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Old 01-24-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
plastic torpedo
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Wrench O2 sensor question

Hey,
Back in the day I ghetto-rigged a one-wire O2 sensor in place of a heated 4 wire one. I've been working hard to get my car back to perfect running condition and the only thing left that sets off the SES light is the O2 sensor heater circuit.. because there is no heater.

The sensor itself works great, tested with Autotap and voltage jumps around within proper range. Just need to know what the resistance should be on the O2 heater circuit so I can stick a resistor in there and call it good. I've seen it somewhere before, but searching the forums turned up nothing.

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Old 01-24-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

Start at one ohm. That's 12 watts of power at 12 volts. Good for a tiny heater.

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Old 01-24-2007, 08:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

Or try Googling heated O2 sensors to find the specs for the heater and output voltages. Google is your knowledge base.

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Old 01-24-2007, 10:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

WARNING: One (1) ohm at 12 volts is more like 144 watts, (12 amps times 12 volts) but given that a car electrical system is closer to 14 volts it is more like 190 watts, if the wires are large enough to can carry the 13-14 amps current without melting.

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Old 01-24-2007, 11:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic torpedo View Post
Hey,
Back in the day I ghetto-rigged a one-wire O2 sensor in place of a heated 4 wire one. I've been working hard to get my car back to perfect running condition and the only thing left that sets off the SES light is the O2 sensor heater circuit.. because there is no heater.

The sensor itself works great, tested with Autotap and voltage jumps around within proper range. Just need to know what the resistance should be on the O2 heater circuit so I can stick a resistor in there and call it good. I've seen it somewhere before, but searching the forums turned up nothing.
buy a four wire heated o2 sensor or an o2 sim www.o2simulator.com

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Old 01-25-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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buy a four wire heated o2 sensor or an o2 sim www.o2simulator.com
I don't think I like that alternative.. I bought the one wire sensor to save money in the first place.

Google is indeed my friend though:

Quote:
Exact heater resistance specifications may vary depending on the vehicle and sensor location. Heater element resistance should be about 4 to 7 ohms for a sensor at ambient temperature.

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Old 01-25-2007, 01:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

someone donate a used 4-wire sensor to this guy.

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Old 01-25-2007, 05:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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I don't think I like that alternative.. I bought the one wire sensor to save money in the first place.

Google is indeed my friend though:
The price difference is negligible compared to the cost of possible damage and loss of fuel milage due to "ghetto rigging"... I think the universal 4 wire is roughly $30.....

If you are "working hard to get your car in perfect running condition", do it right, or leave it the way it is. But that is just my opinion....

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Old 01-25-2007, 08:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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Originally Posted by Bigdaddy94sc2 View Post
The price difference is negligible compared to the cost of possible damage and loss of fuel milage due to "ghetto rigging"... I think the universal 4 wire is roughly $30.....

If you are "working hard to get your car in perfect running condition", do it right, or leave it the way it is. But that is just my opinion....
What ^^^^ he said with one exception. Bigdaddy I certainly bow to your greater knowledge here but, I don't think that the heated O2 sensor will affect mileage or performance. That would be the rear O2 sensor and I believe that is only used to check the cat. Please correct me, if I'm wrong.

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Old 01-25-2007, 09:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

If the sensor is heated, that is for a reason. Lack of heat will likely result in it operating at a cooler than design temperature and its output may be incorrect.

This inaccurate output could end up setting other OBDII codes, if not one for the O2 sensor heater circuit or O2 sensor response. The cost in time to chase down another code probably exceeds the extra cost for the right sensor.

And depending on where you are located, the car might fail inspection if the mod is detected.

BTW: the http://www.o2simulator.com/27978.html page indicates that a 20 ohm, 20 watt resistor can usually be used to simulate the heater circuit. They sell them for $5. They also state that GM cars do not monitor the heater circuit. If that is the case for the s-series, an open heater circuit by itself would not throw a code.

You pays your money and takes your chances.

Last edited by DonP; 01-25-2007 at 09:47 AM..

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Old 01-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

PM me, I have an extra 4 wire sensor I may be willing to donate, but it has been cut, so you would have to solder it in

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Old 01-25-2007, 10:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

The reason for the heated sensor is to put the car into closed loop sooner and keep it there. Non-heated sensors relied on exhaust gasses to heat the sensor to operating range. This could easily take a few minutes of driving time to happen. Also, when the engine was idling, the exhaust heat was insufficient to keep the sensor operating, thus returning the car to open loop.

So there are efficiency and performance gains to be had with the heated sensor, but it would be difficult to prove it. It keeps your engine in closed loop operation to satisfy emission requirements.

No, you do not have to run a heated sensor, but if that's how your car came, there's really no reason not to keep it as a heated sensor.

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Old 01-25-2007, 10:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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So there are efficiency and performance gains to be had with the heated sensor, but it would be difficult to prove it. It keeps your engine in closed loop operation to satisfy emission requirements.
Will the rear sensor output keep it from going into closed loop??? I would think that once the front one is heated and the engine was up to temperature, it would go into closed loop and stay there no matter what was going on with the rear sensor. Please understand, I'm not arguing here. I really would like to know.

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Old 01-25-2007, 10:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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Will the rear sensor output keep it from going into closed loop??? I would think that once the front one is heated and the engine was up to temperature, it would go into closed loop and stay there no matter what was going on with the rear sensor. Please understand, I'm not arguing here. I really would like to know.
The rear sole purpose is to ensure that the catalytic converter is functioning and has no role in engine performance and operation.

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Old 01-25-2007, 10:42 AM   #15
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The rear sole purpose is to ensure that the catalytic converter is functioning and has no role in engine performance and operation.

True dat! Even if the rear sensor fails completely, you and the engine would never know it but for the MIL being on.

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Old 01-25-2007, 02:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

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The rear sole purpose is to ensure that the catalytic converter is functioning and has no role in engine performance and operation.
That's what I thought. It kind of threw me when Gerry came across with that not going into closed loop. That's why I asked.

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Old 01-25-2007, 03:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

What Gerry said is correct. An o2 sensor depends on heat to operate. Somewhere around 700 degrees. A heated o2 sensor gets hot quicker allowing the system to go to closed loop sooner, conserving fuel and reducing emissions.

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Old 01-25-2007, 04:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

BarnOwl wasn't confused about that, but that I wasn't specific about sensor 1 and sensor 2.

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Old 01-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

I don't really remember what my SL had on it, but if the rear has a heater (4 wire) why don't you just swap the 2. It's not as imperative to have the rear heated (although it would still throw a CEL)

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Old 01-25-2007, 07:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: O2 sensor question

The main reason to ensure the ECM thinks there is a proper sensor in back is to prevent it setting code for the sensor and/or CAT. Getting used to the presense of the SES due to a false code could mask a real code of some significance. Passing emissions inspection, wher applicable, helps as well.

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