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axgutt

O2 Sensor - CEL light, then no light!

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I have a '95 Legacy Wagon, 2.2, AWD, 5 speed, with 185,000 miles. A couple of weeks ago, after some relatively hard driving, my Check Engine light came on and stayed on for a couple of days. I took it to an Autozone to have them pull the code and they said I needed to replace the O2 sensor. I went ahead and ordered one (about $100 for the OEM - I'm not up for soldering wires). However, the light turned off after another couple of days and has stayed off since - it's been a couple of weeks now with no CEL.

 

I'm debating whether I should take back the O2 sensor. Is it more likely that the light will come back on again, or that it was just a temporary glitch and I may go for a few years without seeing it again? Do O2 sensors have a predictable lifespan?

 

If anyone can see into the future, that would be really helpful. ;)

 

Adam

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1) Has your mileage changed? If so, how much?

2) Feel the bumper around the tailpipe for soot from black smoke, indicating running rich...

 

These signs might suggest that your O2 sensor really is bad...

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Oxygen sensors do have a limited lifespan. We used to get about 25 mpg in mixed driving with our 99 obw and last week I checked it and it was 22.5 mpg. It has ~140k miles so I am just going to replace it. I just ordered the universal replacement for $45. The one website I went to had a check/replace interval of 100k miles for the 2.5l engine. If I were you I would replace it.

 

A friend of mine at work was getting CELs and poor mileage in his '93 S-10. We pulled the codes and it said O2 sensor was bad. I lent him my O2 sensor socket and he replaced it in about 10 minutes. He hasn't measured the mileage yet but he thinks it has gone way up and his CEL is gone.

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Keep the new sensor in (or install it if you haven't already). I had the same problem at 48K in my Forester...and then again at 64K. I haven't replaced it yet this time, as it's been flickering on and off. Are they designed that poorly or is something else frying mine?

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definately the o2...just change it, its as simple as changing ONE spark plug.

 

My 2000 did the same thing. Hard driving turns it off (detects more oxygen?) and easy driving turns it on.

 

2 day intervals were about right..

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