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Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

This is a discussion on Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned?? within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; This may be a stupid question but has anyone ever tried cleaning an Oxygen sensor? I am curious as to ...

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    Registered User slowrider's Avatar
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    Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??


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    This may be a stupid question but has anyone ever tried cleaning an Oxygen sensor? I am curious as to wheather or not it may be possible to clean one with an electrical parts cleaner. I have never changed one so I don't know what they look like or what causes them to fail. Thanks for any information.

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    Get in sit down hang on. SolMan98's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    Odds are you would damage the sensor tip. They just get old and dirty after time.

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    Registered User 98[GMC]z71's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    you use a cuttin torch and a porta power...








    lol never heard of any one cleaing them so im not sure
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    Registered User slowrider's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    Yeah I have never heard of anyone cleaning them either. I was just thinking about spraying them down with a parts cleaner and blowing them dry. I guess if they are already screwed I can't do too much damage.

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    need a bigger hammer brokeagain's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    I've used a torch on them before. I forget who it was, but one of my buddy's said it would work. I couldn't tell a noticeable difference, even with the live data type scanner. Never tried parts cleaner though...

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    Registered User slowrider's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    If a torch works could it be a carbon buid up type issue. If so, I would think some type of cleaner might do some good. I guess it isn't going to cost anything to try to do something with them.

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    need a bigger hammer brokeagain's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider
    If a torch works could it be a carbon buid up type issue. If so, I would think some type of cleaner might do some good. I guess it isn't going to cost anything to try to do something with them.
    I agree with you. This wasn't on my truck though, it was my z28 and the sensors were cheap enough that I wasn't going to mess with the old ones too much. Still a possibility for it to work...

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    Registered User Tweaks's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    I have never done it but I have heard that you can remove them, heat them up with a propane torch and then dunk them in cold water. I would think a good soaking with parts, electrical, or brake cleaner would do the trick but it sounds like the torch method does a better job. O2 sensors are supposed to be self cleaning but enough time spent in the exhaust system is bound to make them fail.
    Last edited by Tweaks; 06-02-2008 at 02:46 PM.
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    Speaker Pod Wizard KillerB's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    If it is carbon build up, couldn't Bake-off oven cleaner work?? Just a thought. It would be great to find a solution.
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    Registered User Tweaks's Avatar
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    Re: Can Oxygen Sensors Be Cleaned??

    The most recent O2 sensor that I removed came off of a V8 equipped Grand Cherokee that was sending a code due to a faulty oxygen sensor reading before the converter. I was expecting the sensor to be caked with years of carbon buildup but it was actually very clean. I am of the opinion that O2 sensors fail due to age and heat abuse and not because of huge amounts of carbon buildup. I just replace them when the check engine light tells me to. But that oven cleaner is some seriously potent stuff that ought to clean a part like this up very well.
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