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Thread: O2 sensor lifespan?

  1. #1
    Left Coast Rider
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    O2 sensor lifespan?

    On the K12/13's, what is the typical life of the O2 sensor? 50k miles? 100k? Should one look at replacing it as a matter of course at a certain mileage?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    I check function with GS911 seeing it on rolling graph. Never seen a lot of conversations about lifespan
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  3. #3
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Assuming clean fuel use throughout the bikes life and keeping it serviced and running properly one should expect to get at least 60k miles of lifespan.

    They don't typically fail outright unless contaminated by bad fuel or poor combustion, but they do start to react more slowly as they age. That can be seen by monitoring the voltage change with a tool like the GS911 as was mentioned. The value should switch from a lean to rich to lean continually. The computer looks at the voltage value and adjusts the fuel mixture to increase or decrease accordingly always hunting up and down to keep as close to the desired parameter as possible. If the voltage from the sensor is slower to change, it's probably going to eventually log a code as the system is expecting a change in value from a corresponding change in inputs and does not see it quickly enough.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2019 F850GSA

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Just for information's sake - I had to replace "Sensor #2" in my Camry at about 70,000 miles. It looked ok, but obviously the car's computer didn't like it any more.
    Sensor #1 (in the exhaust manifold) looked pretty clean, and Sensor #3 looked pretty dark and grungy, so I replaced all three "just because".
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 03-16-2021 at 04:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Left Coast Rider
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    Thanks guys!

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    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    On cars, especially Fords, I found it best to use OEM sensors.

    we also found that using an old time anti-fouling device, used for spark plugs would satisfy a dash light
    OM
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  7. #7
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I had one go bad on my '11 R1200r at around 50k, found it with the GS911. Changed both.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Thanks guys!
    "If" a sensor should fail/malfunction, the check engine light will come on. When the check engine light comes on a failure code will be registered in the ECU. A readout of the ECU (either yourself or at the dealer) will provide information on the cause. If all is well, then the sensor could have failed. (rare, but happens). You need to then replace it with an OEM sensor (on BMW bikes they run between 140 and 200 Dollars) and are a bear to install since the pigtail connector is hidden in the most inaccessible places like under and or around the tank, etc. you CAN splice and solder into the existing harness (takes about 20 minutes that way, (YMMV).
    2020 R1250RT 719
    2013 F800GT
    2017 Goldwing Prowler RT Trike

  9. #9
    Left Coast Rider
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    Again, I appreciate all the responses.

    What about deterioration of the O2 sensor? Can it start to give a less-than-optimal signal? Or is it a simple works / doesn't work situation? I'm starting to notice what I believe is a rich condition at idle - rhythmic idle variation.

  10. #10
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    On a car, upon first start the temperature of the engine is sensed and being "not up to temperature", the engine runs rich(er) to allow for running sans choke.....open loop.
    Once the engine is running, the now up to temperature engine no longer needs the rich condition (choke) and the O2 sensors adjust fuel trim to satisfy emissions- closed loop.
    I'm pretty sure this is the basics for a motorcycle as well. Yes the 02 sensors go bad. Sometimes gradually, sometimes all at once. Running an engine with the "check engine light" on for extended periods even though the engine is running like it always did is hard on the sensors and can ruin the catalytic converter.
    Years and mileage take their toll on all these systems.
    OM
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  11. #11
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    I had one fail on my Subaru. I didn't get a light, but noticed that my fuel mileage had dropped about 3 m.p.g. A scan showed the failed sensor.

    The mileage was something like 70,000 at the time.
    Last edited by Rinty; 03-14-2021 at 11:14 PM.
    Rinty

  12. #12
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Prior to my "Check Engine" light coming on, the idle speed dropped noticeably.

  13. #13
    Registered User cjcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Prior to my "Check Engine" light coming on, the idle speed dropped noticeably.
    What was that on and was the cause of the check engine light and idle speed change a bad O2 sensor or something else?
    Carl S.
    BMWMOA #11500

  14. #14
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    see post #4.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    On the K12/13's, what is the typical life of the O2 sensor? 50k miles? 100k? Should one look at replacing it as a matter of course at a certain mileage?

    Thanks in advance!
    I've never seen one fail in all the boxers with O2 sensors I've owned (4). The highest mileage bikes were my old 1994 R1100RS 159k and 2005 R1200RT 130k. I don't know if it makes a difference but the O2 sensors on the boxers are more exposed to the airflow than the K bikes. I think. Part numbers for the R and K O2 sensors are different. I suspect that's because of the wiring harness for the sensor. Also, 2005 - 2013 boxers have two sensors vs. one for the K12/K13s of the same years.
    Scott Taranovich
    McKinney, Texas
    2019 R1250RT

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