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How to Replace a 2003 Ford Explorer O2 Sensors

by Johnathan Cronk

The 2003 Ford Explorer is a mid-sized sport utility vehicle designed and manufactured by Ford Motor Company. The Explorer is equipped with two oxygen (O2) sensors positioned on the exhaust manifold. The oxygen sensors work to control the amount of oxygen within the exhaust. It's important to replace a faulty oxygen sensor at first sign of failure, to ensure your Explorer runs efficiently. A bad oxygen sensor will also cause the "Check Engine" light to come on and possible failure of a required emissions test.

Step 1

Park the 2003 Explorer and put it in "Park." Allow the vehicle to cool for 15 minutes. It's ideal that the oxygen sensors still be a bit warm, but not too hot to touch.

Step 2

Open the hood of the Explorer and locate the faulty oxygen sensor. Explorers are equipped with two sensors, both screwed into the exhaust pipe, one on each bank directly behind the exhaust manifold.

Step 3

Use a socket wrench paired with an oxygen sensor socket. Twist the sensor counterclockwise until it's loose enough to remove. Lift the sensor from the manifold and discard it.

Align the replacement oxygen sensor in the appropriate spot on the manifold. Push the sensor into place using your fingers until you hear the sensor click securely into place. The oxygen sensor is now installed. Repeat these steps, if needed, for the other sensor. Close the hood of the Explorer.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench
  • Oxygen sensor socket
  • Replacement oxygen sensor

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