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How to Replace the Oxygen Sensor on a Ford Explorer Sport Trac

by Jody L. Campbell

When one of the multiple oxygen sensors detect a lean mix of burned fuel to oxygen ratio or a bad circuit relay in your Ford Explorer Sport Trac, it will trip the "check engine" light. Finding the faulty sensor will require having the computer of the Explorer scanned. You can purchase quality aftermarket direct-fit oxygen sensors from parts stores now and many will be glad to scan the computer for free in order to sell your the parts you need.

Raise the front end of the Explorer Sport Trac by driving it up onto car ramps. Apply the parking brake and place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires.

Put on the safety glasses and gather the tools, replacement sensor and creeper if you have one. Crawl under the front of the Explorer Sport Trac.

Locate the sensor to be replaced. These sensors are screwed into the exhaust pipes and components and wired to wire harnesses that communicate to the computer system of the Sport Trac. The information of which sensor to replace should have already been obtained. Follow the exhaust piping from the engine manifold back until you have located the correct sensor.

Locate the sensor wire outlet plug. Some of the sensors on the Sport Tracs have a tricky plug to get at. Remove the plastic plug clip from the frame of the Sport Trac by prying it out with the screwdriver, but be careful not to damage the wire harness side of the outlet. Unplug the oxygen sensor wire from the wire harness.

Use the ratchet and socket to remove the sensor. Place the sensor wire into the slot on the side of the socket.

Screw in the new oxygen sensor and tighten. Be careful not to over-tighten or you could damage the threads to the new sensor.

Plug the oxygen sensor wire into the wire harness and fasten it back to the frame if you removed it. Gather the tools and creeper and crawl out from under the Sport Trac. Remove the wheel chock and back the Sport Trac off of the ramps.

Tip

  • It will take some normal driving conditions to reset the "check engine" light in the Explorer Sport Trac or you could have the parts store reset the computer again. You also may have heard about buying universal oxygen sensors for less money than the direct-fit ones. On the Ford Explorers, not only is it much easier to replace the sensors with the direct-fit type, but you'll also find in many of the sensors that the direct-fit aftermarket sensors are cheaper than the universal ones that require rewiring.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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