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Hello! My husband and I were in a significant car accident in June, which totaled our car. We bought a 2004 Elantra in it's place with ~127k miles. The car checked out fine with a pre-purchase inspection, but now has had a CEL on and off for the last 3 weeks. At first I thought the CEL was from the gas cap, since it would come on 2 drives after a fill-up, and would go off 2-3 drives after re-tightening the gas cap. But the problem has gotten worse/more consistent.

So far, we have:
Replaced the gas cap
Did a fuel system flush/cleaning
Replaced the spark plugs

The codes that are we are pulling are:
P0030 Heated Oxygen sensor heater control circuit, Bank 1 Sensor 1
P2237 Oxygen sensor pumping current circuit/open Bank 1 Sensor 1
P2243 Oxygen sensor reference voltage circuit/open Bank 1 Sensor 1

When my husband replaced the spark plugs he did a visual inspection of the wires around the Oxygen sensor in question and nothing looked pinched or damaged in any way.

Since doing the above maintenance, the CEL has come on and off 2x in the past 4 days. When the CEL is off, the car drives like a champ. When the CEL is on, the engine hesitates/surges in first and second gear.

The shop quoted over the phone almost $200 for a new O2 sensor plus installation/diagnostics. We have had ZERO income since the accident, so we are on a very fixed budget, and need to make this repair as inexpensively as possible. Would our best bet be to just replace the 02 sensor and reset the CEL? Or, are there other things we should check out first?

Thank you so much in advance for your help!
 

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What spark plugs did you use? What type? What brand? What number, etc? OEM plugs are pretty important and simply changing the plugs with weird ones that car don't like can make O2 sensor codes.

You need to check your exhaust manifold because it's one of those that potentially cracked and emitted fumes for you to breathe. Take it to a dealer, and ask if you are covered under the exhaust manifold recall and if it was performed. A lot of times they replace it for free.

The B1S1 is a little hard to do yourself because you need a special socket to get it out and put it in, otherwise I'd tell you to just get a cheap one and do it yourself. Aftermarket sensors with the connector are $25 delivered now from eBay.
 

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Needs Oxygen sensor, the one before the cat, you can do yourself, autozone will rent you the tool for free. Only real harm driving as is will be wasting lots of gas.
 

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So far, we have:
Replaced the gas cap
Did a fuel system flush/cleaning
Replaced the spark plugs

The codes that are we are pulling are:
P0030 Heated Oxygen sensor heater control circuit, Bank 1 Sensor 1
P2237 Oxygen sensor pumping current circuit/open Bank 1 Sensor 1
P2243 Oxygen sensor reference voltage circuit/open Bank 1 Sensor 1

When my husband replaced the spark plugs he did a visual inspection of the wires around the Oxygen sensor in question and nothing looked pinched or damaged in any way.
i hate to be a jerk here (ok no i don't, i admit it) but your husband either needs to learn a bit more about working on cars or give it to a mechanic. from what i read here, you have 3 error codes for an oxygen sensor and he replaces a gas cap, flushes the engine out, and replaces the spark plugs. am i the only one that sees a problem here ????

oxygen sensors cannot be inspected visually. it will reveal nothing.

engine flushes can potentially be harmful...especially for an older vehicle like yours.

i'm sorry to hear that you don't have much money, but it is what it is. you have a dead oxygen sensor. the sensor on your exhaust manifold before the cat to be exact.

$200 is not a terrible price for an oxygen sensor, but you might be able to do a bit better. check some online parts retailers. call a few other parts stores. personally, i'd stick with either NGK or bosch.

it wouldn't hurt to check the wiring and the connector for corrosion/breaks.
 
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