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Old 10-03-2010, 02:08 AM   #1
dstefun
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Default 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

'96 SL2 with DOHC, automatic, 57K miles, just replaced the crank sensor to fix running/dying after 5 minutes issue, replaced plugs & wires just due to age and mileage. The battery was disconnected to clean cables & connections and that erased the PCM OBD-II monitors.

Several OBD-II drive cycles were done to reset the monitors and it seems to run great but now the only problem remaining is the OBD-II monitor for the oxygen sensor heater will not reset.

No OBD-II codes are set. My Innova 3100c code scanner just gives me a yellow light and a blinking OH monitor icon. Friday is my deadline for CA smog cert and I can't get it tested with a yellow light.

I checked the resistance of the rear O2 sensor heater and it is 6 ohms.

I found a thread related to an '02 that says the O2 sensor heater resistance for that should be 12-27 ohms. The post on the '02 didn't mention temperature so maybe the range was 12 ohms cold to 27 ohms hot? I did measure a couple of 2000's today at PicknPull (no '96-'99's handy to measure) and they were 12 ohms cold.

The rear O2 sensor is the same for '96-'99 and then changed in 2000 so the above info might be wrong for '96-'99.

I've already got the sensor out of the car now so will have to put it back in to measure it hot. When it was in the car it never got warm although it did have 12 volts to the heater.

Should I be able to feel the heater working on the outside of the sensor?

So - what is the correct resistance for the rear oxygen sensor heater for '96-'99?

Thanks for anybody's help!

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Old 10-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

There are codes for heater current hi/lo. The rear O2 sensor is CAT efficiency monitor.

You need to locate the instructions for that scanner and determine which sensor it is looking at, probably the front. BOSH and other brand universals do not perform well in a Saturn and do not ever grease the O2 sensor connector as that will contaminate it. It will be junk if you do.

The 6 ohms cold is about correct. Proper current is 0.5A to 2.4A.

A front O2 monitor failure is usually a failure to enter closed loop fuel control. That is usually caused by a defective ECTS or ECTS connector or failed thermostat.

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Old 10-03-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
dstefun
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

Since it's the O2 sensor heater monitor that's blinking on the scanner, doesn't it have to be the rear sensor since the front sensor isn't heated? I'm going to another PnP today so maybe I can find a different '96-'99 rear sensor to try.

It's hard to find rear sensors at PnP because they cut the CATs out of the cars and depending on where they cut, the sensors are gone too.

Thanks, Dave

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Old 10-03-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

True, only the rear has a heater, but if your reader is looking at the front sensor, and is expecting to find a heater circuit and does not, it would act like the heater is not working. I agree with OldNuc in that you need to first figure out which sensor the reader is looking at.

I have always found it funny that the rear O2 is the one that sets a code, even though it doesn't have anything to do with how the car is running, just how well the cat is cleaning crap up. The front, in my opinion, is the much more important one, since it helps set the air/fuel mixture, but it doesn't set a code

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Old 10-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

When the rear sensor quits but fails to set one of its 6 or so possible DTCs then the CAT efficiency code pops up. That is the first code you get when the rear is failing. There is no performance monitor on any Saturn SA Series heated O2 sensor heater. The heater monitor is for the cars with the later high buck heated front O2 sensors.

The code reader probably has the later GM Saturn codes in it. Use the Chevy Areo as the vehicle.

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Old 10-03-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
dstefun
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

The Innova 3100c scanner does not have a vehicle selection system in it so I can't change the vehicle. I remember that I had to select the proper vehicle on my old OBD-I scanner but there is nothing like that on the new scanner.

The scanner checks for 11 OBD-II monitors and says that only the icons for monitors supported by the vehicle under test will appear on the display.

Misfire Monitor
Fuel System Monitor
Comprehensive Component Monitor
Catalyst Monitor
Heated Catalyst Monitor
Evaporative System Monitor
Secondary Air System Monitor
Air Conditioning System Refrigerant (R-12) Monitor
Oxygen Sensor Monitor
Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Monitor

Since the Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor is blinking on the display, the scanner obviously thinks it is supported. Maybe it's not required to pass CA smog?

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Old 10-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

That only works if the PCM decided to identify its self properly. Go to the vehicle info screen and see what it contains. That is a required OBD-2 screen and the Saturn PCM does not support some of that info so you are probably getting a default.

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Old 10-03-2010, 06:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

Does the 3100 support firmware updates? If it does, you can download the latest firmware and perhaps you'll get more useful results. I believe you'll need an RS-232 cable (DB-25 to whatever your computer supports).

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Old 10-03-2010, 07:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

Most (read all) scanner manufactures are not updating any code for 90s cars, including Saturn. What you see is what you get. If they had it once then you get it and if not then buy a Tech-2 as it does support Saturn.

Saturn is not GM. The code sets are different between the 2 for the S-Series and the remainder of the GM line.

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Old 10-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #10
dstefun
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

Thanks to all for the input! I managed to find an almost new rear O2 sensor at PnP today and just put it in. After a few minutes of idle with all of the heavy 'lectrics on, the O2 sensor heater monitor cleared and my scanner now gives me a green light. Onward to the smog test tomorrow!

For $70 Innova will upgrade my 3100c scanner to a $200 3100e. Maybe I should do that just to keep the scanner a little more current. I think the 3100c is already 3 or 4 years old.

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Old 10-03-2010, 10:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: 96 SL2 oxygen sensor heater resistance?

Good to know. No idea why it was monitoring that heater. It is not part of the required monitors for that vintage.

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