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post #1 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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O2 Sensor symptoms

Hi all,

This morning, my check engine light came on for the first time in the 4 years I have owned my 2004 EX-L 4 cyl Sedan.

I was able to make an appointment at the dealership for Tuesday PM (in 4 days).

From what I can see here, the most likely culprit is the O2 sensor.
Lately I have found my car to use a little more fuel than usual, although it's not that obvious. Also, on colder mornings, I find its exhaust smells funny. It's a strong smell. It almost smells like unburned fuel and I smell from pretty far away from the car. However, I have been noticing that from quite some time, well before the light came on.

Could it confirm that it's the O2 sensor that has been degarding over time or is the sensor one of those parts that either works or not ?

Also, I know how everyone feels about stealerships... It sounds like this is a no brainer but frankly, working on my car is not my cup of tea. Having said that, is this something simple enough for any garage to diagnose and fix ?

Thanks !

Chaotik

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post #2 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 07:23 AM
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I'm not sure if you have anything similar, but down this way, we have Autozone (chain parts store) that will scan your car for free if your check engine light is on. Obviously, the hope is that they tell you what is wrong and you buy the part directly from them to fix it.

O2 sensors--in my experience--are simple to replace. I've never had to do one in my Honda, but I've replaced a few in my day. Outside of location and fitting a tool in there, the only real issue I've ever had is actually getting the thing to turn (it's screwed into an exhaust pipe or manifold). Usually, a little penetrating fluid and some leverage will get it to move though.

If you haven't grabbed one already, get a Hayne's Manual. They're pretty specific to make/model/year and they're worth their money within one repair...easily. They sell them at most autoparts stores and Hayne's website also offers donwloadable content.

Get at it!

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post #3 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotik View Post
Hi all,

This morning, my check engine light came on for the first time in the 4 years I have owned my 2004 EX-L 4 cyl Sedan.

I was able to make an appointment at the dealership for Tuesday PM (in 4 days).

From what I can see here, the most likely culprit is the O2 sensor.
Lately I have found my car to use a little more fuel than usual, although it's not that obvious. Also, on colder mornings, I find its exhaust smells funny. It's a strong smell. It almost smells like unburned fuel and I smell from pretty far away from the car. However, I have been noticing that from quite some time, well before the light came on.

Could it confirm that it's the O2 sensor that has been degarding over time or is the sensor one of those parts that either works or not ?

Also, I know how everyone feels about stealerships... It sounds like this is a no brainer but frankly, working on my car is not my cup of tea. Having said that, is this something simple enough for any garage to diagnose and fix ?

Thanks !

Chaotik
How many KMS does it have on it? If its an O2 replace the dealership will chaarge you around $350.00 to change it (atleast thats what Honda Whitby quoted me). Its worth it to take it to the dealer unless you have a really trust worthy mechanic.

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post #4 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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I have 155000km so 96000 miles

$350.. wow.. expensive.. since we usually get shafted in Canada, it will be even more.. considering it sounds like the part is $50, it sounds really expensive !
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Just noticed you're in Canada too..

Still.. $350 ! I'll report back when I get quoted next week..
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 09:37 AM
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Just noticed you're in Canada too..

Still.. $350 ! I'll report back when I get quoted next week..
The dealership I go to will install customer supplied parts (for their normal fee, $102.00 + tax/h) but there is no warranty. You can purchase the part off off Majestic Honda's website for like $66 dollars. When mine went out I was at just under 200,000 KMS, so it might not be the O2.

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post #7 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not sure if you have anything similar, but down this way, we have Autozone (chain parts store) that will scan your car for free if your check engine light is on.
Do this if possible instead of wasting your money at the dealership. The dealership will likely charge you atleast $60 (probably closer to $90) for their "diagnostic fee." Why pay this fee when you can have it done for free at a parts store.

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post #8 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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Just noticed you're in Canada too..

Still.. $350 ! I'll report back when I get quoted next week..
Whoa...that's heavy.

I definitely think you should pick up a Hayne's Manual. Like I said, I've never replaced one on these cars, but unless I'm missing something (totally possible), it's not a very hard job. All you'll really need is a wrench.

At worst, you spend the $20 on the book or download and you'll use it for something simple in the future.
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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well guess what...

I get back in my car for the drive home... get her started and the CEL is still on. I get on the highway and magic... it turned itself off and has been off since.

Should I still have it looked at ? are events logged somewhere or now that it's off does that mean I'll never know what is was ?

It seems odd that it would come on then off on its own...
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 06:35 PM
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Like someone else mentioned earlier, find a place that will hook up a scan tool for free. I"ve done that 3 times. 2 of the times it was on my daughter's '96 Accord. Both times the code said it was the O2 sensor and both times a replacement sensor fixed it. I think I paid around $100 bucks for a sensor but I'm a stickler to get as close to OE with electrical parts.

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post #11 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Closest thing we have to Autozone in Canada is Napa Auto Parts.
I called them today and they don't do code reading... Not even for a fee.

To the Canucks out there : is there a place that does this ? I'm in Montreal.

Thanks !
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I just had a flash... I always pump my own gas.. Except 2 days before the light came on. I went to a full service station. I'm thinking the dude didn't put the gas cap on properly.
But could the light come on 2 days later ?

Also, before leaving from work, I unscrewed the gas cap and put it back on and started the car. The light was still on but turned itself off 5 minutes later when entering the highway.

Wouldn't a loose gas cap have triggered the light right away and putting it back on properly turn it off right away ?
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-09-2011, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotik View Post
I just had a flash... I always pump my own gas.. Except 2 days before the light came on. I went to a full service station. I'm thinking the dude didn't put the gas cap on properly.
But could the light come on 2 days later ?

Also, before leaving from work, I unscrewed the gas cap and put it back on and started the car. The light was still on but turned itself off 5 minutes later when entering the highway.

Wouldn't a loose gas cap have triggered the light right away and putting it back on properly turn it off right away ?
I recall reading somewhere that for CEL to come on the computer has to sense an error for two minutes with the component before it comes on. I'm not sure if this is true but that could have been why the light went off after 5 minutes of driving after re tightening the gas cap. I will say when mine went on for O2 sensor the light didn't go off until they reset the ECU (after original diagnostic and after changing the sensor).

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post #14 of 21 Old 12-11-2011, 10:11 PM
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Generally, it takes a couple warm ups from cold without fault for the light to shut off on it's own but even though the light is off the code will store for probably another 40 drive cycles. And depending on the trip, the EVAP monitor could run and find a problem within a couple of miles or not for quite some time. It'd be good to know what it is because, as you can see you could have unnecessarily spent 300 on something that was working fine.

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post #15 of 21 Old 12-13-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well..the dealer read the code and was nice enough to do it free of charge...!

Result : it was indeed the gas cap...

geez... I'm glad I didn't have to pay $90 for that !

No more full service stations for me..

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