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How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor in a Chevrolet Prizm

by Dan Ferrell

The Chevrolet Prizm comes equipped with two oxygen sensors. Technically, they are referred to as Bank 1 Sensor 1 (located near the front of the Prizm) and Bank 1 Sensor 2 (threaded into the back exhaust pipe, near the catalytic converter). Depending on your diagnostics, you may need to replace one or both sensors. Sensor 2 is the only one that requires a special tool, which you may find at most auto parts stores. Either one is not very difficult to replace.

Replacing Bank 1 Sensor 1

Locate this sensor at the front exhaust pipe, right next to the exhaust manifold at the front of your Chevy Prizm.

Unplug the sensor electrical connector.

Unscrew the two sensor mounting nuts and discard the gasket. You can use a ratchet and socket to remove the mounting nuts.

Apply a light coat of anti-seize compound to the threads of the new sensor. Be careful not to touch the tip of the sensor with the compound or you may ruin the unit.

Start the oxygen sensor by hand, then tighten the sensor with the ratchet and socket but do not over-tighten.

Plug the sensor electrical connector.

Bank 1 Sensor 2

Remove the scuff plate located at the bottom of the driver's door frame, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the left kick panel on the driver's side using the Phillips screwdriver.

Take the floor board insulator off the lower steering column using the Phillips screwdriver.

Locate the oxygen sensor electrical connector underneath the board insulator and unplug it.

Pull the sensor wire grommet out of the floor board, and then push the grommet and oxygen sensor harness through the floor board.

Raise the front of your Chevy Prizm using a floor jack and support it using two jack stands.

Locate the oxygen sensor at the back exhaust pipe, next to the back of the catalytic converter.

Disconnect the oxygen sensor from the exhaust pipe using an oxygen sensor socket and a ratchet.

Apply a light coat of anti-seize compound to the new sensor threads, but be careful not to touch the tip of the sensor with the compound to avoid damage to the sensor.

Start the sensor by hand on the exhaust pipe. Then tighten the sensor using the sensor socket and ratchet but do not over-tighten.

Detach the sensor wire grommet from the old unit and install it on the new sensor.

Push the sensor harness and grommet through the floor board.

Install the wire grommet on the floor board and plug the sensor electrical connector.

Install the floor board insulator on the lower steering column using the Phillips screwdriver.

Mount the left kick panel on the driver's side using the Phillips screwdriver.

Attach the scuff plate to the bottom of the driver's door frame using the Phillips screwdriver.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

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.

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Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of mnemo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lambda_sond_till_volvo240_etc.jpg.