How to Replace Your Toyota's Oxygen Sensor

Replacing the oxygen sensor on your Toyota vehicle is an easy task. And it will cost you just half of what a professional would charge. This tutorial covers all the necessary prep work and steps to take to replace your oxygen sensor as safely and efficiently as possible.

Toyota sensor

Buying a Replacement Oxygen Sensor

You need to get a replacement oxygen sensor before starting the project, of course. It may seem difficult to pick the best replacement oxygen sensor with all the aftermarket options available out there. It's much simpler to buy an OEM part. Rather than do tons of research on aftermarket brands, fitment, and so on, you can just find the right OEM part for your Toyota. All it takes is a 10-second search here.

OEM beats aftermarket in so many different ways. For starters, OEM parts are made of better quality materials and they are guaranteed to fit your vehicle perfectly. Aftermarket parts will vary in quality and are usually built with generic fitment, which is usually a recipe for problems. This article goes more into detail about why OEM oxygen sensors are better than aftermarket oxygen sensors.

If you’ve made up your mind about going the OEM route, you can buy an OEM oxygen sensor online. Of course, dealerships offer OEM parts but the prices are usually pretty high for walk in customers. Luckily some authorized online sellers offer OEM parts, including oxygen sensors, at discounted prices. Toyota Parts Center is a good one.

Preparing for the Project

Toyota oxy sensor

The only tools you need are a 22-millimeter wrench and anti-seize lubricant. Of course, you need to have your replacement oxygen sensor ready before starting the project, too. A penetrating lubricant will make the job easier.

Let your engine cool for at least a couple of hours before replacing your oxygen sensor. The exhaust system gets hot enough to burn you, and stays hot long after you turn off your engine. The longer you let the engine cool before replacing your oxygen sensor, the less likely you are to accidentally burn yourself. You may still want to wear a pair of gloves just in case the exhaust system is still hot to the touch by the time you start the project.

The Steps to Take

Note: the steps below are based on the Toyota Camry, but the process is very similar across all Toyota models.

  1. Spray penetrating oil. Soak the area where the sensor threads into the exhaust.
  2. Disconnect the oxygen sensor. To do this, find the connector and stick one or two fingers behind it. Simultaneously squeeze the release tab and pull up on the connector to disconnect it.
  3. Remove the oxygen sensor. You need the 22-millimeter wrench for this.
  4. Apply anti-seize lubricant to the threads on the new oxygen sensor. This is so you can easily remove it in the future if needed.
  5. Install the new oxygen sensor. Position the oxygen sensor thread into the hole and tighten it by hand first. Then use the wrench to tighten it securely. Connect the new sensor to the connector by snapping it into place.

Replacing the oxygen sensor is not a difficult project as long as you always take the appropriate safety precautions. Please call or email us if you have any questions about replacing your oxygen sensor or finding the right replacement part.

Written by Jason Lancaster