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Old 12-31-2010, 11:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
Ford Man
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Russellville, KY
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A muffler shop CAN NOT remove the converter. Removing a catalytic converter is a federal offense and punishable by up to a $25,000. fine and up to 5 years in prison. This isn't like it was back in the 70's and 80's, even then it was illegal for a shop or garage to remove them, but you could remove them yourself from your own car. If the converter gets completely stopped up the car will have very little power. I still have my doubts that the 02 sensor is playing any part in this, but you can go on ebay and buy universal 02 sensors for replacements. You have to cut the plug off your old sensor and splice it onto the new sensor, but the last time I looked they were only about $20. instead of $75+ like a new one with the plug installed. I used some universal sensors several years ago and they functioned fine. Just be sure before you order one to check to see how many wires your sensor has, some have 1 wire, some 3, some 4, and some 5. Most cars have a 4 wire sensor which is one ground, one signal to the ECU and two heater wires. Just match the colors except the two heater wires will be the same color and have to be configured the same way they were on the old sensor when installing the plug. Even if the problem is corrected and you don't reset the computer by removing the battery cable or with a code reader it will take a while for the light to go out on it's own. Oil will ruin the catalyst in the conveter, but there would have to be lots of oil getting into the exhaust to be the full reason for the failure. If you decide to replace the converter, shop around online and on ebay and you still may find a better price than $80. There's equipment for testing the catalytic converter, but I don't know who would have it or how expensive the testing is. Since you just got the car inspected you will be OK until the inspection comes around next year, but at that point it's not going to pass with the CEL on. I just remembered a friend of mine that's been a mechanic for several years told me you could clean an 02 sensor by soaking it in Sea Foam overnight. I've never tried it so I don't know whether it works or not, but even if it didn't it won't hurt the 02 sensor. To remove the 02 sensor you will either need an 02 socket or if the plug will fit through the box end of a 22 MM wrench just run the plug and wires though the wrench where you can get onto the 02 sensor with the box end. Depending on how much working room you have you may need a stubby 22 MM wrench. Also be sure to put anti seize on the threads of the sensor when you put it back in to keep the heat from seizing it where you can't ever remove it again.

Last edited by Ford Man; 01-01-2011 at 12:11 AM..
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