Replacing an Oxygen Sensor

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

I took my Caravan in for service after the Service Engine Soon light came on. Was told to disconnect the battery and it would reset the computer, then if the light came back on their was probably a problem. Did it. The light went out and stayed off for a couple of weeks.

When it came back on, I took it in and was told that the oxygen sensors needed replacement. I was told at the same time that's it's no big deal and if I didn't do it right away, it might eventually effect my gas mileage. Is that true or false?

What is your scoop on this problem and how difficult is it to change the oxygen sensors? In other words, can I buy one and do myself or should this only be done by a professional?

Who ever told you that it is no big deal should be shot, hung, and burned at the stake! You see, it is the oxygen sensor that tells the computer what is happening so it can adjust the fuel parameters. I bet if you were to take your car in for an emissions test, you would fail miserably. You are polluting my world!

They are easy enough to change, all you need is a large 7/8" wrench or a special oxygen sensor socket wrench. It is also true that your fuel economy is probably a lot worse now that it was before. In addition, depending on how the sensor failed (rich or lean) you could damage other parts of the engine.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Have a car care question? Visit our automotive maintenance section and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.

Take the Next Step

  • Reduce the cost of your gasoline with a 'gas card'. Compare them now to find the best one for you.
  • Make sure you are not overpaying for auto insurance. See how much you could save with just a few clicks. Fast, free quotes and online comparisons.
  • Get all the facts before you buy or sell a vehicle. will give you what you need to know to make a confident deal.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to any newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt