Hi, this is my first post here. Here goes my story:
I got a 97 Camry LE some time ago. I've been driving it for a while. The mileage is about 100k. About 2 months ago, the dreaded "check engine light" goes on.
Being a complete newb about cars, I did some research and decided to get a free code reading from Autozone. then I went to a mechanics and they ended up charging me $40 for figuring out what is wrong with the car:
1. oxygen sensor is bad (or air/fuel sensor)
2. EGR solenoid is bad
basically i need to replace these parts. the quote i got from the mechanics is,
1. around 200
2. around 100
labor: about 200 total
so I'll pay about $500
being a poor college student ($500 is approximately the salary I get per semester for my part time job at my university!) I decided to do some more research.
from this website
it seems that the O2 sensor is indeed $200
however, some friend told me that O2 sensor is usually around $60...
I decided to replace the oxygen sensor by myself. (I've learnt how to replace spark plugs as a total newb)
As for the EGR valve... I am told that I would need to lift the car up to replace it. Being a total newb, I'll leave this part for last after I am done with oxygen sensor.
my personal philosophy: the decision of attempting to fix the car on my own is partly because of money and partly because of my personal philosophy. I believe in doing things on my own and learning from the experience. I would gladly spend $500 bucks and time trying to fix the car myself as long as I learn.
I apologize for any newbish questions or spelling errors.
Thank you for reading my long post.
Any comment is appreciated.
The codes you have does not mean this two parts are faulty. Any of them could cause the computer to think the other one is faulty. First thing is to test which part is working and which is not working before replacing anything and this is why you need a qualified mechanic. As far as doing things by yourself this might cost you more money incase you strip the manifold.
August, 20, 2007 AT 11:35 PM
Thank you for the reply.
I paid the mechanic $40 to check what the problem is and he told me the oxygen sensor and the EGR solenoid need replacing.
August, 24, 2007 AT 2:07 AM
A few things.
- if by egr solenoid he means the vsv (vacuum switching valve) valve for the egr system, then yes that part is changed from under the car. Its bolted to the rear of the engine block and if you don't have access to a lift, good luck.
- denso is the factory supplier for toyota oxygen/air fuel ratio sensors. But that doesn't always mean that the part available aftermarket from denso is built to the same specs as the oem part.
- I personally use nothing but oem sensors for any car i'm working on and I can't remember the last time I had to do a warranty repair.
- make sure you find out of you car is california spec. If so it will have a air fuel ratio sensor instead of an oxyen sensor. They look very similiar but they are not interchangable. They have different connectors, so if you have to splice and change connectors you have the wrong part.
- ALSO AND I PUT THIS IN CAPS FOR A REASON. I NEVER IN MY WILDEST IMAGINATION, AS A SHOP OWNER AND A TECH, WOULD EVER THINK ABOUT INSTALLING AN UNIVERSAL OXYGEN SENSOR!
I know you didn't ask about them I just wanted to voice my opinion.