Can I Run A Car Without An Oxygen Sensor

Posted in Oxygen Sensors | Asked on Aug 9, 2010

I have a 2001 Impala LS, and the catalytic converter needs to be replaced. I can drive it an hour to a friend to get it fixed real cheap, or pay big bucks here and get it fixed. Can I drive the car an hour away without an oxygen sensor without damaging the car?

There are 8 Answers for "Can I Run A Car Without An Oxygen Sensor"

  1. Paxton S says:

    you should be able to, but dont be suprised if you get a light on your dash. i used a wire to short mine out for a while, but you have to watch the outside temps, if you’re in cold weather, and your car doesn’t know it’s getting cold air, you could be in trouble.

  2. oklatom says:

    Generally speaking, yes. You may get poor mileage however since the computer isn’t getting the right signals and will turn on your check engine light and go into what can best be described as ‘limp’ mode where it goes back to standard settings. Be gentle on the gas pedal and you should be okay.

    That’s assuming the catalytic converter isn’t completely plugged. If it is, it will have absolutely no power and you shouldn’t drive it. But you still might save money even after paying for a tow in that case.

  3. john m says:

    disconnected ,YES
    removed ,NOPE

  4. Summer S says:

    yeah, but it’s against the law in most states. you’ll be okay. don’t go for too long with it broken though.

  5. Danny D says:

    You are probaly talking about the Second Oxigen Sensor or O2 sensor that all OBDII vehicles have and is located down near the Catalytic Converter.

    That O2 sensor is useless. Is only there to make sure the exhaust gases are not contaminating the atmoshphere more than it should (still, it doesn make a difference as it seems we are gonna have a big problem real soon with Global Warming anyways).

    Without that sensor, the engine light will go on, same as it will go on if the seonsor detects a problem (more CO2 than normal). But it will not affect anything else in the ECU (the engine computer) as far as I know.

    Now, if by any chance you are talking about the Primary O2 Sensor, wich is usually sitting next to the engine right after the exhaust manifold, then no, you can not drive without it. If you do, the car will run in “safe mode” because the ECU doesn’t know what is the mixture, so it keeps it safe by pusshing more gan than needed. You will not be able to drive normal at all. You would need to drive slow on the side with your blinkers on.

  6. callmecam2 says:

    Why would you remove the o2 sensor in the first place? Just leave it in. You can drive the car with a bad o2 sensor and it’ll run fine but throw a trouble code and trip the Check Engine light. If you don’t have a sensor at all, get one and put it in. They’re cheap enough and easy enough to install.

  7. Christopher G says:

    Though it is not a very good idea to drive the car until you get it fixed. You can make the drive but, the car will eat allot of gas and since it is a newer car you may mess up more then your tring to fix.

  8. mesafuzzyz@sbcglobal.net says:

    yes, just put a sparkplug in the hole the 18mm thread is the same.
    you will have to reset the failed O2 sensor code when your done