The oxygen sensor is an important part of the exhaust system. By sending periodic electrical impulses at different voltages, it informs the car's computer whether or not it burns fuel at its peak efficiency. When the exhaust has lots of unburned fuel in it, the oxygen sensor sends signals around .8 to .9 volts. When too much oxygen is getting pumped through and not enough fuel, the signals are .1 to .3 volts. The perfect air/fuel mixture is around 0.45 volts, and the CR-V's computer strives to maintain that.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Jack stands
- Mechanic's dolly
Place a jack under the front of the frame of your Honda CR-V and lift it. Slide jack stands under the frame and lower the SUV onto the jack stands.
Lie on a mechanic's dolly and roll yourself under the SUV. Find the muffler. It looks like an oval cylinder with piping running in one end and out the other toward the back of the car, where your exhaust gets expelled from the CR-V.
Follow the piping with your eyes from the muffler leading toward the front of the SUV to the catalytic converter. It is a circular cylinder attached to the underside of the car with two bands clamped around it, and it has piping running in one end and out the other. If you have difficulty, the diagram for the catalytic converters and oxygen sensors on 2 Car Pros can help.
Find the two sensors bolted into the driver's side of the catalytic converter. The one near the front of the SUV is the primary oxygen sensor, which measures the air/fuel mixture before the exhaust runs through the catalytic converter. The one located closer to the rear is the secondary oxygen sensor, which measures the oxygen content of the exhaust after it has gone through the catalytic converter. Be aware that the Honda CR-V has two oxygen sensors and either can cause error codes.
Tips and warnings
- When your "check engine" light comes on, that can be an indication of oxygen sensor failure. Some auto parts stores or mechanics shops run free diagnostics to tell you the error code, so you can be sure.
- Use heated replacement oxygen sensors, which both last longer and are more accurate.
- Many replacement oxygen sensors can be used for either the front or rear location in the CR-V. Check with the manufacturer's specifications to make sure on the ones you purchase.
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