I have a 2001 Toyota Highlander 6 cyl with two bad oxygen sensors. I can get them at the Toyota dealer for $150-200. On line they go for $30-40! With such a big difference I’m wondering if the on line ones would be compatible with the Highlander’s computer, would they perform as well and is there any reason not to buy the one line ones?
Here ya go…you have what are called A/F sensors, which cost more than O2 sensors. It is the way they communicate and how fast they send information that is the difference. I would suggest using Toyota sensors, but you can get them from aftermarket sources and be completely safe. I have it on good authority that they are more than likely coming from the same manufacturer anyway, so I would not feel guilty buying one from a local parts house.
I do however, have a problem with buying anything online. I have more bad luck with online stuff, and I have had customers some in with a box of parts that simply want me to install them for them. After a few years of this, and having the customer want ME to warranty the parts, I quit doing it. If I don’t buy the part for them, I won’t put it on. Solves a lot of problems right there. However, I am guilty of ordering parts on line, and I do have to deal with the problems myself when they arise.
My biggest question is that if they (whoever “they” are) are charging so little of a price in contrast, is that the right part? And, what is the gaurantee?
If you do the sensors yourself, be careful… the threads in the manifolds have a bad habit of coming out with the sensors. There are tools available to clean the threads up, it’s just not fun doing it… Good luck
Checking the Rock Auto Parts website, one of the cheapest reputable online parts sources, it turns out that the prices from your Toyota dealer are about the same unless you were to go with so-called universal replacements. I would stick with exact replacements rather than the universals, though. The functioning of universals can be hit-or-miss in some vehicles.
Good point…universals are ‘one size fits none’
The one and only difference between “universals” and the “exact” fit is the length of the wires. Universals typically have you use the ends from the one you replaced and crimp them on. If you are good at crimping wires and can be relatively sure of a tight fit and good conduction, they are just fine. If you are NOT good at this kind of thing it is safer to get the premade type. RockAuto.com has saved me a TON of money on BOTH kinds…and I have NEVER had a problems with their parts.