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Old 02-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #1
d1camero
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Default Can I use a generic 3wire O2 Sensor?

Can I use a generic 3 wire O2 Sensor on my 1994 Legacy 2.2L or should I opt for the more expensive OEM one?

The OEM one costs $140 up here in Canada... (generic is $30)
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
Subie Gal
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I wouldnt......

generic sensors have been known to fail/not perform correctly

Get the oem sensor

consider buying from the states .... must cheaper on your end.

Jamie
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Yeah the Canadian dealerships tend to rape us on everything. I just bought a cabin air filter and it cost $75.02 after taxes.

Get the O2 sensor from Jamie
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:14 AM   #4
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go to the Bosch website to get the part number then try Napa or other local/online parts store. I got my "OEM" Bosch Wideband sensor for my 00 RS for about $65 at Napa. Hell, do a google products search for the part number and see what is out there for pricing.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
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FWIW, I got two general replacement O2 sensors (made by Bosch) for my 1995 Legacy 2.2. I snipped the connectors off the old ones and soldered them to the new O2 sensors. As far as I can tell, they work fine. That was a couple thousand miles ago.

--Bob

Last edited by bobko; 02-21-2008 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:32 PM   #6
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Where do i find my oxygen sensor on my 2001 subaru impreza 2.5 rs? And is it easy to replace on my own?
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss36 View Post
Where do i find my oxygen sensor on my 2001 subaru impreza 2.5 rs? And is it easy to replace on my own?
Dunno for sure about the 2001 Impreza but my 1995 Legacy has the O2 sensors just before and after the catalytic converter. There's two of them in my car and I assume other years are the same.

I thought they were easy to replace. I got generic sensors and snipped the wires off the connectors on the old sensors. I soldered the wires to the new sensors (used heat-shrink tubing for insulation) and everything worked fine. If you don't solder, you probably want to get exact-replacement O2 sensors.

--Bob
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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Is there somewhere i can find a detailed diagram for my car showing all the different parts of my car and where they are located? I figured my owners manual would have that but it shows very few things.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss36 View Post
Is there somewhere i can find a detailed diagram for my car showing all the different parts of my car and where they are located? I figured my owners manual would have that but it shows very few things.
Both Haynes and Chiltons have inexpensive DIY service manuals for the 2000-2006 Forester, Legacy and Outback, but not for the Impreza. Bummer...

I have Chilton's 1985-1996 Subaru manual and it's okay. It's not fantastic but it's a lot better than nothing.

--Bob
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobko View Post
FWIW, I got two general replacement O2 sensors (made by Bosch) for my 1995 Legacy 2.2. I snipped the connectors off the old ones and soldered them to the new O2 sensors. As far as I can tell, they work fine. That was a couple thousand miles ago.

--Bob
soldering O2 sensors is not a good idea on late model cars. There is a thread about it on here somewhere because the O2 sensor extension required for Highflow cats on 06/07's brought up the question. wonder what data your ECU is getting/sending due to your franken-senors? let us know if you get an CEL related to the sensors later on. hope not, i hate CEL's.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
soldering O2 sensors is not a good idea on late model cars. There is a thread about it on here somewhere because the O2 sensor extension required for Highflow cats on 06/07's brought up the question. wonder what data your ECU is getting/sending due to your franken-senors? let us know if you get an CEL related to the sensors later on. hope not, i hate CEL's.
Can't imagine how soldering could impair the performance of the O2 sensors. In fact, a soldered joint should be better than using a click-on extension. I've had one in for at least 5,000 miles and the other for 1,000 miles or so. No O2 sensor-related warning lights... just the "Cylinder 1 misfire" I get regularly, including before I replaced the O2 sensors.

--Bob
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:58 PM   #12
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Can't imagine how soldering could impair the performance of the O2 sensors. In fact, a soldered joint should be better than using a click-on extension. I've had one in for at least 5,000 miles and the other for 1,000 miles or so. No O2 sensor-related warning lights... just the "Cylinder 1 misfire" I get regularly, including before I replaced the O2 sensors.

--Bob
Soldering near the sensor on later imprezas can cause incorrect O2 sensor resistance/voltage because the O2 sensor is not vented through the sensor body but through the wiring, which is now clogged with solder (no air gaps between the 3 wires) There is a post with the technical reasoning behind this but its mixed in a thread about headers/hfc/exhaust of which there are trillions so I couldnt find it. anyway, i agree with your statement about soldering being a better connection than plug type or even crimp type butt connections, but if soldering, id advise to solder as far from the sensor as possible. Have you logged any O2 senosr data since the repair? just curious if you know what data your ecu is getting. no CEL doesnt mean that you have good/accurate data.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
Soldering near the sensor on later imprezas can cause incorrect O2 sensor resistance/voltage because the O2 sensor is not vented through the sensor body but through the wiring, which is now clogged with solder (no air gaps between the 3 wires) There is a post with the technical reasoning behind this but its mixed in a thread about headers/hfc/exhaust of which there are trillions so I couldnt find it. anyway, i agree with your statement about soldering being a better connection than plug type or even crimp type butt connections, but if soldering, id advise to solder as far from the sensor as possible. Have you logged any O2 senosr data since the repair? just curious if you know what data your ecu is getting. no CEL doesnt mean that you have good/accurate data.
I soldered my O2 sensor wires at the connector end. The sensors came with three wires all about two-feet long. I stripped a bit of insulation at the ends, and soldered on the wires from the connector. I'd cut the connectors off the old sensors with about three inches of wire on them. So, I have new sensors with 24 inches of new wire, then solder joints, then three inches of wire to the old connectors.

I can't imagine what could be "vented" from the wires other than heat. The wires are covered in tough nylon insulation, so they're not venting any gas. I do not doubt your memory of the thread where this was discussed, just that the theory is an odd one.

I do have software/hardware for my laptop that allows me to plug it into the OBD-II port and get all sorts of readings, but my wife whines when I do this. I have driven the car and looked at a variety of parameters, and the O2 sensor function has not been unusual. I didn't focus on it, however.

Thanks for the info on the mysterious "venting"!

--Bob
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobko View Post
I soldered my O2 sensor wires at the connector end. The sensors came with three wires all about two-feet long. I stripped a bit of insulation at the ends, and soldered on the wires from the connector. I'd cut the connectors off the old sensors with about three inches of wire on them. So, I have new sensors with 24 inches of new wire, then solder joints, then three inches of wire to the old connectors.

I can't imagine what could be "vented" from the wires other than heat. The wires are covered in tough nylon insulation, so they're not venting any gas. I do not doubt your memory of the thread where this was discussed, just that the theory is an odd one.

I do have software/hardware for my laptop that allows me to plug it into the OBD-II port and get all sorts of readings, but my wife whines when I do this. I have driven the car and looked at a variety of parameters, and the O2 sensor function has not been unusual. I didn't focus on it, however.

Thanks for the info on the mysterious "venting"!

--Bob
I had the same thoughts as you when i read about it, but Bosch has a article about it, so i think its credible. Ill do some searching for more info and post it here so someone later down the line will have more than an obscure reference and opinion to go on.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:39 PM   #15
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K, heres the thread on NASIOC i was referring to... scroll about 2/3 down the page and you can pickup and follow the question about soldering O2 wires.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...t=bosch+sensor

This post is a source of info for the "no soldering" the O2 seonsor wires.. In "General Installation Tips" section (past 3/4 down the page) is talks about it.

http://www.clarks-garage.com/shop-manual/fuel-18.htm

Hope this help answer and ?'s or clear any confusion.

bobko, your thoughts?
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss36 View Post
Where do i find my oxygen sensor on my 2001 subaru impreza 2.5 rs? And is it easy to replace on my own?
Under the car, near the header-pipes and on the first and second Cats
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
K, heres the thread on NASIOC i was referring to... scroll about 2/3 down the page and you can pickup and follow the question about soldering O2 wires.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...t=bosch+sensor

This post is a source of info for the "no soldering" the O2 seonsor wires.. In "General Installation Tips" section (past 3/4 down the page) is talks about it.

http://www.clarks-garage.com/shop-manual/fuel-18.htm

Hope this help answer and ?'s or clear any confusion.

bobko, your thoughts?
You beat me to it. I soldered before having this knowledge and recently corrected the mistake. No change in fuel trims after a ECU reset and learning. Although soldering isn't the recommended procedure I saw no practical difference in my situation.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
K, heres the thread on NASIOC i was referring to... scroll about 2/3 down the page and you can pickup and follow the question about soldering O2 wires.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...t=bosch+sensor

This post is a source of info for the "no soldering" the O2 seonsor wires.. In "General Installation Tips" section (past 3/4 down the page) is talks about it.

http://www.clarks-garage.com/shop-manual/fuel-18.htm

Hope this help answer and ?'s or clear any confusion.

bobko, your thoughts?
That's certainly interesting. The amount of venting must be infinitesimal, as the wire is quite snug inside the insulation. Bosch ought to know its parts, however, so it's impossible for me to dispute what the manufacturer says.

Soldering will only be a problem in this regard if the solder is laid on so completely that it fills all the spaces in the wire up to the point where the insulation is. It seems to me that any gap between the solder and insulation would provide this venting. Or even a nick in the wire on O2 sensor side of the soldered connection.

Thanks for the interesting link!

--Bob
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #19
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That's certainly interesting. The amount of venting must be infinitesimal, as the wire is quite snug inside the insulation. Bosch ought to know its parts, however, so it's impossible for me to dispute what the manufacturer says.

Soldering will only be a problem in this regard if the solder is laid on so completely that it fills all the spaces in the wire up to the point where the insulation is. It seems to me that any gap between the solder and insulation would provide this venting. Or even a nick in the wire on O2 sensor side of the soldered connection.

Thanks for the interesting link!

--Bob
Doesn't solder fill all the spaces in the wire always? i mean it should flow into the wire like a sponge and then be shrink wrapped (insulation) to prevent shorting so it will then be airtight. Anyway, i just wanted to provide the most correct information since I had knowledge of it so later readers are not misled.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
Doesn't solder fill all the spaces in the wire always? i mean it should flow into the wire like a sponge and then be shrink wrapped (insulation) to prevent shorting so it will then be airtight. Anyway, i just wanted to provide the most correct information since I had knowledge of it so later readers are not misled.
I appreciate the complete info!

If you don't slather the solder on too heavily, you can control how much it flows. Obviously, it doesn't fill the entire wire, so you can always strip the insulation back to where the solder has not flowed. If you're careful, you can solder only the actual junction and not have the solder flow any distance down the wires. Solder only flows where there is enough heat, so use a low-wattage soldering iron and apply only the amount of solder you need.

--Bob (who works as a TV engineer and has soldered thousands of electronics connections)
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:17 AM   #21
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I appreciate the complete info!

If you don't slather the solder on too heavily, you can control how much it flows. Obviously, it doesn't fill the entire wire, so you can always strip the insulation back to where the solder has not flowed. If you're careful, you can solder only the actual junction and not have the solder flow any distance down the wires. Solder only flows where there is enough heat, so use a low-wattage soldering iron and apply only the amount of solder you need.

--Bob (who works as a TV engineer and has soldered thousands of electronics connections)

I understand how solder works/flows, i also solder frequently (Airframes & Powerplants Mechanic) but you cant strip the insulation back to a bare part of the wire that hasn't wicked any solder and leave it open to vent or it will soon short when it touches a ground or the other bare wires near by. I think of the wire and insulation as a pipe that has to allow air the flow through it (in this case its a very very tiny amount of flow)and should be open on both ends. A solder connection is like a plug. But regardless of our theories about how/why solder is a bad idea, bosch said it is. besides i think were getting a little off topic.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #22
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it seems that the difference between solder and a butt connector or something would be so negligable that it wouldn't even matter...i mean, if you have a weather tight plug, it's basically the same as soldering and heat sealing it yourslef....right?
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:43 PM   #23
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If this is the case why would Bosch make a sensor that you couldnt solder? Has someone bought one of these and looked at the instructions? That would tell everyone for sure. Remember this is ment to be a replacement sensor that will most likely get soldered in to the stock connector. Bosch knows this so why would they have it so you cant solder it? Thats just assinine
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:50 PM   #24
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I recently installed a universal Bosch sensor on my car. I tried to solder it, but the leads are stainless steel and would not accept my rosin core solder no matter how much heat I put into them. I didn't want to use acid core solder, so I ended up crimping them with butt connectors and heat shrinking them to be weathertight.

I can understand the referral to not use solder due to the change in resistance resulting from too much solder at each joint. A few mV will make a difference in readings when the full sensor range is but only 1V.

Jay Storm
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