My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

My 97 Tahoe with 350 starting giving me the 'check engine' light this summer but then would go out on its own and stay off for months, then come back on again. Lately it wont go off so I had it checked.
My mechanic guru plugged in and found a code for the oxygen sensor reading. Is it a hard job to replace that? Im not even sure where its located. Can it be rusted in and require special tools to remove it or is it similar to replacing a spark plug? Not sure if I can tackle it or what it might cost either. Any ideas guys?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 09:42 AM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Jim,
Easy change but may require the special split socket if its in a place you can't wrench. A few times, they were rusted in but getting the engine hot and then trying to remove helps. Worse case,,,spray with PB Blaster when cold then try a while later.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 09:43 AM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

You need to find out if there is more than 1. My wires toyota had 3. It was a 1/2 job to replace at least that one was. It did not require any special tools. Good luck.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 09:51 AM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

A little newer and not the best video but it will give you an idea...


and a couple years older...


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Thanks guys. Dennis good video...after some google reading, some sites recommend replacing all 4 sensors at the same time..since they sort of work together on each side. One after the Cat tells the one before the Cat to adjust fuel or something like that. I might just have my guru do it since he has the lift and tools Im sure. Ive had horrible mileage lately and some rough idle so at 160,000 miles its probably time for some maintenence.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by click View Post
Thanks guys. Dennis good video...after some google reading, some sites recommend replacing all 4 sensors at the same time...
I never suggest 'replacing all' of the O2 sensors on a vehicle - unless I know for sure that one (or both) bank(s) have been contaminated (like with a Coolant leak) and need it ...

When the 'code' was read what was the cause
It should have set a given Code(s) that will point you to the Sensor or Bank of the system that is causing the CEL to come on.
If it just the rear sensor, then it could be telling you that the 'Cat' is failing/contaminated and pointing to a future issue.
If it a given 'Bank' (Bank #1 is the 'Odd' cylinders - #2 is the 'Even') then it may be pointing to another issue - or just a failed sensor.

For the most part, you will find the 'front' sensors are often 'Non-Heated' type, while the 'rear' are 'Heated' - that is to level the response for the rear ones that are farther away from the exhaust gasses and take longer to get to their proper temp. for correct hysteresis output.
You can also read that as - fronts are often cheaper than rears, and have less wiring ...

I always try to find a Bosch replacement units if possible.
They seem to be the most forgiving and best at responding to the range the ECM is looking for and prevent more issues with the CEL lighting right after the service work.
Also, make sure you hard wire the sensor to the existing system using the proper crimp(s) and shrink-wrap over the connection. Some of the supplied 'wizz-bang' connectors supplied with replacement sensors can lead to problems shortly after the repair if they are not carefully installed and weatherproofed ...

As fare as getting them off.
spray with penetrating oil the day before you work on it.
Then drive the vehicle just before you do the work to heat the system - as soon as you get to the sensor (still warm) touch a candle (the reason there is a box of 'Birthday Candles' in my tool box, really) to the base where the threads are. Let the candle melt into the thread area and then allow the area to cool to the touch.
Using the correct socket/wrench the sensor should now come right out - with a little force ...
You can get the correct socket(s) at many auto parts stores and HFT.

And - ALWAYS coat the replacement sensor threads with 'anti-seize' before installing.
Make sure you keep it just on the threads - and - if you can't find the graphite/nickle based type be very careful to keep any of the standard copper type off of the sensor areas!
You can find little capsules of the correct type at AutoZoned and other chain stores - it is MUCH cheaper than buying the 'Sensor-Safe' type - like the $45 can I have from GM ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by click View Post
... One after the Cat tells the one before the Cat to adjust fuel or something like that. ...
Well ... not exactly, but we'll let it go for the purposes of this thread - and to prevent a w-a-y long reply

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Last edited by Vintage 68; Oct 23rd, 12 at 10:42 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

great reading John...I know its way more complex that the old points system on our camaros... waiting to hear back from my guru. He has the reading machine and can get to the exact sensor that is throwing the code and then recommend our next step.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 11:52 AM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

I wouldn't change all 4 either..don't waste your money.

Armando

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 12:58 PM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Jim Fwiw. I had to replace 1 of the 4 sensors on my wife's 2000 Suburban last year, sensor 2, bank 1. NAPA had the sensor with the proper length cable in stock for $56.00. I also picked up a Lisle split socket for another $10-12.00. You CAN remove by using a standard socket if you don't mind cutting the cable off at the sensor. Started Friday night after dinner by spraying the PB Blaster, sprayed again before bed, and again Saturday am before breakfast. After breakfast it took me literally 15 minutes to remove and replace the sensor.

Russ (RJ)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 12, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Thanks Russ. what were your symptoms? Just the 'check engine' light or running rough or poor gas mileage?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 12, 03:05 PM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Just the check engine light coming on every few weeks. I'd read and reset the code with my Actron scanner. Then 2,3,4 weeks later my wife would complain the light was on again and why didn't I fix it the last time ;-). Never noticed any change in MPG then again she has the 6.0 gas with 4:10's and 4x4 so as Ron White would say, "MPG, ain't got one"

Russ (RJ)
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 12, 08:12 PM
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

My 96 Tahoe had that code a while back when I first bought the truck. It was for the upstream sensor activity, as well as a lean code. I checked it, found the intake gasket failed and created a vacuum leak into the crankcase. Pull the oil cap off with the engine running and see if the engine RPM changes, or a difference in the way it runs. After I changed the intake gasket, all the codes were eliminated.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 12, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

Im going to take it in to my guru in a few weeks when he has open time...he said to replace 1 sensor isnt bad IF its not rusted in, remember this is minnesota and we have more salt on the roads in winter than there is in Salt Lake...so parts get pretty crusty underneath. He also said the poor mileage and occasional stumble I get could be the 02 sensor or MAF sensor or something else. Time will tell...thanks guys for the input.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 12, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by click View Post
Im going to take it in to my guru in a few weeks when he has open time...he said to replace 1 sensor isnt bad IF its not rusted in ...

... also said the poor mileage and occasional stumble I get could be the 02 sensor or MAF sensor or something else. Time will tell...thanks guys for the input.
What is this mysterious "rust" of which you speak ( )

Those are also the signs of a dirty Throttle Body and/or TPS
Make sure you thoroughly clean the Throttle Blade before running any diagnosis on the TPS for voltages.

You can easily check the MAF with a good scan tool. The MAF outputs a frequency signal which can be monitored using a scan tool. Frequency varies within a range of around 5~7 g/s at idle to @125 g/s at maximum throttle load - the ECM converts this signal to CFM to monitor flow and adjust fuel table.
(OR ... X gram/sec x 60 sec/min = X gram/min ( MAF measurement ) = X gram/min / 36.53 = CFM - so you can see if MAF is actually reading the correct air flow for a given dispacement/RPM ... the MAP then adjusts the density for correct injector cycle ... )

Be aware that stuff like a sticking EGR Pintle, a defective MAP and a few dozen others can also cause this issue ...
That's why you do a scan of the code(s) to see where you diagnostic trail will/should lead you next

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 12, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My Tahoe tossing me an oxygen code

printing out all the good info. from here in case he's not 100% up to speed on the computer stuff. Thanks again

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