How To Remove a Grand Am Oxygen Sensorby Dan Ferrell
After months in operation, the oxygen sensor active elements become fouled with exhaust byproducts, affecting fuel economy and emissions. On average, you should replace the sensor or sensors on your Grand Am after reaching 50,000 miles of driving. If your particular model is equipped with the heated oxygen sensor type---check your car's owner's manual---it should be replaced at about 100,000 miles. Whether you need to change one or more of these sensors on your Grand Am, follow these steps to install the new units.
Remove the Oxygen Sensor
Find the oxygen sensor you want to replace. The easiest way is to follow the exhaust pipe connected to the exhaust manifold. The upstream sensor will be located along the front exhaust pipe before the catalytic converter. The downstream sensor is found right after the catalytic converter on the back exhaust pipe. The sensor's body is cylindrical in shape, about the size of a spark plug, and has a pigtail electrical wire.
Start the engine and let it idle for four minutes to bring the engine to operating temperature, then turn off the engine. This will help to ease the threads off the exhaust pipe and avoid damage to the pipe.
Raise the front of your Grand Am using a floor jack, and support it on two jack stands if necessary.
Put on your goggles if you are going to be working underneath the car, and unplug the sensor electrical connector.
Unscrew the oxygen sensor using a box-end wrench or ratchet and oxygen-sensor socket.
Install the New Oxygen Sensor
Apply a light coat of anti-seize compound to the threads of the new oxygen sensor, making sure not to get any compound on the tip of the sensor.
Start the sensor by hand to avoid thread damage.
Tighten the oxygen sensor using the box-end wrench or ratchet and oxygen-sensor socket.
Plug in the sensor electrical connector.
Lower the vehicle.
- General Motors Haynes Repair Manual (includes Pontiac Grand Am 1999 through 2003); John H. Haynes; 2006
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands (if necessary)
- Box-end wrench or ratchet and sensor socket
- Anti-seize compound
- The exhaust system on your Grand Am may reach very high temperatures in a matter of minutes. Use caution to avoid serious skin burns whenever working on or near any exhaust components. If necessary, wear long-sleeve shirts and working gloves.
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.