What Causes Oxygen Sensor To Fail?

1994 Civic: Oxygen sensor heater?

I just checked the code on my 1994 2 dr coupe civic and it gave me code 41 which is something with the oxygen sensor heater. Can anyone answer these for me? - In layman's terms, what is it? - Can I can drive on it for now? - Can I easily fix it myself? - How much is the part or how much are the repairs roughly if someone else has to fix it? If you could answer any or all of these, I would greatly appreciate it.

An oxygen sensor has to reach a certain temperature before it can accurately detect the oxygen levels in the exhaust. The heater is a tiny electrical element inside the sensor that heats it up faster. So either the heater is burned out, the connection is bad, or you have a wiring problem.

Usually replacing the oxygen sensor fixes the problem.

You can drive it, but you're wasting gas. You can replace the sensor yourself with an oxygen sensor socket and a ratchet (rent one from the parts store). Read this post on how to do it.


Then read this one if you want to know what it does


The part is about $80. (Do NOT get a universal fit sensor).

What causes oxygen sensor to go white?

My oxygen sensor (the one before the catalytic ) has gone white. What causes this?

It is running very lean. however it would just need to be replaced, they fail after about 80K miles

Car bucking...oxygen sensor?

My check engine light went on a couple weeks ago and the guy at Auto Zone tested it and said the oxygen sensor was bad. I just ignored it, but now the car is bucking when I hit the gas. Could a bad oxygen sensor cause this?

The oxygen sensor can't cause the car to buck, and it is unlikely there was a code that actually said an O2 sensor is bad. One of the frustrations of OBDII generic code definitions is that when a part is mentioned it is almost never at fault. The case of heated O2 sensors is classic - nearly all cases of heated O2 sensor codes is the heater control power or the circuit that controls the heater power.

If you get the actual code(s), like P0123, we can do a lot more with it.

On a Chrysler Concorde LXI changing the downstream oxygen sensor question?

How can I easily change the downstream bank 2 driver's side oxygen sensor? It appears to be awfully tight spot to get into, any advice?

Get a torch and heat up the area around the base of the O2 sensor, then loosen.

how do you test an oxygen sensor?

my car has 4 sensors and i got different readings of resistance on each of them, is there another way to test them ?

Oxygen sensors are not measured by resistance. They more resemble oxygen powered batteries. They are usually connected to a .5 v dc bias voltage. The sensor, when heated by the exhaust stream, either absorbs this bias voltage ( in a lean exhaust) or adds to the voltage( rich exhaust). You can therefore watch the oxygen sensor performance using a DVOM ( digital volt-ohm meter) set to dc volt scale say 0-4 volt range. Connect the + lead ovf the DVOM to the Ox sensor lead by backprobing the connector with a straight pin. Connect the - lead to a good engine ground. The Ox sensor should fluctuate quickly from near 0 to near 1 volt. if it shows slow fluctuations or none at all and you are connected right the sensor is probably degraded. Try it on one you know works first. Get an idea what it should look like. AMd make sure you run the engine at 2000 rpm for 2 minutes before you check. It has to be goodnhot to work.

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