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1996 Outback Oxygen Sensors


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13 replies to this topic

#1 ties50

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:05 AM

My 96 OBW (130K miles) has been pretty flawless. The Check engine light is on and the codes say the O2 sensors need to be replaced. My indie wants almost $500 for the job. I have found the sensors for $82 each on the Web. How difficult is it to replace these? Is it DIY?

Thanks

#2 99obw

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:52 AM

It is very easy to do. Go buy yourself an O2 sensor socket. I bought a universal sensor (requires soldering the old connector on the new sensor) for about $45 at www.oxygensensors.com. If you want a direct replacement sensor $82 sounds like a pretty good price.

$500 to replace an O2 sensor is obscene. Find a new mechanic.

#3 99obw

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:53 AM

BTW, you want the front sensor only.

#4 Subarunation 713

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 06:05 PM

The O2 sensor change is pretty easy. I will admit it took longer to jack up the car and secure it then to change both 02 sensors.

I replaced both of the 02 sensors on my wife's 96 OBW with the originals I bought from the dealer for $126 each.

You can splice and save $$. I wanted something I could plug in and forget for the next 120,000 miles.

On the old site there was a whole long thread about the 02 change. I still don't know how the search works and if checks the old archives. Sorry, I am somewhat challenged:banghead:

#5 ties50

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for all your help. Where exactly is the front sensor located?

#6 99obw

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 07:50 AM

I haven't done it yet, so I can't tell you exactly where it is. I know the front sensor is upstream of the catalytic converter. My haynes manual shows it being right near where the header pipes from each cylinder bank come together.

You should remove it with the exhaust hot, so be very careful. I would probably reset the ECM when replacing it and allow the ECM to learn the new sensor.

#7 frag

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 10:31 AM

I did this not so long ago on a Brighton the same age as your car.
If you replace the front one (it's on the front part of the first cat just at the junction of the exhaust manifold Y pipes) you dont need a special socket nor to jack up the car. You can reach it easily bending over the right fender (the sensor is then just under the right inner front axle boot) and you can remove and replace it with an open wrench of the correct size (dont remember exactly what it was but easy for you to measure). Good idea also to buy a universal one and splice it in to the original connector.
Good luck!

#8 Myxalplyx

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:38 PM

Originally posted by ties50
My 96 OBW (130K miles) has been pretty flawless. The Check engine light is on and the codes say the O2 sensors need to be replaced. My indie wants almost $500 for the job. I have found the sensors for $82 each on the Web. How difficult is it to replace these? Is it DIY?

Thanks



$500 is an absolute rip-off. I'm no mechanic by far but I attempted this a while back when I first was trying to learn about doing some of my own repairs. If you can unscrew a light bulb, you can unscrew the O2 sensor. You just have to have the proper socket and socket wrench to get to it but that's it. At any rate, if you still feel weary about it, I'd do it for half the price. :D
To put it short, I could probably fly up to you, do your O2 sensor change in about 10-15 minutes, and fly back and I'd still make money. And I'm the guy who doesn't even change his own oil. (Now that I got a garage, that's about to change). Good luck!

#9 monk50

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:56 AM

When I changed mine, quite easy.
I also put antiseize on the threads to insure next time will be even easier.

Monk

#10 PAezb

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:37 AM

I replaced my front O2 sensor on my 96 OBW about a year ago. I was able to do it working from above and with a crescent wrench no less! The forward O2 sensor on the 2.5 is located on the front catalytic converter, passenger side, just underneath the driveshaft (mine is greenish in color). You should be able to get a open-end wrench in there from top of the engine bay, I believe it is 22mm. It is a bit of a tight fit but doable. If you can jack up the car to work from below, it would be easier. Warm up the engine first, but not too hot - that should help "break" the O2 loose when removing.

I bought my O2 from buyoxygensensors.com, paid $60 for the direct fit connection type. Didn't care for the hassle of splicing the connection to save $20.

Definitely improved my mpg by a couple.

Paul

#11 PAezb

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:51 AM

BTW, for anyone thinking they have to replace their catalytic converter(s) due to an ECL indicating the cat(s) are bad - always replace at least the front O2 sensor.

My sister who lives in Jersey took their 96 Legacy L wagon into their independent mechanic - STS I believe is the business name. They quoted her somewhere around $1500 to replace the exhaust system after and ECL reported a bad catalytic. I questioned her about how the car was running, eliminating the possibility of a clogged cat causing backpressure problems and then told her to go purchase the front O2 sensor from oxygensensors.com and have them install it first (she and her husband aren't mechanically inclined to do it themselves). She had nothing to loose as they would have replaced the O2's anyway as part of the complete exhaust.

Well guess what, the ECL went away and they have had no trouble since.

Also, if you know the part number, use the 1stSubaruPart.com website to lookup the cost of the part. They have a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says they charge 20% above cost on ALL parts - should give you a good ideal just what the hometown dealership's markup is....

https://www.1stsubar...art_number.html


Paul

#12 Subarunation 713

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Posted 31 October 2003 - 09:38 AM

I said in a previous post:
I replaced both of the 02 sensors on my wife's 96 OBW with the originals I bought from the dealer for $126 each.

PAezb said in a later post:
I bought my O2 from buyoxygensensors.com, paid $60 for the direct fit connection type. Didn't care for the hassle of splicing the connection to save $20.

Well I went to buyoxygensensors.com and saw the OEM 02 sensor for $63. I am going to go out on a limb but I think it is safe to say I got SCREWED by buying the 02 sensors from the dealer!!! I know you always pay more at the dealer, but twice as much?

I am going to go put some first aid cream on my rectum and see if it will ease the pain!

#13 PAezb

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Posted 31 October 2003 - 12:42 PM

I really appreciate forums like these as I have been educated on many DIY repairs and parts pricing, saving some serious cash.

Don't be afraid to bitch to the Service Manager and Owner of the dealership about their prices on labor and parts if you feel they're out of line. Call Subaru and bitch to them as well and tell them that these high markups on labor and parts affect your bottom line of yearly cost of ownership, and your next car purchase may not be a Subaru. It really bothers me to look at some of these parts, the relatively non-complex in design and materials, and what looks like to be a $10 part to produce actually costs $126 to the consumer!!??
Please!!!!

IMO, auto part prices is somewhat analogous to the price gouging going on in the US with prescription drugs.

Unfortunately, I have had to bow to the dealership's pricing for certain maintenance/repairs that was beyond my capabilities or time constraint. And I can, to some extent, appreciate the dealer's investment in shop overhead and training to repair these vehicles - they do need to make profit. But a lot of the routine/minor repair work can be done by the average person with a few simple tools, armed with a little knowledge, and for a lot less money.

Sorry for ranting, this topic is a pet peeve of mine.
Taking my Prozac now....
Paul

#14 Myxalplyx

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Posted 31 October 2003 - 02:51 PM

Originally posted by PAezb
But a lot of the routine/minor repair work can be done by the average person with a few simple tools, armed with a little knowledge, and for a lot less money.

Sorry for ranting, this topic is a pet peeve of mine.
Taking my Prozac now....
Paul



You got that right Paul! One of my favorite local dealerships was doing some repairs to my Subaru XT6. I asked them while they were at it if they could replace the gasket on my oil dipstick (the little gasket that seals the dipstick when you put it back in after checking the oil). Do you know they tried to charge me $105 in labor? You pull the dipstick out, get a screwdriver to pry the gasket off, push the new little gasket on and push the dipstick back in. They wanted to charge 1.5hrs for this. I almost screamed at the dude and I thought it was a joke. No wonder the dealership just upgraded to a new more expensive beautiful looking department. Now I see where the $$$ was coming from. Good thing I was friends with the general manager there. :madder:




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