Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Where Is the O2 Sensor Located?

asked by on

Where is the O2 sensor located?

A: Oxygen sensors O2 sensors will always be lo...

Oxygen sensors O2 sensors will always be located in the exhaust system. Their function is to sense how much oxygen remains in the exhaust that is flowing out of the engine, and report that information to the vehicle’s engine control computer.

This information is then used to help with accurate fuel delivery to the engine under various driving conditions. Your vehicle’s main computer, the powertrain control module, monitors operation of the O2 sensors. If a problem is noted, the Check Engine Light will illuminate and a diagnostic trouble code will be stored in the PCM’s memory to assist a technician with the diagnostic process.

A couple helpful tips to assist in locating O2 sensors:

  • Vehicles built after 1996 will have at least two O2 sensors
  • 4 cylinder engines will have two oxygen sensors
  • V-6 and V-8 engines will usually have 3 or 4 oxygen sensors
  • The sensors will have 1-4 wires on them
  • The front sensor(s) will be located under the hood, on the exhaust, very close to the engine
  • The rear one(s) will be located under the vehicle, directly after the catalytic convertor

The sensor(s) close to the engine are sometimes called “pre-cat”, being located before the catalytic convertor. This O2 sensor provides information about oxygen content in the exhaust before it is treated by the catalytic convertor. The O2 sensor located after the catalytic convertor is referred to as “post-cat” and provides data about oxygen content after the exhaust has been treated by the catalytic convertor.

When replacing O2 sensors that have been diagnosed as faulty, it is strongly recommended to obtain original equipment brand sensors. They are designed and calibrated to work with your vehicle’s computer. If you have a V6 or V8 engine, replace sensors on both sides at the same time for best results.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Advice on how to find the exhaust manifold leak

The first thing to do is check it when the engine is cold. When it is cold the metal shrinks and if it is leaking, it will leak more. Also, since it's cold you can feel around with your hands....

Q: When accelerating, car backfires or turns off

Hello. There is a possible recall for the ignition control module on your vehicle. You will need to contact a GM dealer and see if your vehicle is on the recall for the recall 03v231000 ignition control module failure. The...

Q: Car stalling at first start, black smoke from exhaust

Hello. There are a few possibilities for why your car is stalling when you first start it. Your car’s coolant temperature sensor could be sending the wrong information to the PCM, which will cause the PCM to send the wrong...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.