help keep the new one from getting torn up during installation. –  Brian Knoblauch Feb 21 '12 at 13:09
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Thanks guys. Finally getting around to ordering one - will accept the answer once I'm all done. –  Tom Mar 14 '12 at 0:05

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