How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket (Step by Step)

Are you looking for steps on How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket? Do you need to install a new O2 Sensor but don’t know how to get the old one removed? Look no further because we have the answers you need.

In this article, a reliable guide is provided to assist you on How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket, installing a new O2 sensor, and answering other related questions you might have.

When removing an O2 sensor, you need to understand the basics; what part of the vehicle it is located, when it is best to remove it, and finally, how to remove it.

A car’s oxygen sensor is usually mounted directly onto the exhaust pipe near the catalytic converter on the passenger side. Because the O2 sensor is located near the heat source when the car is in motion, it becomes hot and unmanageable after driving is stopped.

Though an expert can remove the O2 sensor while it is hot, if you do not have the expertise, it is a better choice to use a heat-resistant glove or first allow it to cool down before you remove it.

1. Detect the Bad O2 Sensor

Before we begin to go into the process of How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket, you have to first make sure the O2 sensor is bad. Vehicles have multiple O2 sensors and as such, discovering which of them is faulty is necessary.

To achieve this, you need to use an OBD code scanner. The OBD code scanner enables the extraction of error codes stocked in the onboard computer, enabling you to detect the specific O2 sensor that is faulty and needs to be taken off and its position.

The scanner is plugged underneath the dashboard of your vehicle. OBD code scanners can be obtained in online stores, offline stores. Alternatively, you can visit an auto repair shop or an experienced technician to take readings.

2. Lift Up Your Vehicle

The next step involves raising your vehicle so that the O2 sensors can be accessed right after detecting the faulty O2 sensor and its location. In doing so, the vehicle must be stationed appropriately.

You should make use of wedging chocks to restrain the wheels from whirling. Also, get the vehicle in the correct order using a jack stand. Maintain a good condition before checking. Keep in mind that raising your vehicle depends on the positioning of the sensor.

3. Locate The Oxygen Sensor

Ascertaining the position of the O2 sensor makes this step an easy one. Now look for the oxygen sensor.

The sensor is like a plug having cables around it. Locate the plug by tracing the cables; it is connected to the exhaust pipe. Afterward, the wiring harness connector should be disconnected.

4. Use Some Penetrating Oil

Removing the O2 sensor can be challenging but applying a penetrating oil makes the work effortless. How do you apply the Oil? You can start by adding the grease to the parts that connect both the plugs and the exhaust pipe.

If grease is to be applied, it should go on the surface of the sensor, which is the area that doesn’t easily get loosened. Subsequently, allow the grease to last for about 10 minutes so that it will relax on the oxygen sensor before you try removing the oxygen sensor.

Also Read: How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

5. Remove the oxygen sensor.

This is the most interesting part. First, unplug the attached cable from the sensor so that removing the O2 sensor won’t be difficult. This step is not crucial, but it goes a long way in seeing that your tool gets around the oxygen sensor.

Moreover, there is no need to keep the cable intact when you want to get rid of the sensor. Then make use of your tools. A standard 7/8(2.2cm) box-end wrench is recommended.

It is about the same size as an O2 sensor socket. Use a hammer to drive the wrench in. You can make use of a flat-combination spanner which is 22mm, If a wrench is not available.

Now remove the sensor. Remember, you have applied a penetrating oil, so it’s easy. If the sensor won’t come off, use a heat gun to heat the surfaces.

Keep in mind that Penetrating oils can be ignitable, so be careful not to cause an explosion. Be sure to avoid direct heating. Afterward, place your wrench on the oxygen sensor, drive it anti-clockwise with your hammer.

Applying the grease and heat correctly makes it easy for the sensor to get off.

Check out this video to get more tips on How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket

1. Choose a New Oxygen Sensor That Is the Same as the Old One.

How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket

Finding the right O2 sensor won’t be a problem for you if you know your car model. When installing, the new sensor shouldn’t be different from the old one in terms of size and shape, and the brand also must be exact.

Though off-brand sensors are cheaper, do not make use of them to avoid problems. Only the sensor model used by the manufacturer is capable of working alongside the onboard computer.

Before changing the sensor, visit an experienced technician, or you can take the old one to an auto part store to get a replacement.

2. Apply Some Anti-seize to the New Sensor

When you get a new sensor, you also get a bag of bronze gel attached to it. You should know that this gel act as a lubricant. Using a glove, get the lubricant out of the bag and spread a small quantity on the sensor thread.

You can see these threads close to the sensor’s tip; They are the lines making up the metal ring. Remember to put on your gloves during the application of that anti-seize.

If it comes in contact with your skin, wash it off immediately though it is not considered harmful. You only need a small amount of the gel for it to work perfectly fine. Once it gets to the thread, the sensor fits right.

3. Secure the Sensor on the Exhaust Line by Turning It Clockwise.

Ensure the tip of the sensor fits in the hole on the exhaust. It should be centered and gets on evenly as you rotate clockwise with your hand. As it becomes tight, use the sensor socket or your wrench to make it tighter.

There’s no point tightening the new sensor. If the new sensor is overtightened, it can lead to stripping of the thread, which would be difficult to get off.

Also Read: Bad Oil Pump Symptoms & Replacement Cost

4. Reconnect the Electrical Connector to the Vehicle.

Nowadays, oxygen sensors are packed with a connected cable, so you don’t go about stressing yourself. The cable hangs from the sensor end. Plug the cable right into the outlet port near the exhaust line.

Continue pushing the plug till it fits properly. The cable shouldn’t come in contact with the parts that are heated when the car is in motion or even the engine.

5. Start the car to see if the problem is fixed. Replacing a faulty sensor with an old one has a lot of advantages. Your vehicle gets to function properly, consume less fuel, and sound even better.

Also, the check engine turns off automatically if it’s on. You can test run your car to see it stays that way.

Some vehicles require that you clear the check engine light yourself. Switch the engine off, then turn on the car’s power with the ignition key. Use the delete feature on your OBD code scanner if you want to reset the light.

Another way you can turn off the check engine light is by disconnecting the battery or visiting a mechanic. When the check engine light comes back on, two things need to be considered.

It’s possible that you didn’t install your oxygen sensor correctly, or you may have a new problem.

How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket (Step by Step)


The engine management system of a vehicle depends heavily on oxygen sensors. This implies that it helps in the proper functioning of your vehicle despite the size.

Since it is automated, it can become faulty. This is why replacement is necessary whenever you notice a faulty sensor. Black smoke from the exhaust indicates a faulty sensor, and there may be other indications as well.

Knowing How to Remove O2 Sensor without Socket and removing the O2 sensors yourself can save you money; you just have to understand the steps involved.

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