2000 Nissan Maxima Replacing O2 Sensors

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 121,000 MILES
My car has been dying when I engage the clutch or idle. When I try to accelerate it doesn't respond and the fuel economy has dropped by half. I took it in and the guy said all 4 O2 sensors need to be replaced. However, he said that they are not positive that it is the O2 sensor and need an extra hour or 2 of diagnosing to know if it is in fact the sensors or the computer that has gone out. Is it likely that my computer is the problem? Is that difficult/expensive to fix?

mainly, should I do the extra diagnosis to verify if it is the computer or the sensors?

and, can I change out the sensors myself? Will I need a special tool? Will I need to have the car lifted or can I reach the sensors from the top? Are the sensors easy to find? Is there a manual that will point them out for me? If not, how will I know that I am looking at the sensors?

thanks for all of your help! Don't have a lot of money, but need to get this done as cheaply and quickly as possible.
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have the same problem?
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 AT 3:24 PM

1 Reply

Im not 100% sure, but I am pretty sure the O2 sensors will make the car die, so my bet would be on the computer. Not sure of how much it will cost to replace the computer, but count on a pretty penny at a dealer.

The sensors are pretty easy to replace. No special tools needed; crescent wrench or specific size open end wrench. They will be located all along the exhaust system - only accessible from the bottom. You should be able to locate them from a mechanic's book if you have trouble. They look something like a spark plug with wires coming out of it. So, locate, unscrew and rewire. If you can do it yourself, you can save yourself about $250.

Further, I had to adjust the idle on our car because it would die when I tried to start it after it had sat for a while. So, try that; otherwise, take it to a trusted mechanic.

He is an example of car dealer rip off: I called a local Nissan dealer to replace a power steering pump on this same care. Quote? $717.50. Went to AutoZone and got the part for $170. Replaced it in 3 hours. And I am pretty sure no dealer will attempt to charge $180/hr. For labor. Think first before you take it to a dealer.
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Sunday, February 17th, 2008 AT 7:14 PM

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