Our cars have oxygen (02) sensors in them. Never heard of them before? Well, their job is to reduce poisonous and harmful fumes when the car is running. To put it in simpler words, you can look at it as a vehicle’s pollution controlling device. Located in the exhaust system, most vehicles have one sensor, but not always.
Some car models come with four sensors. It can be debated that faulty sensors can be ignored for a good amount of time without expecting them to cause any adverse effects, but they still need to be replaced at some point.
What Causes the 02 Sensors to Fail?
They can wear out due to age, use, or abuse. Various containments entering the exhaust can also lead to premature failure of 02 sensors. Moreover, putting the wrong type of fuel can cause the sensor to fail.
At some point, the 02 sensors are bound to fail because they are pretty cheap components. A never-failing 02 sensor would be so expensive that most of us won’t be able to afford a car drive.
So, the idea is to get the job done by replacing them whenever they fail. The new ones will be functional enough to last reasonably long. As a vehicle owner, you owe it to yourself to make them last as long as possible. This will prevent you from spending money on them too frequently.
What Happens when the 02 Sensor Fails?
To be honest, over here, you won’t face any driveability issues. Yes, it might just seem like a normal driving day to you. This isn’t to say that a bad 02 sensor won’t have any negative effects on your car’s performance because it will keep affecting your car internally. Your engine would be the unhappiest person when the oxygen sensor fails.
Not to mention that failed 02 sensors will also affect your gas mileage. In extremely rare cases, they may cause the catalytic converter to overheat, which could lead to a fire. All of this should tell you that you would be better off replacing the bad 02 sensors as soon as they betray you.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t ignore them or drive further than necessary when faced with a failed 02 sensor, even when the vehicle is in a running state.
Usually, the engine light turns on when the 02 sensors fail, alerting you that your car needs some kind of attention.
What Is The Average Price Of O2 Sensor Replacement?
It’s hard to quote a perfect figure over here because the exact cost would depend on the labor rate of the auto repair shop you take it to. Generally speaking, the cost would in the range of $100 to $500. The price gap is due to the fact that not all sensors cost the same. The prices of 02 sensors for some car models are significantly higher than others.
The sensor by itself would cost you around $20 to $100. The rest would go towards the labor cost, which would obviously vary from one shop to another. Not to mention that if you are replacing sensors due to old age, you should consider replacing all of them at once, which will again affect the cost.
What is the Procedure for 02 Sensor Replacement?
To begin with, the auto repair shop will perform a few tests to confirm the issue. They usually use the OBD2 diagnostic tool, which tells them which of the sensors has failed. Once the problematic sensor is identified, the car technician will work on removing it with the use of an oxygen sensor socket.
If you are keen on performing this job yourself, please know that you can easily get an oxygen sensor socket online.
Coming back to the procedure, the car technician will unplug the electrical connections, which will allow the socket to get attached to the device. The mechanic will then work on fitting the new 02 sensors by tightening with the 02 sensor socket. The electrical components will be snapped back to complete the replacement procedure.
Important Pointer: It’s very important to fix any other lagging engine issue at the time of 02 sensor replacement because any unattended engine issue can cause the new sensors to fail permanently. This is to say that your sensor money will go down the drain if you don’t repair any pending engine or exhaust issue before fitting the new sensors in your car.
How to Save Money on O2 Sensor Replacement Cost?
Let’s keep it as it is; an auto repair shop will make a good chunk of money by maintaining a good profit margin on the parts. Our takeaway for you would be to supply the parts yourself to save money on the 02 sensors replacement cost. If you want to take it a step further, perform the repair yourself.
Seriously, it’s not a very labor-intensive job to replace a 02 sensor. It’s a fairly straightforward procedure if you know what you are doing. You can absorb as much information as you can from this post and by watching relevant YouTube videos to perform the work yourself.
In this fashion, you can get the 02 sensors replaced at a fraction of the cost. Don’t be surprised if the total cost doesn’t exceed 25 bucks. Of course, if you are doing it yourself, wear a good pair of gloves, or else you might end up with busted knuckles.