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Discussion Starter #1
and if so how badly and what can I do about it?


I took my car (96 Intrepid, Base, 3.5L, 96K miles) in to the dealership last week because it was leaking oil from behind the timing cover.


They diagnosed it as the rear main seal and left cam seal leaking, which were replaced under the cars 7 year 100000 mile warranty. They also said the air conditioning compressor was leaking, and replaced that, also under warranty.

I picked up my car tuesday morning, drove it home, seemed fine. tuesday afternoon, I got in it to go pick up my sister from school, and the check engine light came on steady.

I calle the dealer, immediately took it right back. They said ok, intake manifold is leaking, and the 02 sensor has gone bad. (The work order staes drb code 174 for the left fuel bank system lean. inspected and found the plenum gasket leaking). They replaced the manifold and plenum gaske under warranty, but said it would be $160 to do the o2 sensor.

I said I'd think about that, and had them do the intake manifold, I called back later and they said thatafter the replaced the intake manifold, the check engine liht was no longer coming on.

I picked up my car wednesday morning, driving home, bam, the light comes back on.

I clale the dealer, he said the o2 sensor was switching when they tes drove it previously, and to wait a day or two and see if it was intermittent or stayed on.

The check engine light is still comnig on steady, I checked the codes on the chart and got 12, 21, and 51.

(battery disconnect,lean air mixture detected, o2 sensor response slower than required.)




I'm asking for advice, what should I do when I go back to the dealer, should I be pressing them to take car of the o2 sensor for free because eerything was working besides the oil leak a week ago when I brought it in, now its developed these other problems, and it's still saying it has a lean fuel mixture, but is that because of the o2 sensor?


Should I even bother going back there, if anybody can tell me if what the dealership is saying makes sense, and how I should respond, thanks for the advice.


Sorry for the double post, I posted this in the first gen GD and got nothing.
 

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Since you are pretty sure you know what the problem is...At minimum have an independant repair shop replace the O2 sensor if you can't do it yourself...should save a few bucks over the dealer.

Not sure how hard it is to replace the sensor...maybe someone else will have an idea...
 

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I'm not at all familiar with your car but the repairs they made have nothing to do with the 02 sensors. could it be just coincidence that happened after the repairs... it may have happened anway. maybe you should try resetting you ECU once more and see if the codes return. have you checked the o2 sensor connections?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
desiva said:
I'm not at all familiar with your car but the repairs they made have nothing to do with the 02 sensors. could it be just coincidence that happened after the repairs... it may have happened anway. maybe you should try resetting you ECU once more and see if the codes return. have you checked the o2 sensor connections?


Where can I look to check the connectors?

I just want to be sure, because netiher problem existed until I took it in, if it's at least reasonable what the dealership is saying, then I'll bite the bullet (which isn't actually that bad) and just get it fixed and have it done with.
 

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The o2 sensors are in the exhaust pipeing. Not sure exactly where on these cars. Havent had to replace mine yet. You should have 4.
 

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O2 sensor

Oxygen sensors dont last forever - they can outright fail (give a reading outside the range) or respond slowly (its getting "lazy")
Follow your exhaust from the manifold and look for anything that looks like a spark plug screwed into your exhaust. Sometimes they unscrew easily, and frequently they hold on for life. Or bite it and have the dealer do it. But do feel lucky that you just had approx $1500 worth of work done for "free".
 

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as alleycat said, O2 sensors don't last forever. infact they're maintainance components which is "supposed" to be changed out at some point in time... but nobody really does this until they fail. when you locate the sensors on the exhaust (possibly from up top... not sure of the 1st gen) near the engine (1 probably before a cat/resonator and 1 after, on both sides), follow the wire back to where it plugs into the connector.

my understanding is that O2 sensors vary in quality (although i'm not an expert) but you can try inexpensive ones from a-zone or pep boyz. i don't know what the chance of all of them going bad at one time is.... doesn't the code that you get tell you more specifically which one is detecting lean mixture?

it's easy to change these sensors... if you can get a wrench to it. just uplug, uscrew (you'll need to buy an O2 socket whcich doesn't damage the wires), and screw the new one in. of course do this only when your car is cold.

(again, i'm not certai of the setup of your 1st gen. but all cars are basically the same setup... just location and ease of removal is different)
 

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I agree with alleycat - the o2 sensors can go just like that (especially if your car has 96K on it). If you had the rear main oil seal replaced, then they had to drop the transmission in order to get to the seal. This is major work, and they could have repositioned/manipulated the exhaust down-pipe and that might have affected the o2 sensor. On the 1996 cars, there are four o2 sensors - on each exhaust down-pipe. There is one before the catalytic converter and one after. They can be very difficult to get off - if you remove it yourself (assuming you know which one of the four is bad) it might help to go at it while the exhaust pipe is still hot. The pipe will be a tiny bit expanded from the heat and it will make the sensor a little easier to unscrew. Another possibility is that they unplugged the o2 sensor when dropping the transmission and forgot to plug it back in. I would think the car would run rather rough, though.

If the o2 sensor really does need to be replaced and you don't want to do it yourself, then buy one at Autozone/similar and have a trusted mechanic do it. You'll save money that way.
 

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o2 sensors are a "replace at 60,000 to 80,000 miles" items. Chrysler gets $75 to $125 for their o2 sensors. I have been using Napa and Auto Zone sensors with no problems and they are sometimes cheaper. Most all o2 sensors are made by Bosch, even the ones Chrysler sells. Call around for best price. There is a special socket for $10 - $15 for changing o2 sensors sold at any auto parts store. It's a 7/8" deep socket with a slot in it for the wire to stick out of while the sensor is in the socket. If you start the car and let it run for a few mins, this will help with the removal. Unplug sensor, remove, install, plug in sensor. It takes all of 5 minutes! There is one on each side of the engine in each exaust pipe. These are accessed with the hood up. These two need tht "socket" because of the tight spot they are in. The other two are under the car and will require ramps or stands. These have plenty of access and can be taken out with a standard 7/8'' wrench.
 

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I was told O2 sensors need to be replaced every 5 years or so. I think that you might want to "bite the bullet" for this one, because there is very little chance that you will convince the dealership it is their fault, plus they're a maintenance item anyway.
 
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