3 Easy Steps of Cleaning O2 Sensor

The O2 sensor is a crucial part of the car emission control system. It helps regulate oxygen in the car’s engine, and when it gets dirty, it sends the information to the onboard diagnostic system. You cannot prevent your oxygen sensors from getting dirty unless you are not using your car.

Fortunately, even if the sensor gets dirty regularly, you don’t have to clean it often but don’t wait until it interrupts its normal function to clean it. Most cars have four sensors, but if you want to confirm, check your car’s manual because the number of sensors depends on your car’s model, age, and make.

Stick around to learn how to clean o2 sensor with and without removing it.

How to Tell the Vehicle O2 Sensor Wants Cleaning

You will know your o2 sensor needs cleaning through the check engine light, but there are other symptoms such as

  • High gas consumption
  • Exhaust smoke
  • With low engine performance, your vehicle may have difficulty accelerating, rough idling, and misfiring.

The Best Method to Clean the O2 Sensor

Cleaning Using a Product

Most products have a solvent that will clean the accumulated debris without damaging your vehicle. Go for automotive solvents; they will be suitable for your car.  To clean the o2 sensor, buy a catalytic converter cleaner and ensure it is labeled as an emission system cleaner. Then go to a gas station to get your car’s preferred fuel.

Here is the process of cleaning your vehicle’s sensor

Buy the recommended product: Ensure you buy the product that suits the engine type. Some brands won’t match your engine since they aren’t universal and are suitable for gasoline or diesel engines. Check the product description, and if you have a bigger car, you may need a larger quantity.

Use as directed: go through the manual and know how much gas you should have in your tank before treating. You might need to reduce your fuel or fill. Use the guidelines as directed.

Then driving your car for your product to circulate different brands will determine the travel distance.

Cleaning Using Gasoline

If cleaning o2 sensors using a product doesn’t work, there is always another option where you can use gasoline. You have to remove the units, and if you are unable, it’s good to get help from a mechanic because you can accidentally damage parts or get injured.

Gasoline is safe to use since it won’t damage the components of your vehicle like other household detergents or vinegar.

Get Professional O2 Sensors Cleaning Services

When you can’t do it yourself, you can seek professional help, like taking your car to a carbon cleaning center or taking your vehicle to a mechanic. Some experts are skilled in cleaning carbon deposits in a car, and you can check the prices online on how they charge.

The mechanic might suggest using a commercial catalytic converter, and when it fails to clean, he might suggest a replacement.


Cleaning your o2 sensors will keep in shape your emission system by reducing the internal debris and polluting the environment. The repairs are always cheaper; don’t wait for your car to perform poorly to run for placement services. Always check your O2 sensors and clean them; if you use your vehicle frequently, you will clean the o2 sensor more than lesser used cars.