How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor in a Nissan Truckby Jody L. Campbell
Oxygen sensors have been installed on Nissan trucks since the early 1980s. In 1995 and 1996, an additional sensor was added to monitor the catalyst efficiency. V-6 and V-8 engines in Nissan trucks can now have as many as three or four sensors. The upstream sensors are generally in the manifold(s) (two manifolds with V-6 and V-8 engines) or just below it. The downstream sensors are located just behind the catalytic converter(s). It's possible for a do-it-yourselfer to replace these sensors.
Park the Nissan truck up onto two car ramps and apply the parking brake. Open the hood.
Place a wheel block behind one of the rear tires.
Crawl underneath the truck with all the tools and a pair of safety glasses on. Locate the sensor you need to replace.
Spray the threads of the sensor with a generous amount of penetrating lubricant and allow 5 to 10 minutes to soak in. Repeat this step if necessary.
Locate the wire harness plug of the oxygen sensor and disconnect it.
Use an oxygen sensor socket and a flex-head ratchet for upstream sensor removal or a 22mm box-end wrench for downstream sensor removal. Turn the sensor counterclockwise to remove it from the exhaust port. If using the ratchet and sensor socket, place the wire of the sensor into the slot of the socket. For the 22mm wrench, feed the wire through the wrench before placing the box-end side onto the sensor.
Screw the new sensor into the exhaust port. Most quality replacement sensors will have a slight amount of anti-seize compound on the threads of the sensors right out of the box. Don't get the compound onto the thimble tip of the sensor. If the sensor does not have compound on the threads, it's recommended to put a little on them for future replacement repairs.
Tighten the sensor using the ratchet or wrench. Be extremely careful not to overtighten the sensor. The threads are very delicate and there are only four or five threads, so it's easy to strip them out. Tighten them snug only. Plug the sensor wire back into the wire harness.
Remove the wheel block and lower the truck to the ground. Close the hood and drive the truck as normal. The service engine soon light will reset within 50 to 100 miles, or you can take it back to the parts store and have it reset for you.
- Most auto parts stores that sell direct-fit OEM style sensors will have code readers on hand. They will usually offer to scan the engine to determine the trouble code that the failed oxygen sensor(s) have tripped. Locating the right sensor to replace when the Nissan truck has three or more can be somewhat difficult, but the code reader will give you the information of which sensor (sensor 1 upstream or sensor 2 downstream) and what bank location it is in. Bank 1 is the same side as the first cylinder and bank 2 is the opposite side. The parts store can help you figure this out to ensure you're purchasing the correct sensor for the repair.
- Upstream sensors on the Nissan Titan may require the removal of the wheel well for better access to the sensor in the manifolds.
Things You'll Need
- Car ramps
- Wheel block
- Oxygen sensor socket
- Flex-head ratchet
- 22-mm box-end wrench
- Penetrating lubricant
- Replacement OEM style oxygen sensor(s)
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.