Oxygen sensor

Razorback

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
104
I had my wife go to gm dealer today and get a oil change, we have a 08 trailblazer with 47,000 miles, they showed her the airfilter was dirty so she had them put it on (I could have done it myself) anyway they charged her $91.76 for oilchange and filter, way to much, now they tell her the oxygen sensor is going out, and the part cost $161.21 plus labor, I got on Rock Auto and its $34-80 dollars, now my question can i do it myself, wheres it located, and do i have to do something after its installed, oh by the way theres no lights on so i dont know how they say it needs this. We still have a warratee on this truck
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
You can likely do it yourself. It is on the pass side of the motor on the exhaust.
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
You'll probably want an O2 sensor socket to do the job - most auto parts stores carry them and they're not too expensive.

Before tackling the job, apply a generous amount of penetrating oil such as Kroil or Liquid Wrench. When installing the new sensor, put some high-temp copper anti-seize on the threads.

I'm also curious how they determined you needed a new O2 sensor. Was the CEL illuminated? A lazy O2 sensor could be detected with certain scanners/software, but I have no idea why they'd do that if all you had it in for was an oil change.
 

Ilikemy3s

Member
Dec 3, 2011
371
They may be baseing the O2 sensor on the milage and trying to drum up extra work. I know the O2 sensors take a beating due to the heat of the exhaust but I am not sure what the change out interval is.

As for the oil change . .if they used Synthetic oil it is about right?
 

Razorback

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
104
No lights at all, all they were doing was a oil change and they told her that they noticed it was bad, she knows nothing about cars thats y she had them change the air filter too
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
Razorback said:
No lights at all, all they were doing was a oil change and they told her that they noticed it was bad, she knows nothing about cars thats y she had them change the air filter too

Must be that new GM Goodwrench class - "Diagnosing Sensor Malfunctions and Estimating Lifespan Using Looks, Glances, and Other Cursory Observation Techniques".

Unless it was physically damaged (i.e., wires disconnected), I don't see how they can "notice" that. A disconnected O2 sensor should throw a code.


FWIW, the O2 sensor in the wife's Honda lasted for about 80k miles. Haven't replaced one in the Rainier yet (70k and counting).
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
As some have posted, a "bad" O2 sensor will throw a code.

O2 sensors will get lazy.................how's your gas mileage? A lazy O2 sensor will normally show itself with poor mileage.

I normally change the front (yep, there's 2) sensor when I change plugs..........................at 100,000 miles.

If mileage is good (and you have said there was no light), find a new dealer :twocents:
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Those dealerships don't see a woman walking in the door, they see a 5ft 2" dollar sign coming in the door.....


They don't get a hardon because the woman is hot, they get a hardon cuz they know they are about to make some loot!
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
My original lasted to 114k without any issues, then rolled over and died. Quite noticeable when it died because it started running bad, almost stalled, then the SES light kicked on and it started running OK again.

The O2 sensors in my old car had 161k miles on them and never gave a lick of trouble.

So yours at 47k miles should be just fine unless your having a code for it and/or poor mpg, although poor mpg can be caused by numerous other issues too.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
McGMT said:
Those dealerships don't see a woman walking in the door, they see a 5ft 2" dollar sign coming in the door.....

Let me rephrase this, when a CHEVY/domestic dealership sees a woman walk in. All the domestic dealers Ive dealt with in Seattle have been this way, I got fed up watching them treat my mom like an idiot :hissyfit:so I taught myself to do all the maintenance on our 02 TB. Then her 99 RX300, grandma's 96 ES300, my 08 TBSS, etc.

Now, the VW and Audi dealerships have been VERY kind to her, I have her go in first and see what they say, then I go in and play dumb for 10 mins to see what they'll try to pull when Im there. Been straight shooters whether Im there or not, Im not as worried about her going there with her Audi now.:thumbsup:

Oh, and btw my mom has a Masters degree and does 100+ individual, ~20 small business, and 3 medium business tax returns BY HERSELF during tax season, dont think she's an idiot, slow, or anything like that.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,425
Delmarva
Maybe they were out of injector flush kits so they tried to upsell an o2 instead.

Did you get the recommendation on your receipt?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I would take it in there and have them DEMONSTRATE with the Tech II tool how they know the sensor is bad. Depending on how much hemming and hawing is involved, then demand some money back for the air filter, especially if they didn't give the bad one back to her to show you.

Then depending how much hemming and hawing, go to Yelp and give them a scathing review. And complain to GM corporate about the abuse.

List on the O2 sensor is $96.92, if parts4chevys.com is accurate. The public price from them is $55.73.
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
If they had actually tested the O2 sensor, they would have charged $100 to put it on the machine.

If you do decide to do it DIY, only use the AC Delco sensor. Not the Bosch.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Ya know, Its a damn shame these places are like this. But it all comes down to how GM and the dealer pays the workforce. Commissions and add-ons... You know, piece work. The more they sell, the more they make, and if you don't know anything about cars then they will try to sucker you every time. Just like these coal bucket drivers around here, (I live next to 2 coal fired pwr plants.) they are paid by the load/ton, people are getting killed left and right by speeding or junk trucks because they are in a big damn hurry.
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
McGMT said:
Ya know, Its a damn shame these places are like this. But it all comes down to how GM and the dealer pays the workforce. Commissions and add-ons... You know, piece work. The more they sell, the more they make, and if you don't know anything about cars then they will try to sucker you every time. Just like these coal bucket drivers around here, (I live next to 2 coal fired pwr plants.) they are paid by the load/ton, people are getting killed left and right by speeding or junk trucks because they are in a big damn hurry.

Somewhat related industry - I used to work for a Harley-Davidson dealer as a service writer. We were paid hourly - no commissions or bonuses for "upselling", bullshitting, or anything.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
strat81 said:
Somewhat related industry - I used to work for a Harley-Davidson dealer as a service writer. We were paid hourly - no commissions or bonuses for "upselling", bullshitting, or anything.

One day my manager at the GM dealer told me "If you don't know the answer, baffle them with bullshit." And like was said earlier about the foreign dealers being nice, I don't think that any place other than domestic brands has a business model like that...
 

Fire06

Member
Dec 18, 2011
7,223
Getting ready to change out my O2 sensor. Just wondering for how long do you soak the O2 sensor before taking it out? Does overnight work or should you keep applying for a few days? Why the copper type anti-seize over the regular king ??
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Fire06 said:
Getting ready to change out my O2 sensor. Just wondering for how long do you soak the O2 sensor before taking it out? Does overnight work or should you keep applying for a few days? Why the copper type anti-seize over the regular king ??

IMHO, soak it a few times over an hour or two if its gonna work it will after that amount of time realistically. Copper just works better on those types of things. It wont harm the sensor and helps grounding through the system if needed...
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
Fire06 said:
Getting ready to change out my O2 sensor. Just wondering for how long do you soak the O2 sensor before taking it out? Does overnight work or should you keep applying for a few days? Why the copper type anti-seize over the regular king ??

Overnight at the least. It depends on if it's ever been out before, how much rust might be there, etc.

Copper anti-seize is the high-temp stuff. Your exhaust is much hotter than a cylinder head.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Wooluf1952 said:
If they had actually tested the O2 sensor, they would have charged $100 to put it on the machine.

If you do decide to do it DIY, only use the AC Delco sensor. Not the Bosch.

I've heard this and I would stick by it, but somehow my truck hasn't hated me for installing a Bosch sensor (all that was readily available on a Sunday afternoon when mine suddenly crapped out and I had to be at work Monday morning).
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Oh, and it wasn't abundantly clear WHY dealers offer discount oil changes, it's to get fresh meat in the door to pounce on. They LIVE for the upsell. Well, Jiffy-RipOFF-Lube places do as well, but JRL doesn't pretend to change O2 sensors as part of their scam. Just fluids and filters.

FREE oil changes aren't cheap enough to get me to let my selling dealer ever touch the Roadiemobile again. I just drive by and wave: "You ain't getting NO PIECE of THIS..." :raspberry:
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
McGMT said:
One day my manager at the GM dealer told me "If you don't know the answer, baffle them with bullshit."

I think it was Confucius that originally said that, or maybe Aristotle.

Either way, those are words to live by. :biggrin:
 

Razorback

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
104
Thank you for the info, i thinkthey were just trying to take her money, like i said she paid $91.76 for oil change and air filter, and they have a sign outside $29.95 for oil change, so i guess the air filter was made out of gold. I think i will just drive until it light come on or it runs bad, i had it in indianapolis last weekend and it ran great and it had great gas mileage
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Razorback said:
... i guess the air filter was made out of gold. ...
GM list price for the air filter is $44.02. So their hourly rate must be around $400/hour, or the tech is a former Trunk Monkey on hiatus from the TV commercials, but it really takes him a half hour to change an air filter because he's .... well......a MONKEY.

[video=youtube;8avOiTUcD4Y]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8avOiTUcD4Y[/video]
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sparky said:
I've heard this and I would stick by it, but somehow my truck hasn't hated me for installing a Bosch sensor (all that was readily available on a Sunday afternoon when mine suddenly crapped out and I had to be at work Monday morning).

Glad it's working for you.
I'm just going by reports here and on the OS from members that had to replace the Bosch, with an AC Delco brand, tho get their engines to run right.
If it's possible, I'd get the AC Delco and not take the chance.
 

AbsoluteZero

Member
Nov 21, 2011
211
Got to ask............. wouldn't the O2 sensor be considered part of the emission system and be covered by that warranty? I think it's 8 yrs and 80000 miles.
 

Fire06

Member
Dec 18, 2011
7,223
the roadie said:
GM list price for the air filter is $44.02. So their hourly rate must be around $400/hour, or the tech is a former Trunk Monkey on hiatus from the TV commercials, but it really takes him a half hour to change an air filter because he's .... well......a MONKEY.

[video=youtube;8avOiTUcD4Y]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8avOiTUcD4Y[/video]

Roadie love the trunk monkey>> Never seen it before and it is good for a laugh..:rotfl::rotfl:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
AbsoluteZero said:
Got to ask............. wouldn't the O2 sensor be considered part of the emission system and be covered by that warranty? I think it's 8 yrs and 80000 miles.
The US Federal mandated emissions warranty is for 2 years and 24000 miles on ALL elements and that would include the sensor. Most manufacturer's warranties are already better than that, but not always in 1995, when the law was written.

The 8 year, 80000 extended mandated warranty only applies to "major" elements of the system, defined in the law as:

* Catalytic converters
* The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).
* The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
the roadie said:
GM list price for the air filter is $44.02. So their hourly rate must be around $400/hour, or the tech is a former Trunk Monkey on hiatus from the TV commercials, but it really takes him a half hour to change an air filter because he's .... well......a MONKEY.

Don't forget the $5 Materials Fee and the $5 Waste Disposal Fee.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Wooluf1952 said:
Glad it's working for you.
I'm just going by reports here and on the OS from members that had to replace the Bosch, with an AC Delco brand, tho get their engines to run right.
If it's possible, I'd get the AC Delco and not take the chance.

I certainly agree. And I actually have a Denso sensor on the shelf because I fully expected to be ripping the Bosch out as I considered it a temporary fix to get me on the road again. (I was told Denso makes the AC Delco sensors and they looked identical.) I'm surprised how well it has been working with the Bosch.
 

AbsoluteZero

Member
Nov 21, 2011
211
the roadie said:
The 8 year, 80000 extended mandated warranty only applies to "major" elements of the system, defined in the law as:

* Catalytic converters
* The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).
* The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).

Thanks for the clarification. Looks like the manufacturers have a good lobby rep!

I replaced my O2 sensor as the odo approached 100K with an ACD 213-1551 from Amazon. At the time cost was $68. I see it's now listed at $53.

I have recently had problems with a Delco O2 sensor in the 95 S10 4.3l engine. On a long grade the I'd get the code of lost signal and the engine would go into open loop(don't recall exact code) for the sensor. Amazon replaced the first sensor however the second did the same thing. Returned to Amazon for credit and I now have the original reinstalled with no problems. Only happened on long grades of 3 miles or more but very reproducible.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
AbsoluteZero said:
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like the manufacturers have a good lobby rep!

I replaced my O2 sensor as the odo approached 100K with an ACD 213-1551 from Amazon. At the time cost was $68. I see it's now listed at $53.

I have recently had problems with a Delco O2 sensor in the 95 S10 4.3l engine. On a long grade the I'd get the code of lost signal and the engine would go into open loop(don't recall exact code) for the sensor. Amazon replaced the first sensor however the second did the same thing. Returned to Amazon for credit and I now have the original reinstalled with no problems. Only happened on long grades of 3 miles or more but very reproducible.

I do believe that Rockauto has Delco sensors for between 30 - 40 bucks. Just food for thought...
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Sparky said:
I certainly agree. And I actually have a Denso sensor on the shelf because I fully expected to be ripping the Bosch out as I considered it a temporary fix to get me on the road again. (I was told Denso makes the AC Delco sensors and they looked identical.) I'm surprised how well it has been working with the Bosch.
All sensors I heard of, and Bosch isn't a terrible brand by any means, give good sensor data and function well and driveability isn't affected.

The history of this issue is that the Bosch HEATER circuit in the sensor, that helps get the sensor up to operating temperature faster with a cold engine, is slightly outside the expected specs that the PCM has built in. There is a diagnostic test to make sure the sensor heater isn't drawing too much or too little current, and the Bosch sensors are too close to the GM limits built into this PCM in our platform. GM was probably being too picky and set the limits of the diagnostic too tight.

I'd never think that GM was intentionally trying to EXCLUDE Bosch sensors in favor of AC Delco, now would I? :no: :lipsrsealed: :wink:
 

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