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Check Engine Light on 98 Camry still on


So about a year or so ago my check engine light came on. Trouble code said it was a fuel air sensor (read: Californian for Oxygen sensor). Replaced said sensor some time ago. Light didn’t go out.

My trustworthy shop that I take all my repair jobs to doesn’t have the computer necessary to reset the trouble code, but I am fairly convinced that’s all it needs is to just be told that the part has been replaced.

Took it to a dealer and they wanted $104.00. (I had to repeat myself because that seemed impossible for just resetting the trouble codes)

Tried a couple other shops, and they all seem to want $100 just to plug the diagnostic computer in.

Is that just bad luck? Or is that really the going rate? I live on the Automile in Massachusetts where we’ve got about 30 car dealerships, so I’m not sure if repair costs aren’t just inflated here.

But I also wanted to see if others agree that the light might stay on despite the part being replaced until such time as the computer is told to reset the code.

Not sure if this would work or if youn tried it, but I would disconnect the battery for about 5 minutes and see if that resets the computer and the light goes out.

An Air / Fuel Sensor plugs into the exhaust; but, it is NOT an Oxygen Sensor–California style, or otherwise. They are two very different sensors. Other parts of the exhaust, wiring, and engine computer are different when an air/fuel sensor is used.
The decal under the hood will identify if the emissions are Federal type, or California type. You must be positive that, if it’s California emissions equipped, it has the A/F sensor. Because a “SHOP” installed the sensor, I’m not filled with confidence that they installed the right type of sensor.
Try the battery disconnect to turn the check engine light off. If it comes back on, there is a problem, but, you won’t know WHAT problem until the code is read. Some auto parts stores will read the codes, and can erase…for free.

$50-$100 diagnostic is pretty standard. Many people used to get diagnostic and then fix it themselves wasting a shop’s time.

If you have a regular mechanic they sometimes will read off code and diagnose for minimal if any money if you are in for something else.

Go to a place like Autozone and have them check the codes. They should do that for free. Right down the codes and let us know what they are. Perhaps we can figure out what is happening here.

Yeah, it’s California emissions. I had confirmed. The heater on the old sensor burned out. Those things aren’t cheap!

The Autozone near me doesn’t do it. I’ve tried before. I’ve yet to find a place that does that free diagnostic bit. I suppose for exactly the reason you guy said, too many of us fixing stuff ourselves. And I am unwilling to go to a shop and pay $100 to have them tell me what I already know. But good idea about the battery disconnect, I am going to give that a try! If the light comes on, I’ll be back.


If your shop cannot reset the DTCs, you need a new shop. A code reader and scanner is now standard equipment for ANY shop wanting to work on modern cars. Hell, I’ve got a second-hand code reader for $30 that can reset the DTCs.

This tutorial would be a good fyi for your mechanics. Pay particular attention to pages 10 and 11: The A/F sensor heater circuit has a relay which should be checked. Oxygen sensor heater circuits don’t have this relay. These checks should have been done before the A/F sensor was changed.