So I found this video of a guy cleaning their oxygen sensor out with an ultrasound cleaner. I presume what it is doing is breaking up the carbon build up in the device. Is this safe? It seemed pretty interesting.

1 Answer 1


What it is actually doing is vibrating all the crud off. I have no experience cleaning that way but I now might get one.

What is really happening is since water does not compress this is sending pulses through the water which will transfer into the crud knocking it off using physical force. might be more effective with parts cleaner or electric contact cleaner. So the only thing to watch out for is breaking the part through very high frequency vibrations, and contaminating it with whatever fluid you use. I suspect most parts would be fine but typically they are not stress tested for this kind of abuse so be ready if it doesn't work. I would be cautious with catalytic converters as well you may knock the plating off the ceramic honeycomb.

My suggestion is if you can't clean it normally and regular sprays don't work then you would have replaced the part anyway so mind as well blast it with high frequency sound, if it breaks well not really a loss. I suspect most parts will be fine though. you should also be able to use light oils too if the part is water / solvent / alcohol sensitive. the thinner the oil the better it will work.

  • If it does break and you recorded it @ducatikiller can tell you when and how it broke as long as there were cars passing.
    – Cc Dd
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 2:51
  • being a beginner you will find many ways to track down strange problems like this one that @ducatikiller solved mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/38580/… by becoming a film producer / dj and timing the ticks then doing some math.
    – Cc Dd
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 3:05
  • Yeah, I just ended up replacing the sensor. But I still have the old one, and it seems like it would be fun to do. Not too sure what kind of cleaner I would have to submerge it in though. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 18:56
  • @user1428649 to be safe use electric contact cleaner as that doesn't have any greased moving parts and the cleaner should not affect insulation. plus it won't oxidise as water would.
    – Cc Dd
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 20:05

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