Honda Accord Oxygen Sensor Problems

Written by james highland
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Honda Accord Oxygen Sensor Problems
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Thomas)

Oxygen sensor problems in Honda Accords are rare and relatively easy to resolve, compared with other issues. Sometimes, they can be fixed in minutes, though the particular placement of these sensors can at other times require a more thorough investigation. Fortunately, Accords are known to have few problems with these devices, and many owners will never have any need to work on them.

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Purpose

The oxygen sensor in a Honda Accord regulates the blending of fuel exhaust with regular air. By monitoring how much oxygen is present in the exhaust, it tells the Honda computer how to adjust the chemical balance. This is a key process that affects emissions standards. An improperly working oxygen sensor can easily fail a vehicle inspection. While the sensor's role is a simple one, it is inevitable that it eventually deteriorates, as it operates in a part of the car that cannot escape corrosion.

Types

The oxygen sensor is a required component in all vehicles so they meet standards in pollution control. Thus all Honda Accord variations through the decades will contain these devices. As cars evolve, so, too, has the role of oxygen sensors. Older vehicles will often contain just one sensor, while newer models can have one sensor for each cylinder. Thus the placement of these sensors is always changing as emissions standards increase in importance.

Symptoms

As far as auto trouble is concerned, few problems are as simple as a failing oxygen sensor. The issue has no affect on driving, makes no noise and offers no physical symptom to draw attention to itself. Usually, the only indication that this sensor is malfunctioning is a general warning light on the dashboard. Many owners will never see the sensor fail as it often works for the life of the car. When it does eventually falter, it is usually after 50,000 miles and often not until after 100,000.

Diagnosis

While the sensors are a standard item, diagnosing sensor problems is easier in models with code reader interfaces, since engine warning lights are usually not specific enough to point to the oxygen sensor. The reader is attached to the code output and offers instant and specific explanation. Most Accords since the 1990s will offer a code reader input, while older cars will often utilise matching patterns on a code output display, which correspond with specific conditions indexed in the car's manual.

Repair

Depending on the age of the Accord, replacing an oxygen sensor can be as simple as pulling out a spark plug or much more complicated. The most challenging aspect of sensor replacement is simply finding out where the sensor is located. It is often found near catalytic converters or exhaust manifolds. Once located, the need for replacement can sometimes be confirmed by measuring the device with a volt ohm meter. Since the exact nature of the sensor's location and connections varies depending on the year of manufacture, it is important to have the proper service manual for your specific model to ensure the process is a smooth one.

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