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Old 08-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
ratwhisperer
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1997 SL1
Default 02 sensor question

Hi there,

I have a 2000 SW2. While out and about yesterday the Service Engine light came on and the car started 'missing' a little upon acceleration and at certain speeds. Also while idling in 'Drive.' This would get worse if I had the fan or the A/C on.

So I stopped at the nearest garage and had the gentleman run the codes for me. All he said was "02 sensor," and since I was in a hurry I didn't ask for the code number (I should have). He also wouldn't expound upon that... perhaps he figured that because I'm a woman I wouldn't understand him But anyway...

Got home, purchased the front 02 sensor and replaced it. The check engine light is now off, but the missing is still happening, although definitely not as badly as yesterday, and doesn't happen hardly at all when the fan is off.

However, the fact that it is still happening at all disturbs me.

My question is this:

a) When the 02 sensor is replaced, do I need to drive for a while to get the richness out of the system, or should the problem go away immediately?

b) Since there are 2 sensors, should I replace the other one as well? (I wish I'd known exactly what that code said...)

c) Since I don't own a code machine, I don't quite know how they work, if I were to go back to the shop, could they still read the old code even though the check engine light is now off?

Thanks in advance, sorry for my noobish questions. I'm fairly good with older vehicles but newer ones are over my head somewhat....

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Old 08-11-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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1997 SL2
1995 SC2
Default Re: 02 sensor question

Go to autozone. Get the code Then post it here and we'll tell you what to do next. While your there pick up a brass engine coolant temperature sensor, as this is most likely the issue (and if not, will eventually become an issue so might as well replace it).

I've found alot of people see an error code that says "mixture "or "Air/fuel ratio" in it and assume its a bad 02 sensor. 9/10 times in these cars its a $10 Coolant temp sensor, not an $80 O2 sensor.

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Old 08-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
ratwhisperer
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Default Re: 02 sensor question

Okay, so they can read the codes even when the light is off... good to know. I will go do that right now as a matter of fact, and pick up the ECTS. I had to replace that guy a couple of times in my old Saturn, so I'm not surprised that you suggest that.

Thank you

I'll be back in a few with the code.

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Old 08-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: 02 sensor question

Alrighty... so here's how it all went down. My problem is completely solved.

I went to a different mechanic who was much nicer than the first one I went to, and who explained all the codes thoroughly to me. I didn't get a code number, but at this point I don't need one.

I replaced the ECTS, the Oxygen Sensor, and the mechanic also mentioned to me that one of my cylinders was misfiring, so I replaced the spark plugs (which I did really need to do, it was true. They were ugly. I've only had this car about 8 months, and I suppose the spark plugs were not changed recently before I bought it).

The car is running fantastically again. No misses no check engine light, no weird sounds. All is well.

Thanks for your advice!

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Old 08-12-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
DonP
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Default Re: 02 sensor question

The second O2 sensor (located after the cat con) does not effect fuel mix, it is just a tattle tale on the operation of the cat con, so it would not effect driveability, just emissions inspection results if it fails or indicates an inefficient cat con.

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