One of the oxygen sensors went bad in my car. I live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to have it replaced right now (quoted $300 at the dealership). The check engine light stays on, but in runs fine. Will it damage the car to drive with a bad oxygen sensor for a few months, and does it require any special tools to fix or can any repair garage fix it?
Yes, You could also look for youtube videos for replacement of the part.
Do yourself a favor…and stop going to the dealer. Any good independent can do this repair as good or better then the dealer.
O2 sensors are not that difficult to do…but they can be difficult to reach without a lift.
Post the trouble code, if you really are mrlucky the code will be for the after cat convertor 02 sensor. No rush to replace that one.
If it is the before the cat sensor you can quickly ruin the catalytic converter. Any mechanic can replace them but some are very easy to reach and some are not.
There is a special socket you can buy to accommodate the wire but I have never bought one, I just cut the wire off and use a deep socket. They go in much easier than they come out so I just use a thread chaser and then an open end wrench to put them back in.
Most cars have 2 oxygen sensors…An upstream and a downstream…(in front of and in back of the converter) Be sure you are changing the correct one…
And generally a lot less expensively.