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1998 Honda Accord

A local repair shop told me today the reason my SES light is on is because both my upper and lower oxygen sensors need to be replaced. They want a total of $360.00 for the job (parts and labor). How hard is this to do? I use a mobile mechanic from time to time. I checked advanced Auto. I can buy both sensors myself for about 140 bucks I think. Are these things hard to install? Can I save myself a little money by having my mobile mechanic do it?

What do you recommend? TIA for any replies. Is this more of an environmental thing?

$360 for 2 oxygen sensors, diagnosis and labor actually sounds quite fair to me

It’s not that difficult to replace the oxygen sensors . . . unless they’re stuck

You might have to put the car on jack stands, to get to the downstream sensor

I highly suggest using Japanese sensors, if you’re going to tackle this yourself.

I changed the O2 sensor on my 90’s Corolla and had no problem. No special tools were required. Took about 10 minutes. Some newer ones though are harder to remove and may require special tools. You can usually rent the special tools gratis from the place you buy the sensors.

Environmental thing? Well, partially. What it means is that the engine computer is having difficulty achieving the desired air/fuel mixture. It has to inject much more or much less gas than it thinks it should. Depending on the actual trouble codes, this may or may not be due to faulty O2 sensors. O2 sensors are pretty robust, esp the kind that simply switch between readings of too much O2 and not enough O2. The kind that measures the concentration of O2 isn’t quite as robust. It’s been said here pretty often that there’s a lot of O2 sensors replaced which had nothing wrong with them.

Edit: Make sure you use the OEM version of the sensor. (Denso for the Corolla)

Thanks GeorgeSanJose and db4690. Much appreciated.


In regards to those oxygen sensors which were needlessly replaced . . .

In my opinion, many of those sensors were replaced by idiots who see a P0170, P0171, P0174 lean code and condemn all of the sensors, without trying to determine if there is an actual lean condition

These guys that do that are in effect shooting the messenger. And they don’t even understand

It’s like having oil dripping on your driveway. And somehow the oil is to blame, not the leaking gasket . . . yeah, makes no sense

Honda charges an arm and a leg for OEM oxygen sensors, but I think the price is worth it. I would get a second opinion. The error code you’re getting could be an engine problem rather than a sensor failure.

Before you buy new sensors, locate them on your car and then judge whether or not you have the tools and ability to tackle this job…

Exactly what codes are your getting?