How to Fix Faulty Ford Oxygen Sensor
When the O2 sensor malfunctions, the engine will perform poorly, surge, skip, and hesitate. If the problem is not given due attention, you could soon be dealing with internal engine damage. Aside from that, the catalytic converter can also fail, and the noxious gases can spike to an undesirable level. So, be watchful of the signs of a problematic oxygen sensor such as an active check engine light, rotten egg odor in the exhaust, and reduced fuel economy. A repair could still be done with your Ford oxygen sensor in order to help the vehicle's computer system ensure efficient performance.
Difficulty level: Easy
Things you'll need:
- Clean cloth
- Electrical tape
- Fuel injector or carburetor cleaner
- Jack stand
- Penetrating oil
- Pliers or cutter
- Socket set
- Spray air
- Wire brush
Step 1: Look under the hood for any damaged or disconnected oxygen sensor wires or hoses, because one of them could actually be the root of the problem. Check where roadway objects could possibly hit a wire and cause it to get disconnected. If there are, simply reconnect the wire. Also inspect those that run along hot exhaust components, as the insulation of the wires could melt when in contact with a hot surface. If a melted wire is found but it still has enough length to spare, simply remove the melted portion, splice both ends, connect the wires again, and insulate with electrical tape as necessary. However, if the wire is severely damaged, proceed with replacement, and then, mount it on a safer place.
Step 2: When the wires are alright, one of your Ford oxygen sensors could have really malfunctioned. At this point, your car needs a scan tool for a diagnostic test to identify the oxygen sensor that has gone bad. The scan tool will also help you determine the exact location of the O2 sensor.
Step 3: Ready your Ford for removal of the sensor. Jack it up, and secure it in place with jack stands under the frame.
Step 4: After locating the oxygen sensor, which is often on the passenger side, you have to remove it. You will find it attached along the exhaust pipe on both sides of the catalytic converter. Use a socket set to unbolt the retaining bolts of the sensor. If it's been rusted, removal will be more difficult. Loosen the sensor by spraying penetrating oil on the exposed threads, or heat it up using a torch. Unplug the oxygen sensor from the harness that holds the electrical wiring.
Step 5: A common problem with oxygen sensors is clogging. So after it has been removed, use a wire brush to scrub off dirt and grime from its metal end. Spray compressed air into it to blow dirt out. But if there has been buildup of carbon and other deposits, use fuel injector or carburetor cleaner.
Step 6: If there are still some sediments that are left, soak the metal end of the Ford oxygen sensor in gasoline overnight. Then, dry it with a clean cloth.
Step 7: Reinstall the Ford oxygen sensor, and run a test.