: o2 sensor question

11-16-07, 02:57 PM
1997 eldo... I've been receiving a trouble code p0131 for what seems like forever now which I know has something to do with the o2 sensor. I would clear it and it would not return until the next day on a cold start. Now when I clear it, sometimes, it comes right back a few miles later. Sometimes it doesent until the next day. Either way, its a everyday problem. This morning I received a p0141 which is also o2 sensor related, as well as a p0300, misfire detected. Not sure if the mis has anything to do with the o2 sensor problem. All this time I also noticed white smoke out the tailpipes only when idling, or at a light, not while driving. I know I need to change my o2 sensor(s) thats a given and when I can afford to I will. My questions are: is the white smoke(which by the way does not smell of anti-freeze) a result of bad o2 sensor(s) because thats what I was told one time long ago about a chevy I owned. Also, is the misfire a result of the o2 sensors? I don't think its the plugs, they're only a few months old. The wires look in fairly good condition so they were not changed when the plugs were. I know its kinda negletful but please dont ridicule me, I have "another" baby on the way so I'm penny pinching now. A year ago, I would miss a meal just to make sure my "baby" was in tip top shape but now I have another one on the way and this one counts for a whole lot more. I can always replace a car, but a child is priceless and this will be my first. Gotta prioritize. WOW! This maturity thing is something else. Sorry for the bable, just a bit nervous, but this is not the time or place. So, if anyone could share some insight, it would be much appreciated. Thanks...

11-16-07, 04:06 PM
How many miles on the car ? O2 sensors do have a service life. If you're getting codes, there really isn't a cheap dodge........

The plug wires on a 97 are 10+ years old. Entirely possible to have a bad spot in the insulation somewhere. Pull the engine cover and run the engine in the DARK. You may get away with thoroughly cleaning the tops of the coils.

Don't forget that burning gasoline produces quite a bit of water that either drips from the muffler weep holes while cold, or comes out as steam while idling or at slow speeds with (relatively) cool exhaust system.

Do you ever have to add coolant to the surge tank ? When ? A little or a lot ?

11-16-07, 04:32 PM
There are approx 100 mi on the engine... I take it you mean run the engine in the dark to see if I see any spark from the wires. Will do. Actually that was a suggestion before, I just forgot. Also was suggested to spray mist of water on them. When you say coils you mean under the distributer cap. Forgive my ignorance, I'm not even a shade tree mechanic. Maybe I'm one in training... One thing is for certain, I follow detailed directions REALLY well and literally too. If you tell me bark like a dog while unscrewing a bolt I will and worry about the logic behind it later. I can build an atom bomb if you tell me how. Not that I would, just trying to emphasize my point... hope I didn't exagerate too much. Maybe once a month I add about a quart, give or take, of coolant. Mainly when "coolant level low" warning appears. Been having slight problems with the cooling system nothing TOO major. Changed the radiator when there was an obvious leak... Top and bottom hose...overflow tank(cracked at the bottom near hose)... thermostat(just because)... and just recently, the water pump(obvious leak). Other than that, everythings been just fine!

11-16-07, 06:05 PM
100 or 100,000 miles ???

No distributor cap. 4 coils triggered electronically, 2 plug wires on each coil with specialized end boots which go into the plug recesses in each head.

Do you still have any obvious coolant leaks that you can see, or that leave spots on the floor under the engine area?

A quart a month is far too much coolant to lose (add). I hate to send up a red flag, but I suggest you go to a big auto parts house or NAPA parts shop and get a coolant test kit, which will tell you if there's any oil or exhaust traces in the coolant. You may also want to commission a pressure test to determine the integrity of the cooling system

Spend some time searching these threads for info on head gaskets, coolant leaks, and the like.

11-16-07, 09:56 PM
1. You cannot tell the condition of ignition wires by looks. Do a search for "Stutter, Engine or Trans?"

2. What does the "smoke" smell like, oil, fuel or coolant?

11-16-07, 10:38 PM
He did say he had a misfire code so maybe the white smoke is unburned gas?!?!?!?

11-16-07, 10:46 PM
yo if you are broke, I am scrapping a 97' SLS tomarrow. Maybe I can take the o2 sensors off for you and send them to you.

11-16-07, 11:59 PM
coolant destroys o2 sensors.