Question about Ford Taurus

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I am thinking about buying a 1996 ford taurus from my grandmother but the check engine light is on. I have taken it to the parts store and had a diagnostic run and they told me that it read p1131 and p1132. He also told me to go online and that would explain to me what they meant. My question is what do these codes mean and what can i do to fix them.

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P1131 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch - Sensor Indicates Lean - Bank No. 1

P1132 Lack of Upstream Heated Oxygen Sensor Switch - Sensor Indicates Rich - Bank No. 1

This means that at one time or another the O2 sensor is indicating to the computer that one or more cylinders on Bank 1 of the engine (side of engine facing the firewall) is running rich or running lean. Lack of switching could be caused by a vacuum leak, a faulty fuel injector, or a lazy (or slow) O-2 sensor. This car has one O2 sensor per engine bank upstream then another downstream sensor after each catalytic convertor for a total of four sensors.

First I would put spark plugs in it, as this can cause a similar error and is simple to do and will pay for itself in performance and fuel economy.

After spark plugs, in my experience with JUST these two errors it is most commonly the O2 sensor over any of the other things I mentioned. The sensors on these cars are very common and therefore less expensive than on many other vehicles. They need a special socket with wire outlet slot to be removed and quite often need persuasion with a torch or penetrating oil.

Perhaps you can make a deal with your grandmother that you'll bring it to the shop and if they can fix it you'll have it done and take that off the agreed price of the vehicle. Tell the shop the two codes and have them perform a diagnostic on the bank one upstream sensor. They can do a diagnostic for little money then call you with an estimate before you chat with Grandma or make your decision.

Good luck

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

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Those codes are for a "lack of switching" on the heated oxygen sensors. First thing to look at is the the MAF sensor. It is in the intake hose after the air filter but before the intake manifold. take it out and clean it with ELECTRONICS cleaner only DO NOT use carb/brake cleaner. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then re-install. Disconnect the positve battery cable to clear the code and then drive it. If the light comes back on and the same code is retrieved then you might have a bad MAF sensor.

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

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