How Long Does an Oxygen Sensor Last?

Today’s automotive exhaust systems are much more complex than they once were. They must be in order to comply with much stricter environmental controls and the requirement to create less pollution. Your car’s exhaust includes many different components that must work in hand in hand to reduce emissions and enhance fuel economy. One of those is the oxygen sensor.

Depending on the make and model you drive, you could have one, two or even more oxygen sensors located throughout the exhaust system. This sensor does pretty much what the name implies – it measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust and sends this information to the car’s computer. The computer then determines if the engine is running too rich (too much gas) or too lean (too much air) and adjusts to compensate.

Your oxygen sensor (or sensors) fit into the exhaust pipe. The most common location is just ahead of the catalytic converter, but some also have a sensor in the exhaust manifold on the engine itself. No matter where it is located, the sensor is exposed to immensely high temperatures any time the engine is running (and the sensor operates as long as the engine’s running, even if you’re just parked and idling).

In addition to high heat, the sensor can be affected by other things, including contaminants in the exhaust, excessive amounts of unburned fuel in the system and more. Generally speaking, your oxygen sensor should last somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 miles. However, if your engine is properly maintained, the sensor(s) may last much longer, up to the life of the vehicle. On the other hand, if the engine is not properly maintained, the sensor could fail well before that point and the sensor will have to be replaced.

If the sensor fails, you’ll experience a number of problems, ranging from rough engine operation to not passing your emissions test. Given the importance of this sensor, it’s vital that you know a few of the common signs to watch for that indicate it is either failing or has already failed. These include:

  • The Check Engine Light is on
  • The engine idles rough, or sputters when letting off the gas pedal
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Loss of power from the engine
  • Sluggish engine operation

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s important to have your car inspected and the oxygen sensor (or sensors) replaced if necessary.

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Recent Oxygen Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


Rating Summary


17 years of experience
1794 reviews
17 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner V6-3.4L - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Sammamish, Washington
I am very happy with the service on my 2001 Toyota 4 Runner. Theodor replaced my Oxygen Sensor that was causing my check engine light to be on. He was very fast. I was given a price under what it would have been hsad I taken it to the dealer.
Jeep Liberty - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Lynnwood, Washington
Thedore arrived early and was done quickly. He is very knowledgeable vand friendly and highly recommend him.


13 years of experience
511 reviews
13 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler L6-4.0L - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream, Rear/Lower/Downstream) - Charlotte, North Carolina
Corey went above and beyond expectations with my appointment. Quality work, very timely but more importantly he took it upon himself to make sure everything was right. definitely recommend and will use in the future.
Honda CR-V - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Charlotte, North Carolina
Corey was very knowledgeable and courteous. His work was very good. I would highly recommend him for any mechanic jobs. I was very satisfied.


8 years of experience
191 reviews
8 years of experience
Chevrolet Cruze L4-1.4L Turbo - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Saint Louis, Missouri
Very professional and honest! Thought I needed an alternator and turned out to be an O2 sensor. Johnathan went and got the part and was done in no time. Great mechanic! I hope to have him again should another issue surface.
Subaru Legacy - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Rear/Lower/Downstream) - Saint Louis, Missouri
John was very thorough and completed the maintenance faster than I expected. He was also very familiar with my car already and answered any questions I had.


42 years of experience
519 reviews
42 years of experience
Lexus SC430 V8-4.3L - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream) - Spring, Texas
This is the 3rd or 4th time I've had Ron out to work on one of our cars. He is always prompt, friendly, knowledgable and diligent in getting the work done right the first time.
Ford F-150 - Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Front/Upper/Upstream, Rear/Lower/Downstream) - Humble, Texas
Very pleasant experience good mechanic would strongly recommend to others as well as any future work

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