How to test oxygen sensors that were removed from vehicle


#1

I pulled off oxygen sensors from my car after it was totaled in a flood. They were installed, brand new, one month prior to the flood. Is there a way to test them to see if they still work without installing them on a car? The car was towed away. Thanks.


#2

It can be tough to do. You could perform a resistance check through the heater circuit, IF the O2s have this. You cannot perform a resistance check for continuity through the O2 output circuit as the O2 can be damaged even with a digital VOM.

If you own, or have access to, an older vehicle with no converter it’s possible to place one in the tip of a tailpipe with a VOM connected to the output circuit. It may work well enough to get the VOM needle twitching on a 0 to 1 volt scale but it sounds like a lot of trouble.


#3

Thanks for your reply. What do you think are the probabilities of them still working after being submerged under water for several hours?


#4

There’s no way of knowing for sure, but a wild guess might say they’re still good if the vehicle was not running when it flooded and it was a simple matter of rising water.

Leave them out in the sun for a few days. If by some chance they absorbed water through a microscopic pore it’s possible that if there is any water in there it will also be pulled out by the heat from the sunlight.
JMHO anyway, and I could be dead wrong.


#5

If they weren’t cracked, there wasn’t any water in them. They get wet all the time. You can dry electronic parts by leaving them in the sun for a couple hours anyway. They’re nearly indestructable and don’t take up much room in storage. Keep them or not; having them won’t make you rich and throwing them away won’t make you poor.


#6

Although I’m not 100% certain on this, I believe there is no way to test off-car O2 sensors without special laboratory instrumentation. My guess is that they are perfectly OK. A soaking ought not to affect them at all.


#7

They’ll be OK unless the car was soaked in salt water. If the water was salt, throw them away. LEE


#8

I once read an article on the net that explained how to test the sensor using a propane torch. I’ll try to post back if I can find it.


#9

http://tacomaterritory.com/wiki/index.php/Oxygen_Sensor_Test


#10

Thanks for all the replies. It was a fresh water flood. I kind of thought that they should be ok, but I would like to try to sell them and wanted to be able to make sure they work before selling them. I think I might actually try the propane method - thanks for the link.