'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - r_welfare
Just been informed by my local dealer, after taking in the car following the "Engine Malfunction" light coming on, that the oxygen sensor has gone awry.

I was quoted £245 for the part itself plus £90 for the labour which seemed a little high. With the help of a knowledgeable friend later, we located the sensor on the exhuast manifold. There are tell-tale residue marks which we believe to be WD40, which would indicate that the workshop has tried to remove the sensor but can't shift it, leading me to believe that the price quoted is for both the sensor and the manifold.

Where do I stand with the dealer on this? They haven't expressly told me they can't shift the sensor from the manifold, and I haven't queried the price breakdown. Incidentally, the car has done just 17,500 miles from new and has been serviced in accordance with Honda's schedule, so I'm surprised the thing has gone kaput so early. I bought the car 2 months ago from the main agent (I've done 250 miles since then). It's still under a 3-month used warranty (not with Honda, but supplied by the dealer), but they reckon the warranty people say it's not covered (as "the exhuast system" is excluded).

Any ideas gratefully received - I am thinking about calling up another dealer to get the price of the sensor itself for starters, but where I go from there I am not sure - don't want to be driving the car about if it will eventually damage the catalytic converter.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - r_welfare
Whoops - some missing info here. To clarify:

1. Car has 2.0 VTEC engine (LS model).
2. The garage that has looked at the sensor is the one that sold me the car (local Honda main agent).
3. Car last serviced at the end of April, at 16,900 miles.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Aprilia
If a Honda dealer sold you this car just 2 months and 250 miles ago I think that they should rectify this problem for free - no questions asked. I personally would not contemplate paying for the repair.
I am also surprised that this car was not sold with a 'proper' Honda-backed 12 month warranty. A 3-month third-party policy sounds very poor. In any case, I wouldn't regard the lambda sensor as strictly part of the exhaust system - it is part of the vehicle's emission-control electronics.

Incidentally, the price of £245 will be for the sensor *only* - the manifold probably costs £600-700 if I know Honda. Labour of £90 does sound a bit OTT for a lambda sensor swap though.

Get the dealer to do it FOC and then get an emissions printout at an MoT station (preferably not the dealer) - you want to be sure the cat is OK otherwise you'll be hit with a massive bill in a few months time.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - bazza
Agree absolutely with Aprilia, this is a very poor show from the dealer. The oxygen sensor is not part of the exhaust system, they're trying it on! I think you need to speak firmly to their dealer management Monday morning. Good luck.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Jonathan {p}
As Aprilla says, get the dealer to fix it. If not or they want you to pay for the parts, then you can buy O2 sensors for a lot less than £245. Should cost about £40 max from these people www.buypartsby.co.uk/lambda_sensors.php

You will also notice that your fuel economy is worse with a dodgy O2 sensor. It might be worth resetting the codes and seeing whether the fault remains just to check that it is actually needed.

Regards

Jonathan
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - r_welfare
Thanks for the replies. I think I will apply firm but polite pressure on the dealer tomorrow morning. To be honest they have been very polite and apologetic so far, but as you've pointed out, I've hardly driven the car so it seems fair to go for a free fix.

To answer some of the other questions, the car didn't have the usual 12-month "Approved Honda" warranty because it was in a 3-day sale - they'd slashed £1,200 off the screen price but threw in the 3 month one upon haggling. I'm glad to see that this appears to be an abnormal - incidentally, when the light came on a couple of weeks ago and it went in, they initially reset the light, but mentioned it was probably the sensor, and that "they'd done quite a few already this year" - this is in Guernsey, where the number of Accords of this age is probably in the low hundreds - a common problem perhaps?
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Adam Going (Tune-Up)
Not so much a problem with Accord as with Guernsey ! Seriously, low speeds and short trips kill Oxygen Sensors quicker than anything. At least once a week try and give the engine a bit of a work-out by keeping to second gear for half a mile or so - this will get the sensor up to proper temperature, likewise the Catalytic Converter.

Otherwise I agree with all the other contributors on this one - firm pressure required on dealer's desk with fist.

Regards, Adam
Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - r_welfare
Well, the car went into the dealer on Thursday and was fixed under warranty, which was good news. Thanks to all who commented.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - p1p3r
Great info. These guys www.buypartsby.co.uk/lambda_sensors.php just saved me £250. Honda wanted £290. £140 for the sensor, which they said was cheap(is it inlaid with gold leaf saying"Honda"), and the rest for labour. I'll fit it myself. Its only a sparkplug size spanner and couldn't be easier to get to. It stares right at you when you open the bonnet! Discon. the battery for 5 mins to reset the orange engine light in the dash. (that alone just saved another £60 from "HONDA".
And yes, only £40 all in and shipped

Edited by Webmaster on 02/05/2008 at 20:59

'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Screwloose
p1p3r

Let us know how you get on. Rather you than me.

The reason that Honda [and Toyota] can get away with such high prices for their sensors, is that their ECUs tend to reject the signal from a non-genuine one.

I've had to fit genuine sensors dozens of times on both manufacturers' cars after a cheap copy sensor has caused further problems.

£125 for fitting one is a rip-off though.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - jc2
Pretty accurate on the gold-even Ford ones use gold-plated connectors.
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Aprilia
Had to replace a 'pattern' sensor on an MR2 not so long back. The heater resistance was wrong (OE was about 15 ohm, 'pattern' was about 7 ohm) - this was giving a heater fault code. On my advice the owner ordered one from a US dealer for US$130 against a UK dealer price of around £160 - had to wait about two weeks for it to arrive mind you...
'99 Accord - oxygen sensor - Norman77
I owned a 1999 T Honda Accord Vtec LS auto from new and it had its first Lambda Sensor at 20K and the next at 80K. Both £220 just for the part. I think it was a Denso sensor. I fitted it myself and it took 5 minutes. I think there are more sensors pre and post catalyst too.

The addition of a flash code socket behind the glovebox meant i could read the codes myself rather than take it to Honda!
 

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