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Old 02-12-2009, 05:30 PM
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Check engine light is "on"

I have a 98 Ford F150, the "check engine light" came on the other day and I had a friend put it on the analyzer. It showed two error and both were the O2 sensors. The truck has four of them on the exhaust. I heard if you remove them and either wire wheel the carbon or spray with carb cleaner, you don't have to replace them. Is there any truth to this? These sensors are $90 a piece from Ford. OUCH!
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:49 PM
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I have never seen anyone successfully "fix" an O2 sensor. What were the codes you were getting. it may not be the O2's.
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:02 PM
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T Bucket, my buddy owns a Transmission shop and he used a Snap On analyzer. He didn't, or wouldn't tell me what code came up (maybe top secret info?). All he said was it showed two errors and they were both oxygen sensors. He told me to replace all four of them. He also reset the light for me, which I'm sure will come on within a short time. The truck has 130,000 miles on it and I was told that the O2 sensors usually need replacing at 120,000 miles anyways. I guess I should of gotten the codes from him. I figured he's sharp and he knows what he's doing. LOL.... Maybe not! I should find out what it is before spending the cash for something that might end up being something else??
Ed
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:18 PM
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o2 sensor
lean condition right bank
lean condition left bank
temp out of range
EGR

these things gave me fits on my 97 'Bird with a 4.6
Hell---even ford could not fis the damned thing---so I gave up.
Light would come on for a while----then it would go off for a while.

drove that car over 200k and it went to a new owner under it's own power.

Might not be a bad idea to get a Mass Airflo Sensor (that gismo in the air intake pipe). this thing will do strange things.
once left me just idleing in the street---step on the gas---nothin'
(call tow truck --- send to Ford---fix this silly sheet)


Got a 96 Windstar with a 3.8-----when the outside temp drops into the 30s, the engine light comes on-----goes off when it warms up outside----weird.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:50 PM
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I have the same error codes on my 2000 Expedition (135k miles), but my son has it at college. He replaced one front O2 sensor from below, but the passenger side one was very hard to reach. I found an article online that said to remove the fender liner (about 8 bolts), and you can get to the passenger side sensor from the wheel well. I think he may get to it this weekend.

The sensors are about $90 from Ford, but every parts store sells the Bosch sensor for about $45-50. When you get a Bosch sensor, you can use any of the wiring pigtail lengths listed in the parts book (3 are listed), but the stock sensor uses the shortest length pigtail.

I'm going to only replace the front two sensors, and then see if the error codes can be cleared.

Bruce
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56
T Bucket, my buddy owns a Transmission shop and he used a Snap On analyzer. He didn't, or wouldn't tell me what code came up (maybe top secret info?). All he said was it showed two errors and they were both oxygen sensors. He told me to replace all four of them. He also reset the light for me, which I'm sure will come on within a short time. The truck has 130,000 miles on it and I was told that the O2 sensors usually need replacing at 120,000 miles anyways. I guess I should of gotten the codes from him. I figured he's sharp and he knows what he's doing. LOL.... Maybe not! I should find out what it is before spending the cash for something that might end up being something else??
Ed
It is a waste of money to replace parts if they are not known to be bad. I graphing scan tool will show what they are actually doing. If you cant get the codes any Autozone will pull them for you. A real common issue on those is lean codes. It is usually the MAF not the O2 sensors.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:55 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. About 6 months ago I took a trip to Las Vegas with the family. While there, the light came on (first time). I went to the Autozone and they told me I needed a new MAF which I purchased for $126 and exchanged mine. I reset the light by disconnecting my battery and reconnecting. The light was out, success! While driving home, the light came back on again. This time, I went to another person who said it was the transmission sensor and my trans oil needed to be replaced. (needed it anyways) changed the oil, reset the light again. Great, no problems, about a month later while idling, the light came on again. I've been driving this way for about 6 months. Truck runs fine. Now I'm told it's the o2 sensers??? and it's very common that they need to be replaced more than any other senser. It creates a lean situation in either side or both sides of the engine which effect fuel economy and performance. I was also told that if you don't fix the problem, you can burn out the catalytic converters costing you even more down the line. So this has cost me over $300 already and I'm still at first base. It seems like every place I go, gives me something other than what it is. I guess I can go to Autozone and get the codes. It's been three days since my friend reset the light. It's still off for now, but how long? Frustration is kicking in as well. Now I appreciate my hotrods more, NO LIGHTS!
Ed
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56
Thanks for the advice everyone. About 6 months ago I took a trip to Las Vegas with the family. While there, the light came on (first time). I went to the Autozone and they told me I needed a new MAF which I purchased for $126 and exchanged mine. I reset the light by disconnecting my battery and reconnecting. The light was out, success! While driving home, the light came back on again. This time, I went to another person who said it was the transmission sensor and my trans oil needed to be replaced. (needed it anyways) changed the oil, reset the light again. Great, no problems, about a month later while idling, the light came on again. I've been driving this way for about 6 months. Truck runs fine. Now I'm told it's the o2 sensers??? and it's very common that they need to be replaced more than any other senser. It creates a lean situation in either side or both sides of the engine which effect fuel economy and performance. I was also told that if you don't fix the problem, you can burn out the catalytic converters costing you even more down the line. So this has cost me over $300 already and I'm still at first base. It seems like every place I go, gives me something other than what it is. I guess I can go to Autozone and get the codes. It's been three days since my friend reset the light. It's still off for now, but how long? Frustration is kicking in as well. Now I appreciate my hotrods more, NO LIGHTS!
Ed

The light comes on because there's a problem. The trouble is apparently finding a competent mechanic. The reason there are O2 sensors both in front of and behind the catalytic converter is that the OBDII system is required to monitor catalyst performance. One possible reason why the O2 sensors are throwing codes is because the converter is not working properly. Rather than throwing parts at the truck, get a REAL diagnosis and figure out the real problem. For example, a temp sensor that checks inlet and outlet temps of the catalyst will tell you if it's working properly. A scan tool can tell you if each O2 sensor is working. Etc., etc. Randomly replacing parts because some counter jockey says to is a great way to waste money.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano
The light comes on because there's a problem. The trouble is apparently finding a competent mechanic. The reason there are O2 sensors both in front of and behind the catalytic converter is that the OBDII system is required to monitor catalyst performance. One possible reason why the O2 sensors are throwing codes is because the converter is not working properly. Rather than throwing parts at the truck, get a REAL diagnosis and figure out the real problem. For example, a temp sensor that checks inlet and outlet temps of the catalyst will tell you if it's working properly. A scan tool can tell you if each O2 sensor is working. Etc., etc. Randomly replacing parts because some counter jockey says to is a great way to waste money.
+1 very good advice, a dealer may cost some to diagnose it but it is way cheaper than just throwing parts.

Side note- maybe it time for a GM product!
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:57 PM
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[QUOTE=blyne3
Side note- maybe it time for a GM product! [/QUOTE]

If I did that, I'd have to worry about more than an engine light coming on!, plus I like going fast... On second thought, maybe I will consider a GM when the government stops bailing them out... OK, I'll be nice!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:27 AM
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If I did that, I'd have to worry about more than an engine light coming on!, plus I like going fast... On second thought, maybe I will consider a GM when the government stops bailing them out... OK, I'll be nice!
You might want to remember Ford has mortgaged everything right down to the to the F150 name and the blue oval about a year and a half ago and are currently burning through cash faster than the other automakers. Their sale of Land Rover and Jag to Tata Motors in India helped them and they are currently selling Volvo so I won't want to bet Ford stays a float much longer and as far as fast I have a 2000 F150 for work and the only thing fast is how fast it disappoints me.

Ok so what codes so we can help.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:01 AM
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The front O2 sensors are for engine operation. The rear O2 sensors are for OBD2 diagnostics. They compare the readings from the front sensors and rear sensors, and if there is a problem it trips a code. The problem is almost always the rear sensors. It could be a problem with the front sensors, but that usually trips other codes. 9 times out of 10 if you get JUST an O2 code, its the rear sensors.

O2 sensors are pretty delicate things. You're not even supposed to touch the sensor end with your fingers, so I would imagine a wire wheel would destroy them pretty quickly.

Don't ever buy parts from the dealer if you want to save money. Here's a little secret. Try a couple google searches in your area for "undercar wholesale." If that doesn't turn up anything, try "wholesale auto parts." If you go to the Ford dealer and order an O2 sensor, they call the local parts warehouse and get it, and tack on a few hundred percent markup. That search should turn up the warehouse itself. You can get your parts there at wholesale price (but you'll have to pay tax). A good example: I needed a coolant temp sensor for an 87 BMW. At the BMW parts counter it was $67 because Bosch germany sold it to BMW germany who sold it to BMW USA, who sold it to regional distributors, who sold it to the dealer. Instead, I just went to my local undercar wholesaler and picked up the part in-stock for $7.95. Another story... I asked a Firestone garage to price some brake drums for my (ironically) 98 F150. They wanted $143 per drum. I went to my local undercar wholesaler and got them for $34 each.

Your O2 sensors should be about $24 if you shop carefully.
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