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How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor in a Dodge Ram

by Dan Ferrell

The oxygen sensor's job is to compare the potential difference between the ambient oxygen content around the exhaust and the oxygen content present in the exhaust stream. This helps your Ram's computer determine whether to enrich or lean the fuel mixture going into the intake system. It also helps the catalytic converter operate more efficiently. However, exhaust byproducts can block the sensor's active element over time, affecting fuel economy and emissions. Follow these steps to replace the sensor or sensors on your Dodge Ram (these steps do not apply to the 5.7L engine model).

Remove the Oxygen Sensor

Turn on the engine and let it idle for about three minutes.

Raise the front of your Dodge Ram using a floor jack and safely support it with two jack stands.

Typical automotive oxygen sensor.

Locate the sensor(s) by following the front and back exhaust pipes connected to the catalytic converter. You will find a sensor on each side of the converter. If your particular model is equipped with double catalytic converter, there should be another pair of sensors attached to the second unit. These sensors have a cylindrical body about the size of a spark plug, and will have a tail wire and an electrical connector.

Unplug the oxygen sensor's electrical connector.

Unscrew the oxygen sensor using a box-end wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and oxygen sensor socket (see Resources). Remove the sensor from the vehicle.

Install a New Oxygen Sensor

Apply a light coat of anti-seize compound to the threads of the new oxygen sensor. This will make it easy to remove the next time and prevent the threads from being damage. Make sure to keep your fingers, dirt and other contaminants off the tip of the sensor, which may interfere with its proper operation.

Hand-start the sensor in place to prevent thread damage.

Tighten the sensor using the box-end wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and oxygen sensor socket, but do not over-tighten.

Plug the oxygen sensor's electrical connector.

Replace the next sensor, if necessary, by following Step 3 from the previous section through Step 4 of this section.

Warning

  • Wear goggles, a long sleeve shirt and working gloves to prevent skin burns and other injuries as you replace the oxygen sensor. The exhaust system on your Dodge Ram reaches very high temperatures in a matter of minutes once the engine is on.

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

  • Wikipedia.org