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Old 08-29-2003, 10:46 AM
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O2 sensor

I have been going thru the various components of 1988 Suburban w/ tbi 350. The computer didn't show any codes, but when I went to check the O2 sensor directly, I could not get a reading. It is the stock single wire sensor, I brought the motor up to normal operating temp by driving it down the road and back. With the motor running, I unplugged the O2 sensor and used a digital meter. I did not get any reading from the sensor. Perhaps I am checking it incorrectly. I searched around and from what I've found, it looks that I am checking it properly. A OEM type replacement from Autozone is only $19, which I will go get this evening, but wanted some advice if I am checking this sensor correctly. I need to install some new valve seals (some smoke from the tailpipe after setting overnight, no smoke any other time). I am guessing this could knock out the O2 sensor. I changed the spark plugs out last weekend and the old plugs looked like it was running a little on the lean side.

If the O2 sensor was not working, shouldn't the computer register a code for this?

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Old 08-29-2003, 11:23 AM
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Make sure that the meter is on the low scale, as typical voltage will be between .1V and .9V. If you have your meter set on a 12V scale or higher, it may not register. It should read something, even if it is going bad. Make sure you have a good ground with the meter.

If the O2 is getting tired, it doesn't always set a code. The ECM was pretty forgiving of an out of range O2 signal in the 80's.

A lot of things can cause the O2 to wear. Gas quality, silicon contamination, etc... All can shorten the life.

You didn't say how many miles on the sensor or if there are driveability symptoms. 60 - 100 K on an O2 sensor is normal life span. If you get more, great, but at $20 a pop for the 1 wire sensor, it is probably worth the preventative investment.

-M
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Old 09-01-2003, 01:12 AM
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With the voltmeter connected and while monitoring the voltage reading disconnect a vac hose. (This causes the sustem to go lean). The reading should be around .1 volts. Using the same disconnected hose squirt gas into the hose (to richen the mixture). The voltage should go to about .9 volts. ( I use a small plastic squirt bottle with a nozzle on the end that fits into the hose). You can also squirt fuel into the throttle body on a MAP sensor system. It doest work so well on a MAF system because you have to disconnect the MAF unless you can squirt fuel in to the air intake hose downstream of the MAF and ahead of the T/body.
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