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How often do I need to replace Oxygen Sensors?

Oxygen Sensors replacement should be part of a vehicles preventive maintenance program. Don't wait for them to fail; they are service parts not repair parts.

Oxygen sensors are very important engine management part and are a critical element in the vehicle emission control system. That’s why checking and if required replacing a worn out or ageing oxygen sensor should be an important part of every routine service.

A faulty, worn, underperforming or damaged O2 Sensor can:

  • Reduce engine performance, causing vehicle coughing, surging, hesitating, rough idling or stalling.
  • May result in a lack of power and poor driveability
  • Increase fuel consumption. Failed or poorly operating oxygen sensors can cause a substantial drop in fuel economy
  • Increase dramatically exhaust emissions
  • Cause possible expensive catalytic converter failure
  • Activate the check engine light

Vehicle manufacturers recommend regular inspection and replacement of oxygen sensors and they should be inspected and replaced at the manufacturers recommended service intervals.

As there are several types of oxygen sensors and air/fuel ratio sensors the expected service life can vary significantly.

Typical maximum service life:

  • 1 or 2 wire Oxygen sensors - have a typical service life of 50,000 Km’s
  • 3 or 4 wire Oxygen Sensors (Thimble type) - have a typical service life of 80,000 Km’s
  • Planar Type (Thick film) Oxygen sensors- have a typical service life of 150,000 Km’s

Engine Sensors (Aust) the operators of recommends oxygen sensor replacement every 80,000 km’s.

This recommendation is based on years of trade experience that has shown that even sensors that may be expected to last longer are often prone to a shorter life span, and reduced performance, than expected. As a replacement reminder all oxygen sensors purchased from are supplied with a windscreen reminder service sticker, so you can note when the vehicles next oxygen sensor replacement is due.

Where possible all sensors should be replaced at the same time.
We strongly recommend changing sensors as pairs. (That is BOTH PRE-Cat or BOTH Post-Cat sensors at the same time)

For more information see