The Best Ways To Remove An Oxygen Sensor

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The oxygen sensor monitors the fuel/air ratio in the exhaust located near or in the manifold. Since the integration of OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics) in 1996, the number of oxygen sensors on vehicles has doubled. Sensors still monitor manifold exhaust; and in addition sensors now monitor catalyst efficiency near the catalytic converters. Here you will learn the ways to remove an oxygen sensor.

While replacing some oxygen sensors is a simple task, vehicle designs can frustrate more experienced mechanics when it comes to replacing them due to lack of access. Tool companies advance along with technology. Fortunately, there’s always the right tool for the job.

Ways to remove an oxygen sensor

Ways To Remove An O2 Sensor
Ways To Remove An O2 Sensor

There are several ways and ways to remove an oxygen sensor or a lambda probe from a vehicle, the ways are as follows:

1. Unscrew the oxygen sensor

Most oxygen sensors screw into exhaust system ports or plugs. Due to the extreme heat of combustion engine exhaust, the exhaust system pipes become hot during operation and then cool after the vehicle is turned off.

This creates an unfavorable environment for the metals in the exhaust pipe and oxygen sensor threads. Even easily accessible sensors can provide a high degree of difficulty when trying to unbolt from the exhaust pipe.

2. Use tools

Rest assured there is the right tool to remove the most difficult to access oxygen sensor. While many of them offer easy access, today’s tools offer you a variety of options, as well as the combination of other common tools in order to successfully remove oxygen sensors.

Flex Head Oxygen Sensor Wrench now available. Lambda or oxygen sensor plugs with grooved edges are also very popular. Wrenches that fit the hex head of the sensor – most commonly a 22mm or 7/8 inch drive – can be used accompanied by a square drive on the wrench to accommodate a ratcheting extension.

Pivots are another easy-to-use tool for sensors with access issues.. And on the easiest to remove, you can even use an open-end wrench. Always unplug the wire harness from the sensor before attempting to remove it.

3. A little heat might help

So now, you’ve found the right tool or combination, unplugged the cord and put it through the faucet or slot in the outlet, and the sensor is still stuck. Another way to remove an oxygen sensor is heat. While some suggest warming up the engine by running it will help, the fact is that under this procedure the heat will expand both the exhaust pipe and the sensor threads.

Penetrating lubricant in liberal doses can help this way, but if you have a small propane or oxy-acetylene torch, you can also heat the edges of the plug on the tailpipe. This will expand the pipe and plug without affecting the sensor much. A little heat will go a long way in getting the most difficult sensors out..

It’s also a good idea to let the pipe cool down and then chase or tap the plug with an oxygen sensor wrench or chaser. Normally 18mm diameter with 1.5mm thread pitch is used, but check sensor threads and diameter at auto parts store when you buy to make sure. This will make threading the new sensor easier.

Since the threads on oxygen sensors are so much weaker than the bung, you can easily damage or cross a new sensor trying to install it without chasing the bung threads. Apply a little anti-seize lubricant to the threads of the sensor – being careful not to get it on the sensor head – before tightening; although many quality aftermarket sensors will already provide you with some anti-seize compound on the threads.

Ways To Remove A Lambda Sensor
Ways To Remove A Lambda Sensor

The oxygen sensor monitors the fuel/air ratio in the exhaust located near or in the manifold. Since the integration of OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics) in 1996, the number of oxygen sensors on vehicles has doubled. Sensors still monitor manifold exhaust; and in addition sensors now monitor catalyst efficiency near the catalytic converters. Here you will learn the ways to remove an oxygen sensor.

While replacing some oxygen sensors is a simple task, vehicle designs can frustrate more experienced mechanics when it comes to replacing them due to lack of access. Tool companies advance along with technology. Fortunately, there’s always the right tool for the job.

Ways to remove an oxygen sensor

Ways To Remove An O2 Sensor
Ways To Remove An O2 Sensor

There are several ways and ways to remove an oxygen sensor or a lambda probe from a vehicle, the ways are as follows:

1. Unscrew the oxygen sensor

Most oxygen sensors screw into exhaust system ports or plugs. Due to the extreme heat of combustion engine exhaust, the exhaust system pipes become hot during operation and then cool after the vehicle is turned off.

This creates an unfavorable environment for the metals in the exhaust pipe and oxygen sensor threads. Even easily accessible sensors can provide a high degree of difficulty when trying to unbolt from the exhaust pipe.

2. Use tools

Rest assured there is the right tool to remove the most difficult to access oxygen sensor. While many of them offer easy access, today’s tools offer you a variety of options, as well as the combination of other common tools in order to successfully remove oxygen sensors.

Flex Head Oxygen Sensor Wrench now available. Lambda or oxygen sensor plugs with grooved edges are also very popular. Wrenches that fit the hex head of the sensor – most commonly a 22mm or 7/8 inch drive – can be used accompanied by a square drive on the wrench to accommodate a ratcheting extension.

Pivots are another easy-to-use tool for sensors with access issues.. And on the easiest to remove, you can even use an open-end wrench. Always unplug the wire harness from the sensor before attempting to remove it.

3. A little heat might help

So now, you’ve found the right tool or combination, unplugged the cord and put it through the faucet or slot in the outlet, and the sensor is still stuck. Another way to remove an oxygen sensor is heat. While some suggest warming up the engine by running it will help, the fact is that under this procedure the heat will expand both the exhaust pipe and the sensor threads.

Penetrating lubricant in liberal doses can help this way, but if you have a small propane or oxy-acetylene torch, you can also heat the edges of the plug on the tailpipe. This will expand the pipe and plug without affecting the sensor much. A little heat will go a long way in getting the most difficult sensors out..

It’s also a good idea to let the pipe cool down and then chase or tap the plug with an oxygen sensor wrench or chaser. Normally 18mm diameter with 1.5mm thread pitch is used, but check sensor threads and diameter at auto parts store when you buy to make sure. This will make threading the new sensor easier.

Since the threads on oxygen sensors are so much weaker than the bung, you can easily damage or cross a new sensor trying to install it without chasing the bung threads. Apply a little anti-seize lubricant to the threads of the sensor – being careful not to get it on the sensor head – before tightening; although many quality aftermarket sensors will already provide you with some anti-seize compound on the threads.

Ways To Remove A Lambda Sensor
Ways To Remove A Lambda Sensor

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