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Old 08-25-2002, 05:32 PM   #1
93KidCar
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Question O2 Sensor or Temp Sensor dying out?

Have recently added a '97 SW2 to the fleet which has 104K on it. Wife called my cell in a panic becaue the dreaded Check Engine Soon light had come on after driving 1 mile & she reported a period of idle instability which lasted until she accelerated from the stoplight.

Took for a ride that evening & although the light was on, no symptoms seemed present. Reset the light (50 key cycles does that...) and all was well for a day & then it repeated on her.

Any guesses out there? I am thinking O2 sensor but have no way to test it. Distance traveled is similar to time it takes to go from open to closed loop. Is there a temp sensor involved that would cause the same thing? Engine runs fine & no smell symptoms @ exhaust (indicator of bad O2 sensor).

Thanks for feedback, KRK

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Old 08-25-2002, 06:41 PM   #2
wolfman
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Easiest thing to do at this point is take it to somewhere that will read the stored SES code for free or a SMALL fee. That will get you the information you need to address the problem. 9 times out of 10 an SES light at warm up is either (in order of likelyhood) 1. REAR (heated) O2 sensor 2. ECTS (Engine Coolant Temp Sensor 3. Front O2 sensor 4. EGR valve. Getting the code read will make it immediately apparent what is up however.

FYI: The SES light indicates a flaw in the "monitored" systems controlling emmisions and operation of the engine/transaxle. Driving the car with the Service Engine Soon light for a few days/weeks with no other drivability issues generally will do no harm (SOON being a relative concept) HOWEVER there is the potential to cause additional problems with other sensors/systems if you push your luck too long.

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Old 08-25-2002, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, Wolfman. As luck would have it, I read a few threads that suggested AutoZone would read the codes for free - obviously good business - since they sold me the temp sensor for $12.99 on the spot (Sunday evening here & they had the part!).

Haven't installed yet, guess it should be cold for that. Should I expect coolant to flood out when I do? Also, connector seems tiny, any positive locks to disengage or will it all just pull of (gently)?

In case the code gets set again, will battery disconnect reset this or do I have to do the 50 key cycles again?

Thanks MUCH! KRK

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Old 08-25-2002, 08:33 PM   #4
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The two wire sensors plug is held in place by a dual plastic clip which grips a ring like groove on the sensor. A little gentle persuasion with a very small bladed screw driver will release it. Work patiently and carefully as it is possible to snap off one of the "arms" on the clip. A deep well socket of the appropriate size will unscrew fairly easily the "cold" sensor. The new one probably will look somewhat different than the old..the newer version is all brass (an improvement on the resin bodied original) You will lose a small amount of coolant if you do not drain about half the capacity out of the radiator first. More of a dribble than a gush. Tighten the new sensor just till it firmly bottoms. The connector will only go back on one way, turn itwhile GENTLY pressing it and it will click into place when it aligns up correctly. Reset the PCM memory with your choice of method.

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Old 08-25-2002, 09:58 PM   #5
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I used a small pair of needle nose pliers on the grip portions of the connector. That pulls it off very easily. But like I posted on another thread, check your connector to make sure it's not corroded. If it is replace it from a local junkyard. You can only get those at the dealer for $27 each!

My daughters car had the temp sensor, 02 sensor and the EGR valve code. It's been one at a time so far but I have replaced two of the three already. I expect to have to do the 02 sensor also. My mechanic suggested just doing one at a time since the EGR / 02 can throw each other off, but at 143k miles I think I will just do the 02 sensor anyway!

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Old 08-26-2002, 09:06 PM   #6
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thanks for the help - I got it all changed OK & only big thing I would do different is to unscrew the coolant tank cap to let pressure off first. Would reduce to a dribble, I'm sure. The new sensor was also resin, but if it goes 104K, I won't have to worry

I also have a 93 sl2 but w/o the OBDII, I am guessing that the messages it sends are much more primative. Can you point me to the thread that tells how to use the paper clip to read out O2 sensor function? thanks! Who knows what it is up to!! Starts & runs great but mileage is nothing to scream about

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Old 08-27-2002, 03:30 AM   #7
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The O2 sensor will not always set a code. There's a thread here where Luke's was not up to spec and needed replacing, yet no code. You'll find that thread if you go back a few pages. I think mine may be doing the same, as my mileage has been getting worse, and I have the original w/110k miles on it, and no code set. I won't know until I replace the thermostat and coolant, to get my car warming up to temp correctly -- then I can concentrate on sensors.

As for reading codes, the OBD1 blinks out the codes on the SES light when you jump the terminals:

http://www.cronusmotorsports.com/tech_articles/dtc.html

http://www.cronusmotorsports.com/tec...les/diag2.html

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